ST. LOUIS -- The installation of a pair of new videoboards and stadium-wide Wi-Fi are among the ongoing offseason projects at Busch Stadium that will enhance the fan experience at the ballpark this year.
The videoboard in center field, as well as the smaller out-of-town scoreboard alongside it, has already been removed, leaving behind exposed framework. Coming soon will be two new HD LED scoreboards that will be completely programmable for video. The old scoreboard, which was flanked by amber boards, was not entirely video capable. It also was not HD compatible.
As a result, the new main videoboard will be almost three times bigger in size, with twice the resolution and brightness of the old board. The out-of-town scoreboard will be about 2.5 times bigger, also with twice the resolution and brightness of the previous one.
"We'll be right up there with the best of them now," said Joe Abernathy, vice president of stadium operations for the Cardinals. "It's amazing how technology has evolved in 10 short years. Technology has progressed considerably since we put this in back in April 2006.
"But we did get upset actually when the Cubs had a better videoboard than us. Especially with how it ended [in the National League Division Series] and all they're doing now, we don't want to be sitting behind the Cubs in anything."
These will be the first new scoreboards installed since Busch Stadium III opened in 2006. The ribbon boards down the line, as well as all of the equipment in the control room, are also being replaced as part of a more than $8 million investment.
The Cardinals have also begun upgrading some suites and replacing the lower-level green seats that have been in place for the last decade.
As part of Major League Baseball's initiative to enhance fan experience at the ballpark, the Cardinals are also nearly wrapped up with installing a Wi-Fi system capable of handling game-day traffic. The Cardinals had hoped to have this installed last summer, but ran into some difficulties along the way.
Abernathy said the system should be up and running by the home opener on April 11.
"This will be a full-blown Wi-Fi that will enhance the Wi-Fi signal throughout the ballpark that will help our fans take better advantage of the many apps and other opportunities there are out there to follow the game through their mobile devices," Abernathy said.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.