Fans attending football games at Northwestern's Ryan Field this season will be able to see things much more clearly.
The school announced Monday its nearly tripling the size of the video board on the north end of the stadium, increasing the size from its current 390 square feet to 1,100 square feet. Additionally, there will be an LED ribbon board added above the north end zone, and the ribbon board above the south end zone will be replaced with a new LED one.
The improvements to the stadium are expected to be ready for the season-opener vs. Cal on Aug.30, according to the school.
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"This is an exciting announcement for members of the Northwestern football family and another indication of our commitment to providing the best possible gameday experience for fans and guests of Chicago's Big Ten Team," head coach Pat Fitzgerald said in the university's release. "Initiatives of this magnitude don't happen without the hard work of many individuals across campus and the support of our terrific fanbase, so I'd like to thank all those who played a role in making these video board upgrades a reality. We can't wait for our fans to join us in experiencing an enhanced gameday atmosphere when we take the field against the Golden Bears on Aug. 30."
Northwestern won't come anywhere close to boasting the biggest screen in college football. That distinction belongs to Texas A&M, where the video board at Kyle Field is new for this season and a whopping 7,661 square feet. In the Big Ten, Michigan State's Spartan Stadium has the largest board, with a screen size of 5,414 square feet. In fact, even with the upgrades, Northwestern wont even approach one of its nearest competitors in the conference, Purdue, whose screen at Ross-Ade Stadium measures 2,158 square feet.
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Here's what things will look like once the new main video board is installed: