When the St. Francis High School football and soccer team plays this fall, it could be under a new scoreboard.
The District 15 School Board approved the purchase of a new $94,900 Daktronics scoreboard for the stadium in a 5-2 vote.
Board Chairperson Marsha Van Denburgh and board member Matt Rustad voted against.
But there is a catch.
The scoreboard will not be purchased until enough sponsors come forward to fill the advertising spaces on the board, said Jeff Fink, activities director.
The activities departments will have an annual payment to the district’s lease-purchase certificate approved March 26 of approximately $20,000 for the sign.
The district will include the scoreboard in the lease-purchase certificate sale, but the activities department will need to pay off its portion in five years, Fink said.
To do that, it will have to fill all 10 ad spaces.
The board includes four Anchor Partner ads, approximately 4 by 6 feet, and six Founding Partner ads that are 3 x 4 feet, Fink said.
Although the advertising packet has not been designed yet, Fink has already had interested businesses calling.
“If we have enough interest, the scoreboard can have 12 Founding Partner ads,” he said.
That would allow the activities department to pay off the loan earlier.
Once the new scoreboard, which includes a new sound system, is paid off, the advertising could provide a new revenue stream for the activities department, Fink said.
If enough partners are found, the activities department will be able to replace the existing scoreboard.
The current scoreboard was put up in the 1970s or 1980s.
They are not really sure when it actually went up, Fink said.
Boardmember Suzanne Erkel was against the purchase of the new scoreboard.
“This is money we don’t have,” she said.
The existing board is becoming harder to keep lighted, Fink said.
The company that made the board is no longer making the light bulbs and he has to call schools around the country that have/or had the same scoreboard looking for spare bulbs, he said.
Fink told the board he is not sure how many more bulbs he can find for the existing scoreboard.
Most companies now make their scoreboards with LED bulb, making the older bulbs harder to replace, he said.
It is a lot of money for a high school team and it seems like there should be something cheaper, Erkel said.
This is pretty standard and it is the same scoreboard that Cambridge just put in, Fink said.
It will also be used for more than just football, said Superintendent Ed Saxton.
If Fink can sell enough ads, the scoreboard could be installed this summer and be ready for soccer and football season.
“But this won’t happen unless we have the funding to do it,” Fink said.
Hopefully, the community and businesses will find it beneficial to doing an ad, he said.
Tammy Sakry is at [email protected]