Jumbotron update for Ed Burke Field pending approval

The TPHS Foundation is waiting to hear from the SDUHSD board in February regarding the latest TPHS campus project: a scoreboard upgrade for Ed Burke Field.

Alongside a group of four parents, the TPHS Foundation is playing a supportive role in acquiring a new Jumbotron for TPHS athletics. The upgraded scoreboard will include an enhanced sound system with video capabilities.

According to Foundation Executive Director Joe Austin, the Foundation was approached by a group of parents who had made several attempts over the past decade to get the “dysfunctional” scoreboard replaced.

“As a parent of a senior field hockey student, I sat through a lot of games where I was like, ‘Wow, this scoreboard is really kind of atrocious, and it has lived way beyond its serviceable life,’” Austin said.

The current scoreboard, according to Austin, dates back to around the 1980s.

Jumbotron update for Ed Burke Field pending approval“The entire project [including the Jumbotron’s manufacturing and installation] is about $500,000,” Austin said. “Replacing the existing scoreboard with a similar model would cost nearly $170,000.”

Because of the substantial cost of the project, it is difficult to predict whether the board will approve the expense, Austin said.

This is where the Foundation steps in, a “middle ground between the board and our parents,” according to Austin.

“[The Foundation is] the mechanism for taking what district funds we get for facilities and saying, ‘Hey, can we add on to that? Can we meet you with the regular funding?’” Austin said.

While plans must wait for the board’s decision on funding next month, some already believe the cost is worth it.

According to JV rugby player Eddie Lavis (10), a Jumbotron has benefits for athletes and fans alike in the long run, making “our school much cooler.” “Having a better scoreboard would definitely make the fans pay more attention and get hyped for games,” Lavis said.

Addie McKay (11) agreed.

“This is a step in promoting the visibility and recognition of field hockey,” McKay said. “It will definitely be a layer of excitement for fans.”

McKay, a varsity field hockey player, believes a new Jumbotron would also have field hockey-specific benefits.

“If the Jumbotron could show the specifics of what happened during plays in the game, I think it would make field hockey a lot easier to watch,” McKay said. “Having more fans cheering us on definitely increases the energy of our team, which generally helps us play a lot better.”

Austin is on the same page.

“Imagine what we would be able to do in the form of producing content for a video screen. Imagine what ASB would be able to do to promote and hype up pep rallies. Imagine if the audio in that stadium were commensurate with the quality of the scoreboard up there,” Austin said. “It would just change the fan experience.”

Lavis, McKay and Austin hope that the board will approve the expenditure for the project next month. In the meantime, “[the Foundation is] working very closely with the district leadership” to secure the Jumbotron, according to Austin.

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