Closers

Keeping Score

Two Minnesota companies built the giant US Bank Stadium scoreboards

By Tessa Grantier
Tue, 2016-11-29 10:28

The brand-new US Bank Stadium boasts a dozen cutting-edge features including a transparent ceiling, color-changing LED lighting and stadium-wide Wi-Fi, but arguably, the most noticeable features are the two 120-foot-wide video monitors that sit high over each of the end zones, keeping track of the score and showing instant replay.  The US Bank Stadium scoreboards are the only ones in the NFL to be manufactured in the team’s home state — by local companies Daktronics and Digi International.

Daktronics manufactures video monitors for a wide range of customers from banks to train stations to, of course, sports stadiums. Many of these monitors are created in the Redwood Falls, Minn. manufacturing facility where the US Bank Stadium monitors were made. Until recently, the Redwood Falls location was mainly creating displays for Daktronics’ Galaxy line, the type of displays that one would see outside of, for example, a Dairy Queen. “We expanded this location in 2014 to be able to increase our company’s capacity to handle larger sports projects, such as the Jacksonville Jaguars project and, of course, the Minnesota Vikings project,” says Daktronics’ Justin Ochsner, who works in public relations specifically for large sports venues. Almost immediately after the expansion, the location was assigned the project of creating not just US Bank Stadium’s two scoreboards, but every other video display in the stadium.

Digi International was founded in Minnesota in 1985, at the time focusing on “connecting PCs together through a serial interface.” In simpler terms, Chief Operating Officer Kevin Riley says that Digi was “making computers talk to other computers.” The company went on to pioneer technology that allowed computers to exchange information at faster and faster speeds, technology that is now used in the US Bank Stadium scoreboards to make sure the people watching get nearly instantaneous updates on the action.

Although they can’t promise a winning score, these two Minnesota companies can assure Vikings fans of a top-notch and up-to-date presentation of the game.