When the Portland Sea Dogs installed their first video board at Hadlock Field in 2004, they promoted the opportunity to watch Boston Red Sox highlights while at a Sea Dogs game.
Those highlights faded out the past couple of seasons but are coming back.
“And they will be big,” General Manager Geoff Iacuessa said.
Iacuessa referred to the new, bigger video board the Sea Dogs recently installed, part of a three-board package.
The team showed off two of its new boards inside the ballpark Wednesday. The third board will replace the outside marquee located on the Slugger statue.
The showcase of the package is a 17-by-53-foot high density board in left-center field. It is located where the “message board” had been since Hadlock Field was renovated for the Sea Dogs in 1994. The message board had no video capability.
The new board is visible from every seat in the ballpark, including the right-field pavilion. It will be used for Red Sox highlights, other video features and player information.
Fans will immediately notice a better picture than the 10-year-old, 16-by-20-foot video board, which was located in right-center field.
“This (upgrade) has been on the radar for about a year,” Iacuessa said. “As we saw ours was getting tired, it was something we needed. (Work began on the new boards) the day after the season ended.”
The old video board in right center is being replaced by a 9-by-18.5-foot board that will show the pitcher (with photo), his statistics, pitch count and what pitch he is throwing.
“We hear all the time from diehard baseball fans, especially among our season-ticket holders, that they want a pitch-count board,” Iacuessa said. “I’m a baseball fan and I want to see it, too.”
Most major league ballparks have a pitch-count board, including Fenway Park. Fenway’s state-of-the-art system features three boards, the largest being 38-by-100 feet.
While Fenway shows replays from the current game, Hadlock will not be showing Sea Dogs replays – at least not right away.
“We have the capabilities to do it,” Iacuessa said. “We want to perfect the production first.”
Iacuessa, who declined to give a cost for the upgrade, said the Sea Dogs are expanding their video crew from two to eight people. That number includes cameramen (and yes, there will be crowd shots so fans can see themselves on the board).
Fans can see the new boards in less than five months. The 2014 home opener is April 10.
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at: