In just a few months, the Edmonton Oilers will be playing in their new arena, a highly-anticipated sporting venue featuring all the latest bells and whistles including a mammoth scoreboard.
This scoreboard is being built to do much more than provide fans with scoring and penalty details and will certainly not be using the analog or “lightbulb”-driven displays or animations.
The scoreboard at Rogers Place will be high-definition and massive- weighing as much as eight African elephants – and so perhaps it’s not surprising that it was built in a city known for doing things over the top: Las Vegas.
Currently, the scoreboard at the Oilers’ former home, Rexall Place, measures 16 feet by 9 feet. The new one, currently being assembled, will measure 38 feet by 22 feet. That size increases when you factor in the scoreboard’s housing: 46 feet wide (nearly blue line to blue line), 46 feet deep and 36 feet high.
“We wanted to give the same high-quality view,” Vernon Mason, director of production systems and services with the Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG), said. “We didn’t want to treat the people on the side any better than the people on the ends.”
Mason added that because the scoreboard’s screen will be high-definition, it had to be built a certain size.
“To achieve the main replay board being high-definition, the scoreboard needs to be a certain size so that was one of our starting points. We wanted all four of the sides to be fully high-def.”
The countdown to the downtown arena’s opening in less than four months has many hockey fans excited to see the building for themselves.
“I’m assuming the new rink is going to have better traffic flow inside and that will lead to a better overall game experience,” Oilers season ticket holder Jordan Slator said, adding that he believes the colossal new scoreboard will be appreciated by fans.
“I was fortunate enough to go to a Houston Rockets game a couple of years ago down in Houston, and they have an enormous scoreboard. So, I have actually experienced what kind of an immersive experience a huge scoreboard can be,” the season ticket holder said.
READ MORE: Take a tour inside Edmonton’s Rogers Place
The OEG was originally looking at the potential of an even larger scoreboard before determining it would have been too imposing.
“There will always be some dimension on somebody’s scoreboard that is larger than ours,” Mason said. “But in every way that a fan would care – every metric – we’re the largest scoreboard in the NBA, the NHL and without a doubt, we’re the best quality scoreboard.”
For now, the complex task of actually putting up the scoreboard is ongoing but it is expected to be turned on in about a month.
-With files from Vinesh Pratap.