The Centennial Authority moved a step closer Monday to approving funding for a new scoreboard for PNC Arena, but only after spending almost an hour debating pixels.
The authority, the arena landlord, appears willing to spend $6.6 million on a project that will include the scoreboard, control room upgrades and the hoist. Also in the project are two, newer requests by Gale Force Sports & Entertainment, the Canes’ umbrella company: a 3D ice/court projection system and a theatrical lighting system.
Gale Force has agreed to pay for any costs beyond the $6.6 million proposed by the authority’s building and finance committees, wanting the new scoreboard in place for the 2018-19 season. N.C. State, which shares the arena with the Hurricanes, has no objections to that.
The questions about pixels and the scoreboard came after it was explained Gale Force and N.C. State agreed that the new board would have 1080p HD digital display. Authority member Bill Mullins questioned that, saying Gale Force initially had talked of a more state-of-the-art 4K Ultra HD digital display, which would match the new scoreboards at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif., and the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
“Two of the newest scoreboards put into the arenas in the last year are 4K,” Mullins said. “We always want to stay up with the current competition and we ought to pick 4K as the minimum.”
The stumbling block is the cost. The authority’s budget would cover a 1080p HD board. It was told a 4K board could double the cost, an added price the Hurricanes do not want to bear.
The final recommendation, which the authority will formally consider in April, is spending $6.6 million on a 1080p HD scoreboard. It will stretch blue line to blue line at hockey games and weigh 50,000 pounds, about 14,000 more than the current arena scoreboard.
In one bit of completed business Monday, the authority approved spending almost $1 million to replace 6,492 seats in the upper level at PNC Arena.
Tom Dundon, the Hurricanes’ new majority owner, asked that financial approval for the new scoreboard be pushed up a year in the authority budget and in place for next season. Dundon did not attend Monday’s meeting.