$5.2M scoreboard installed at Oriole Park

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The play on the field at Oriole Park at Camden Yards may not always be pretty this baseball season, but at least the new high-definition scoreboard will be sure to catch your eye.

With the first installment of the JumboTron’s replacement being hoisted up this week, here’s a few interesting tidbits an O’s fan might want to know about the team’s $5.2 million addition.

• The top and bottom scoreboards are made up of panels with tiny red, green and blue lights (about the size of pinheads) spaced 20 millimeters apart. That multiplies out to about 472,632 lights on the top board (27.5 feet by 74 feet) and 22,894 on the bottom (24 feet by 40).

• The old panels were made up of square lights a little smaller than a Post-It. Each light had a section of red, green and blue.

• The new scoreboards will actually weigh less and use less electricity than the old ones, although Maryland Stadium Authority technician Vince Steier couldn’t say yesterday whether or not it could pay for itself in savings over the years.

• The scoreboards cost $1 million more than third baseman Brian Roberts’ salary in 2007 ($4.2 million, according to ESPN.com).

• The $9 million total venture (including a sound system and control room upgrade to be completed by the 2009 season) is more than the O’s paid for any one player in 2007.

According to Steier, the installation, which began at 8 a.m. Tuesday, is on schedule to be finished by March 19. That will allow for two weeks of test runs to try out the new team graphics and animations and iron out all the kinks before the home opener against Tampa Bay on March 31.

Steier noted the Orioles management was “very conscious about maintaining the old time feel of the park but also giving fans the amenities they expect” from Camden Yards.

“It reflects the team and the state’s interest to make this a fun place to go,” he said.

LIZ FARMER, Legal Affairs Writer

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