New Orleans Saints fans can only hope that the results their football team put on the scoreboard this season are as pleasing as the scoreboard itself.
The reactions were all pretty much the same as the two new high definition end zone score boards in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome were unveiled Wednesday.
During one five-minute stretch, two separate fans entered the dome and peaked up at the board and uttered the exact same two words.
The new boards are 333 feet long and 38 feet high.
“It looks really good,” said Saints’ fan Yvette Venegas. “Big and bright. The technology is great, especially considering the Superdome has been around so long.”
They are part of a $25 million investment Saints owner Tom Benson made in upgrades to the Superdome during the offseason.
“It is wonderful to know that some things get better with age,” said Benson in a statement. “We recognize and embrace the need for more the most modern of facilities and making our fans game day experiences the best they can possibly be. To have the largest end zone video boards in the league and the most up-to-date technology will only enhance all of our fans’ experiences … We are anxious for our fans to see the upgrades we’ve invested in.”
Fans will get that opportunity on Friday when the Saints host the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Five-year old Brooke Hunter, one of a handful of people who got a chance to see the board on Wednesday, was already enjoying it.
“Look mom, I’m on TV,” she said as her picture appeared on the giant screen.
Others in attendance took selfies as their image projected on the screen stretched behind end zones on both ends of the stadium.
“The high definition is really going to project well,” said Bryan Landry. “It’s longer than what I expected.”
In fact, the 333 feet dimensions in length make the boards the longest in the NFL.
The largest video board in the league is the humongous 160 feet long and 72 foot high scoreboard that hangs from the ceiling at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington.
Landry saw that one last year, but prefers the one he saw on Wednesday.
“I like the clearness and how here you can look across and see the other side of the stadium,” Landry said. “At Cowboy Stadium, the big screen blocks your view so you can’t see the fans and the other side of the stadium. This makes you feel like you’re in a stadium. Theirs makes you feel like a living room.”
The video board is one of several enhancements to the Dome and the adjacent Smoothie King Center. The upgrades cost an estimated $40 million, with $25 million of that funded by Benson. SMG, which operated the buildings, funded another $5 million.
“These improvements are another important step toward preserving and enhancing the iconic Mercedez-Benz Superdome,” said Alan Freeman, general manager of SMG.
The 400 level suites in the building also have been upgraded, included more up-to-date restrooms.
“They are magnificent and it is another sign that we have taken an iconic building and are always seeking meaningful ways to make it as up-to-date as possible and state-of-the-art,” said Benson.