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Shelton Stadium to get new scoreboard

By Brittany Anderson

A new scoreboard is coming to Hays CISD that will benefit students, sports fans and local businesses. 

The HCISD Board of Trustees voted 6-1 to purchase a new video scoreboard for the Bob Shelton Stadium at Hays High School during the Feb. 28 regular board meeting. Trustee Esperanza Orosco was the only dissenting vote. 

The information on the scoreboard was first presented to the trustees during the agenda review meeting on Feb. 22. 

The proposed scoreboard for Bob Shelton Stadium. Photo via VCRNOW/
Hays CISD.

Superintendent Dr. Eric Wright said that after a bond project that included stadium expansions to Lehman High School and Johnson High School didn’t pass, there were conversations about what the district could do to enhance Shelton Stadium and keep it ‘fresh,’ as it will also serve as the district stadium. 

“We’ve had an ongoing problem with the sound system and the scoreboard is kind of old,” Wright said. “We wanted it [Shelton Stadium] to feel like home, not just for Hays, but for Lehman and Johnson.” 

Out of three proposals, a scoreboard from VCRNOW was recommended to and then selected by the trustees, with Wright saying that the “quality and training is there.” The board itself is 45 ft x 45 ft and the size of the video board is 20 ft x 35 ft. The boards are also “built to survive severe hot and cold weather.” 

The board will cost $697,091.82, plus 10% contingency for items including its structural engineering, geo tech studies and soil sample report, hoist and motor system electrical installation, and others.

Wright explained that the scoreboard could be used to market to vendors who will buy ad space, helping to pay off the cost of the board in “three to five years.” Any money that is then generated from ad revenue after the board is paid off would go to a Shelton Stadium fund to fund a variety of enhancement projects.

Additionally, Wright said that the press box would be equipped with a mixing board that would be similar to what broadcast journalism students in the district use at their home campuses. These students would be able to produce the entire game — from game replays and commercials for advertisers, to other district highlights. 

Wright also said that this amenity would be great for the fans and help the district attract more playoff games in the district.

Jeff Anderson, CEO of VCRNOW, ensures that the board offers a great return-on-investment, and that to date, the company has “never failed on a project to be able to raise the money.” He also said that the boards have “actionable intel” — they record the number of event attendees, which can then be given to potential marketers. 

“This is something we’ve done in tons of school districts in Texas, even in small communities,” Anderson said. “Instead of this being something that costs the district, we see it as something that will create revenue. This is a mutually beneficial relationship between the district and businesses in your community. This isn’t just someone giving a donation to Hays CISD. It’s sports marketing.” 

While the trustees were generally favorable towards the scoreboard, several raised questions about its funding, who would be responsible for vetting and securing advertisers, and ensuring that the district’s boosters clubs, like athletics and cheerleading, were made aware of the board, as it could impact their budget. 

“A scoreboard is one of those things that will engender a lot of opinions in the community, so I think we need to be able to speak to that with some authority that this is our expectation for revenue, and this is how it works,” trustee Merideth Keller said. 

Orosco ultimately voted against the item during the Feb. 28 meeting, saying there was a lack of a comprehensive plan and timely information regarding questions about the board. 

“I know we need a sound system, and a scoreboard would be nice,” Orosco said. “I just feel like it’s in isolation and there’s not a concrete plan … but I do trust your judgment and I’m sure everything will work out.” 

The board was considered to be brought to the trustees in March or April, but based on current supply chain issues there were concerns about not having the board installed in time for the first day of the 2022 football season. 

According to VCRNOW, the delivery and installation should take around 16 weeks, depending on the supply chain.

About Author

Brittany Anderson graduated from Texas State University in August 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She previously worked at KTSW 89.9, Texas State University's radio station, for nearly two years in the web content department as a writer and assistant manager. She has reported for the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch since July 2021.

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