A million-dollar scoreboard in a prep football stadium? Must be Texas.
Indeed, it appears that the ever-escalating facilities war in the Lone Star State has reached Defcon Zero. The latest entrant to the realm of "anything you can do, I can do bigger" multi-million dollar facilities and stadium perks is set to be the Weslaco (Texas) Independent School District, serving a town of fewer than 40,000 citizens within 30 minutes of the Mexican border and McAllen.
As reported by the Morning Valley Star, and brought to Prep Rally’s attention by MaxPreps, Weslaco ISD director of instructional television Steve Valdez has proposed building a 27-by-48-foot jumbotron, a construction development that would give Weslaco the largest prep sports scoreboard in the nation.
“They say that football in Texas is king, so we doubt that anybody else in the country would have anything larger,” Valdez told the Valley Star.
As it turns out, Valdez is right. The massive, 43-foot screens that have been installed by fellow Texas schools Katy (Texas) High and Carthage (Texas) High currently hold the record for largest prep scoreboard (Carthage's is technically larger than Katy's), but both would easily be eclipsed by the proposed 48-foot jumbotron put forth by Valdez.
The Weslaco School Board plans to vote on the enormous scoreboard at its next meeting, with a proposed funding plan set forth by Valdez paying off the new expanded scoreboard in 10 years. The additional funds to pay for the scoreboard and its subsequent installation would come from more available sponsorship space along the side of the new scoreboard.
Naturally, the additional funds Valdez’s plan relies on assumes both continued interest in the scoreboard advertising opportunities and a similar rate for those advertisements. Those within the Weslaco ISD told the Valley Star that there is a rolling waiting list of 2-3 advertisers to earn a spot on the scoreboard. Maintenance of current rate pricing is more of a leap of faith, though there would stand to be at least as good a chance of rate increases as decreases, potentially earning the district more money than the cost of construction over the next decade.
While the scoreboard isn’t a reality yet, it certainly sounds like the Weslaco School Board is on board with Valdez’s proposal, both for civic pride and perceived financial advantages.
“If it’s going to pay for itself, like they say, ‘If we’re going to do it, let’s do it right,” Weslaco school board trustee Adrian Gonzalez told the Valley Star.
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