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Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014
Politics

Steinbrenner Field upgrades could benefit concerts

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Published:   |   Updated: January 27, 2014 at 06:51 AM

TAMPA — New York Yankees fans will see a new game this year during spring training at  Steinbrenner Field.

The Yankees are installing a new scoreboard and a separate, high-definition video board. At 26 feet in height and 63 feet wide, the new video display system will be nearly three times the size of the old video board.

“The video board is like a giant TV, so you can use if we have concerts,” said Howard Grosswirth, vice president of marketing for the New York Yankees. “It shows live images through a camera that can be used for multiple aspects.”

The Yankees are considering hosting concerts at the stadium once again if they are successful in moving their Tampa Yankees minor league team 97 miles north to Ocala. Concerts were last held at the stadium, then called Legends Field, in 1996.

The plan to move the minor league team to Ocala is on hold, however. Earlier this month, the Yankees backed out of a license agreement with the city of Ocala. Yankees management said the team canceled the deal because of resistance on the Marion County Commission to putting a half-cent sales tax increase on the ballot.

The tax would have been used to build a $45 million stadium and entertainment complex at Interstate 75 and State Road 200.

The old scoreboard and video board at Steinbrenner Field were in one piece. Under the new arrangement, the scoreboard will be relocated to left field. Grosswirth said the new scoreboard will be easier to read with white, instead of amber, digits using an “old school baseball theme.”

“It will be a huge enhancement to the experience at the ballpark,” Grosswirth said.

He would not say how much the Yankees are spending on the scoreboard and video display system.

Display systems listed for sale on the internet run from $1,000 to $4,000 a square meter. That would put the cost of a display board the size of new board at Steinbrenner Field at between $125,000 and half a million dollars.

msalinero@tampatrib.com

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