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New Quintal scoreboard to have video quality

The pursuit of a new scoreboard at Joe Quintal Field has landed its first donation for the project, which is being sought to allow video capabilities and is estimated to cost a total of $220,000.

First Dakota National Bank has purchased the lead spot on the proposed 30-foot tall scoreboard at a cost of $25,000 over five years. Corporate sponsors are also being pursued at levels of $15,000 and $10,000. Mitchell High School Activities Director Geoff Gross said "five or six" other companies have indicated a commitment to the project, but those are not finalized yet.

"This is a project that a lot of people in town feel passionate about, and I feel thankful for that because it's kind of kickstarted the whole process," Gross said.

About a dozen donors interested in the scoreboard met Thursday afternoon at the Joe Quintal Field grandstand. Gross and representatives from Brookings-based Daktronics -- which will build the scorecard -- presented the board's capabilities.

The model presented will permanently show the home and visitor score and the game clock. The center part of the scoreboard calls for a video display, which could show replays and corporate advertising when it is not showing game information. The display would also become a leaderboard for track and field meets, showing lane times and place finishes.

"We originally weren't going to have the video but with the package Daktronics put together, there really wasn't much of a difference in price," Gross said.

The board will be able to show video on its 7-½-feet-tall by 14-foot, 9-inch wide display. The school's sponsors will also get heavy use of the videoboard with commercials or animated logos on the board. Gross said the sponsorships will carry over to Dakota Wesleyan University events and other sporting events held at the stadium.

The scoreboard will also solve the stadium's sound problems, as the scoreboard has a large speaker on the top of the board. Daktronics Sports Marketing representative Jerry Sikkink compared it to having a really nice car stereo on the scoreboard and he said it can easily be heard throughout the stadium.

The board will also be closer to the main grandstand at Quintal by about 60 to 80 feet, Gross said. The scoreboard will be built inside the track, located behind the goal posts. Gross said the board will be a big presence for those driving past the stadium.

"It's going to stand three stories tall and we don't have many buildings that size in town," Gross said.

Sikkink said the average life of the scoreboard is 12 to 15 years, but said the board can certainly last longer than that. Mitchell's current scoreboard went up in 1984.

In addition to the 10 permanent advertising spots on the board, the school hopes to raise the remaining $15,000 needed with corporate sponsorships that will be contracted on an annual basis but won't have a permanent presence on the scoreboard.

Time is running short to get the project finalized. Sikkink said the board usually takes about nine weeks to be built. The first game of the year scheduled at Joe Quintal Field is Aug. 30, when the Kernels host Yankton. The project still needs finalization from the Mitchell Board of Education.

"Obviously, time is a big concern for us," Gross said. "But I'm confident we can get it done."