The Future of Racing Scoreboards
Fan polls and feedback with more than 11,000 race fans have shown that one of the most frequent requests for improvement at Michigan International Speedway is a new scoreboard.
Track officials took this to heart and have built the newest, state-of-the-art leaderboard in the world.
The incredible, $2.35 million scoreboard touches the sky at 110 feet tall and features the latest in LED lighting and graphics. Each of the three panels of the scoreboard are roughly two times the size of a highway billboard and will change the way race fans watch a race at MIS, track President Roger Curtis said.
“The old scoreboard pales in comparison to what the new one is capable of,” Curtis added. “Besides being really old, the technology in the old scoreboard was outdated and repair parts were hard to find. It may be the end of an era for the old technology here, but it is the beginning of a new one for us and for our fans. We’re very excited about the potential of this board and what it will be able to do on a race weekend. MIS again is setting the industry standard.”
The video panels of the new scoreboard total 3,500 square feet and are capable of producing millions of colors. The new scoreboard will be able to feature an infinite number of race positions at a time — a far cry from the old scoreboard, which only showed the top-five positions.
Most race fans are accustomed to a leaderboard simply showing the positions of the drivers on the racetrack. The new scoreboard is so much more than that and will change how motorsports events are watched, Curtis said.
During the race, track officials will use the scoreboard to not only show the positions of the entire field, but will use a graphics library to complement what’s on track and what’s being viewed on the six Sprint Vision giant screens at the speedway. For example, while the race in under caution the scoreboard can be used to engage and entertain the crowd with track facts and fun, interactive games usually reserved for NFL, NBA and MLB events.
A graphics library is being developed by Yesco, who is providing the technical elements of the scoreboard. The scoreboard was constructed by Don Bell Signs.
MIS staff has gone to great lengths to ensure race fans will be happy with the new scoreboard. Staff members spent much of the day on Wednesday participating in a scoreboard test around the grandstands. Each staff member went to various seats throughout the 132,000-seat grandstand to make sure the scoreboard could be viewed from all angles. Guests of the infield may also watch the action of the scoreboard.
“The scoreboard is a significant investment for our fans and we want to ensure that they have optimal viewing all around the racetrack,” Curtis said.
Michigan International Speedway tickets can fit anyone’s budget. For its 40th anniversary in 2008, MIS is hosting the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LifeLock 400 on June 15 and the 3M Performance 400 on August 17. Other events include the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Cool City Customs 200 on June 14, the NASCAR Nationwide Series CARFAX 250 August 16 and the ARCA RE/MAX Series Michigan 200 June 13. Tickets are available for all events, including qualifying days.
To order tickets, pit passes, camping or hospitality packages, call the MIS Ticket Hotline at 800-354-1010 or visit MISpeedway.com.