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New video, sound system for Commonwealth Stadium approved, to be installed this summer

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2418886.jpegFans won't have to try very hard this fall to experience the upgrades to Commonwealth Stadium. Their ears and eyes should pick up on the new additions fairly quickly.

As promised by Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart a couple of months ago and approved by the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees on Tuesday, the 38-year-old stadium will receive a facelift in the form of a new sound system and video scoreboards. The installation of both will take place this summer and are expected be ready before the first home game on Sept. 10.

"New boards, with upgraded technology, will enhance the viewing experience for fans through upgraded access to statistics, scoring updates from games, video replays and closed captioning, among other features," Barnhart said in a statement. "As importantly, the boards will generate increased revenue through the sales and marketing of video advertising."

The new video boards will be two large panels that use Light-Emitting Diobe technology, in addition to ribbon boards on the upper-deck sidelines and suite corners. They are expected to enhance fans' experience, providing a higher definition on a larger viewing service.

The boards will replace the existing video boards in the east and west end zones that were installed in 1999. The existing boards use Cathode Ray Tube technology, which has become difficult to maintain and outdated in comparison to modern facilities the school competes against on a weekly basis.

"The current video boards at Commonwealth Stadium are more than 10 years old and approaching the end of their useful life expectancy," Barnhart said. "Parts and supplies for the current boards, because of their age, are difficult to purchase. Moreover, they don't provide the kind of sophisticated viewing experience that fans have come to expect across the country."

Installation of the video boards and sound system will be paid for entirely with private funds.

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