CHICAGO -- U.S. Cellular Field will feature a distinctly different look for the 2016 season, and we're not talking about the team on the field.
At a Wednesday morning board meeting, the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority (ISFA) approved the installation of three new video boards -- left field, center and right. White Sox senior vice president of sales and marketing Brooks Boyer stated before Thursday's game that the right-field and left-field boards will cover somewhere around 2,500 square feet and the center-field board is between 7,000 and 8,000 square feet.
This new center-field board will be expanded to fill the entire existing scoreboard area, making it one of the largest in baseball. These changes have been on Boyer's agenda for quite some time.
"Right now, that's the smallest board in Major League Baseball," Boyer said of the current center-field screen at U.S. Cellular Field. "As you guys have seen, you are here on a daily basis, you've seen these flickering. You've seen them going in and out.
"There's proprietary software and hardware in the right-field and left-field boards from a company that is bankrupt. So, being able to service those has been quite some time and ISFA has been a terrific partner with us. ... They put together a great plan. It's very responsible for the state and ultimately great to add to the value of U.S. Cellular Field for them and, as it is for us, being the main tenant, or any other tenant that may come in here and rent the facility."
Boyer said any non-baseball events, such as concerts, is a question for ISFA to answer.
"It was made pretty clear by the ISFA guys that they are going to be actively looking at some outside events that will be here," Boyer said.
No timetable has been given for the installations to begin. And the new boards are just a part of the overall offseason stadium renovations, although Boyer declined to discuss any of those other plans at this time.
"Come Opening Day next year, it's going to look a lot different," Boyer said. "Obviously, this adds a lot of flexibility to our game presentation for our sponsors and to ultimately create a better entertainment experience for our fans."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.