BRADENTON -- A Jumbotron for Hawkins Stadium still has a few hurdles, but sponsors have already lined up to advertise on the screen that must receive school board approval.
The proposed $200,000 Jumbotron project has yet to come before the board for an official blessing, but Manatee High School athletics supervisor Jason Montgomery and booster club president Gene Brown discussed the highlights of the plan with the school board during a workshop on Tuesday.
The project has three parts, said Montgomery, who was promoted to a district-level athletics supervisor position on Tuesday evening. The project includes:
installing the Jumbotron with a super structure behind it with eight slots for advertisements,
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adding a super structure behind the existing score board with spaces for ads to mirror the Jumbotron's set-up.
updating to a Bose sound system to fix existing sound problems.
"We've sold all the sponsor signs easily, and that's why it's coming so quick," Brown told the board on Tuesday. "It happened quick with our great community support."
Once installed, the Jumbotron would be utilized during football games, Montgomery said, but could also be used for other events on the field, like graduation, band competitions, club events or even for outside organizations.
The Manatee High Jumbotron could also set the stage for the district's other high schools, Montgomery said.
"We get to be the icebreaker," Montgomery said. "This is not expressly a Manatee beneficial thing."
Other high school booster clubs would be able to follow similar plans set out by the Manatee High project and Montgomery said other high schools have already expressed interest in the plan.
The cost of the installation and upkeep will be shouldered by the booster club and the Manatee broadcasters, Brown said. The five-year sponsor contracts will cover the maintenance, utilities and project upkeep for future years, he said.
If, for some reasons, sponsors cannot be acquired, the burden of the cost of the Jumbotron still falls to the Manatee broadcasters, Brown said.
"There is no risk to the district," he said.
The project is slated to come back to the board on Aug. 11.
Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter@MeghinDelaney.