Scout It Out
Advice on Choosing a Scoreboard
If you're in the market for a new scoreboard, it's advisable to visit several sports facilities comparable to yours to see how different makes and models perform. Prior to designing the Ford Center's new scoreboard for the NBA Thunder, the key decision-makers visited several NBA, college and NFL stadiums and arenas. This scouting expedition included trips to Philadelphia's Wachovia Center, home of the 76ers, and Washington D.C.'s Verizon Center, home of the Wizards. According to the Thunder's Web site, those two venues had the greatest influence.
Scott Chitwood, co-founder of Carolina Courts, a privately owned basketball and volleyball facility in Indian Trail, N.C., also visited several sports venues, not only to check out their scoreboards in action but also to ask about the facilities' experiences.
"My advice is this: If I were a high school booster club, for example, I'd call around to several other high school booster clubs and ask about their scoreboard's performance and the company's track record, and whether the local sales people offer continued, individualized support," Chitwood said.
After research and legwork, Chitwood decided that durability, customer service and the scoreboard manufacturer's reputation topped his list of selection criteria.
He went with a manufacturer whose local representative was available and attentive.
"If the module broke down during a tournament, I know he'd be willing to jump in his car and help install a new one," Chitwood said.