Phillies video board wows crowd in first big test

Posted: March 30, 2011

While manager Charlie Manuel and the Phillies were putting the final touches on their hit-and-run Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Mark DiNardo and his team were knocking the kinks out of their new HD video board at Citizens Bank Park.

"We had our staff in on Sunday to do a walk-through," said DiNardo, the team's director of broadcasting and video services. "But nobody is on the field. The ballpark isn't operational, so you really don't get to test it until everything is up and running."

Since Tuesday night's exhibition game was the first of the spring at the ballpark - there is one more Wednesday against the Pirates, at 4:05 p.m. - DiNardo got his first chance to test the new board with a big audience.

"Everybody says the same thing. 'Wow,' " DiNardo said. "I think they're in awe of the sheer size of the display . . . the resolution, the image. We got phone calls from people saying they were driving on I-95, or they were on the bridge, and they could see the screen was on."

At 76 feet high and 97 feet wide, with 7,372 square feet of digital space, the new board, in left-center field, is the largest by square footage in the National League and second in the major leagues only to Kansas City's.

The $10 million upgrade almost tripled the size of the video display at the park. That board was relocated to Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla.

In addition, all 800 TVs in the suites and public areas were upgraded to HD.

"Last night, when the team came back from Clearwater, they circled the ballpark," DiNardo said. "And from what I was told, the players' reaction and coaches' reaction, our front office folks who hadn't seen it yet, was very impressed."

And so were the folks on I-95.


Contact staff writer Ray Parrillo at 215-854-2743 or rparrillo@phillynews.com.

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