MILWAUKEE -- The most significant capital improvement in Miller Park's history received a finishing touch of sorts Tuesday, when crews lifted a sign bearing the ballpark's name over the huge new video board.
Just after noon, the 18,900-pound sign was hoisted into position atop a 5,940 square foot scoreboard already in place that will deliver high definition video to fans beginning April 2, when the Brewers host a prospect showcase at Miller Park. All told, the project will cost the Brewers and the stadium district $9-$11 million.
"It's an expensive project, but we're on time, we're on budget and I think the experience we're going to deliver to the fans will be worth it," Brewers executive vice president Rick Schlesinger said.
The new sign is back-lit and features the familiar Miller Park script over a banner that says "Home of the Milwaukee Brewers." An extra component will be added on top at a later date to commemorate the ballpark's opening in 2001.
The new scoreboard was designed by Daktronics, Inc., and will be the fourth-largest in Major League Baseball behind similar screens in Kansas City (the league leader at 8,900 square feet), Houston and Phoenix. It's an enormous upgrade over the 1,296 square foot original video board at Miller Park, which hung over a 2,432 square foot matrix board.
The Brewers expanded and remodeled their scoreboard control room to accommodate the hardware for the new video board, and will increase their gameday video and audio staff from about a dozen to 20-25, Schlesinger said. The team will work with three production companies on in-game graphics and features over the next month, but successfully tested the board on Tuesday morning.
Tuesday's test run went off "flawlessly," Schlesinger said.
"I know my heart was beating fast," he said. "It's quite stunning. It's really amazing technology."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.