Before Wednesday night’s game against the San Francisco Giants, the Brewers announced that Miller Park will have a brand new scoreboard on Opening Day 2011. Tom Haudricourt says that it will be the third-biggest HD scoreboard in the big leagues, behind only Kansas City and Arizona. It’ll be nearly 6,000 square feet of 1080 HD, and Adam McCalvy has more details and notes on the new display. Here are a couple computer renderings of what the scoreboard will look like, courtesy of the Bernie Brewer Twitter feed:
It definitely looks cool, but I agree with Eric “battlekow” Johnson’s reaction to this news: the money could probably be spent in better ways. Mark Attanasio has never hesitated to upgrade Miller Park as he sees fit, and while it’s gone a long way in making The Keg an attraction for casual fans, that only lasts for so long.
The Brewers didn’t draw 3 million fans to Miller Park the past two seasons because of the increased number of video boards, the out of town scoreboard, or the Mercedes Benz/AirTran picnic area. They came because the on-field product was good, and there was excitement about the players on the team. Yeah, the animations and music for Trevor Time are awesome, but as we saw earlier this year, that ceases to entertain the casual fan when he can’t get anyone out.
Attanasio has said he expects next year’s payroll to be roughly the same as this year’s, but at the same time, he’s also described this year’s payroll to be the “max out” point, only possible because of the huge attendance numbers the past couple years. I’m no expert when it comes to HDTVs, but I imagine one that measures nearly 6,000 square feet is going to cost you more than a couple thousand dollars.
I’m sure fans would be willing to “suffer” through the current scoreboard if the team is playing at a high level. Will it be cool to have the third largest HD scoreboard in the league (at least until a few more teams install bigger ones)? Sure. But at this rate, the Brewers will be lucky if they can get 20,000 people to see it every night.