A new $1 million scoreboard at McKechnie Field moved closer to reality on Wednesday when Bradenton officials approved an interlocal agreement with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The agreement guarantees the city’s responsibility for all costs over the estimated $1 million recommended by the Manatee County Tourist Development Council last month. The Manatee County Board of Commissioners will have the final say when they vote on the recommendation. That vote is expected July 26 or the first week of August.
City administrator Carl Callahan said the city worked in partnership with the TDC, which expressed interest in funding a project the Pirates organization has desired for years, but funds were not available during the $10 million renovation project in 2013.
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“The biggest fan complaint we receive is that fans in the stand can’t see the lineups, videos and more,” said Callahan. “We all knew a scoreboard would be an expensive item and no one had the money at the time the field was expanded years ago.”
Callahan said the new scoreboard would likely be installed in left-center field for optimal fan viewing.
“But the Pirates can’t move forward until the county approves it,” he said. “We and the Pirates are currently looking at scoreboards and going over the purchasing options and looking at ways to expedite it so it’s ready for spring training in March.”
This is being paid for by resort tax money and shouldn’t cost the city a dime.
Mayor Wayne Poston
The Pirates will pay for the scoreboard and then be reimbursed by the TDC. Callahan said there is no expectation the city will incur any costs, as the estimate should fully cover the project, but the agreement was needed to move it forward.
“This is being paid for by resort tax money and shouldn’t cost the city a dime,” said Mayor Wayne Poston.