Highlights, home runs and more will be on full display at Progressive Field this year. At almost 13,000 square feet, the Cleveland Indians' new scoreboard is more than twice as big as the previous one built in 2004 and beats out the Seattle Mariners' 11,425-square-foot screen for the largest in the majors. Neil Weiss, the team's chief information officer, breaks down the new scoreboard ahead of the April 4 home opener.
Frame rate: The $15 million project would have been more costly if not for the existing 1994-built steel scoreboard frame. The 59-foot-tall, 221-foot-wide scoreboard was built by South Dakota-based Daktronics to take up the entire frame. "We were really lucky to have that," Weiss says. "This wouldn't have been possible otherwise."
Pixel art: A half-inch can be the difference between safe or out. On the new scoreboard, that same distance (or 13 millimeters) between the centers of any two pixels is what delivers a crisp, high-definition picture. "The Cavs have 6 milli-meters," Weiss says. "But this is best for outdoors, and it's such a big leap from what we had before."
Clean room: The 2004-built scoreboard was a big jump in resolution. But the system controlling it wasn't upgraded. Part of the project is a new data center inside the ballpark feeding the entire system. "We should be able to stretch its life span and have fewer needs for fixing it for the next eight or 10 years," Weiss says.
Animation Station: Since the new board is capable of ultra high-definition, all new content such as animations that play after home runs or strikeouts need to be created. "The short messages that are intended to get the crowd going," Weiss says, "many of those will be brand-new in look and feel."
Keep your eye on these phase 2 improvements to Progressive Field.
At the plate: Matching last year's delicious addition of Melt Bar & Grilled, Barrio and more, the main concourse is getting Happy Dog, Cleveland Pickle, Fat Head's Brewery, Momocho and more this year.
Ball club: The team is adding a Diamond Box and Field Box season-ticket-holder-only club behind home plate to appeal to a different crowd than the right field's the Corner bar, which is popular with millennials.
Sweet spot: The team is removing seats in left field next to the Home Run Porch to put in more drink rails like the ones in right field. It's another spot for people who buy the standing-room-only District Ticket ($13).