Removal of the two old scoreboards, located at the end of each end zone, will begin on Monday. After the removal is complete, installation of the new Daktronics HD-X scoreboard will commence in early August. The additions will also include a digital ribbon board that will surround the interior of the seating bowl, a new sound system and a high definition control room.
The structure that the old scoreboards were mounted on will stay in place at Commonwealth Stadium, with the exception of the front facing. The new light-emitting diode displays will be mounted onto the existing structure.
Commonwealth's facelift is expected to be completed in time for Kentucky's home opener against Central Michigan on Sept. 10.
"The addition of this new Daktronics system will provide our fans with an outstanding audio-visual experience, one that is among the biggest and best in all of college football," UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. "We are pleased to be working with Daktronics on this high definition upgrade to the stadium. We believe our fans, alumni and sponsors will be excited and thrilled with what the new system brings to game day. We are looking forward to our opener on 9-10-11."
Each LED video board will measure approximately 37 feet high by 80 feet wide (2,960 square feet), making each display the 15th-largest scoreboard in the college football. Combined, the 5,920 square feet will make the new video boards one of the largest scoreboard systems in the country.
With the addition of the video and sound system, which is expected to cost close to $6 million (demolition and installation included), UK Athletics has invested more than $14 million in renovations and upgrades to football facilities at Commonwealth Stadium, Nutter Training Center and Nutter Field House over the last six years.
The most visible components of the upgrade will be the two HD Daktronics scoreboards behind each end zone. Each display will provide live and recorded video in high definition, picture in picture capability, and multiple zones to show scores, statistics and sponsor information. According to Daktronics, it would take more than 550 42-inch flat panel screens to fill the space of each new end zone LED video board.
In addition to the end zone displays, Commonwealth Stadium will receive a facility first in the form of full-color ribbon boards that will encircle the interior of the seating bowl. The 14 digital ribbon displays will include additional statistics, scoring and timing information, animation, and other motion graphics. The digital ribbon boards will total more than 1,800 linear feet, with the two longest displays measuring more than 485 feet.
Commonwealth's upgrade won't just be for the eyes. Daktronics will also install a custom sound system. The Sportsound system will deliver pounding bass energy, smooth mid- and high-range frequencies, and high-impact entertainment. Components of the sound system include a main speaker cluster behind the end zone, under-balcony speakers and concourse speakers.
The video and audio equipment will be operated with a high definition front end control system designed by Daktronics.
"We are very excited to work with the University of Kentucky on this project," Daktronics Sales Manager Will Ellerbruch said in a release. "The Wildcats play in one of college football's most prestigious conference. This upgrade will make SEC football in Lexington even more exciting."