Signs, scoreboard OK'd for downtown ballpark

September 26, 1991|By John W. Frece | John W. Frece,Annapolis Bureau of The Sun

ANNAPOLIS B — ANNAPOLIS -- Baltimore's new baseball stadium may not yet have a name, but at least fans will know the score.

Patrons of the downtown ballpark will follow signs in "Camden green" with Times Roman lettering to their seats, to their cars, and to the nearest restroom or hot-dog stand, thanks to action yesterday by Gov. William Donald Schaefer and Maryland's Board of Public Works.

The three-member board approved two contracts: a $1.4 million purchase from a South Dakota firm of four state-of-the-art, computerized scoreboards and a $443,912 contract with Bellsinger Sign Works Inc. of Baltimore to produce 600 to 700 ballpark signs.

Two of the most important -- signs on either side of the stadium that will proclaim its name -- will remain blank, until Schaefer and Orioles principal owner Eli S. Jacobs resolve their long-standing impasse over what to call the stadium.

In proposing approval of the scoreboard contract yesterday, Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein referred to it as the "Camden Yards stadium" -- the name Schaefer prefers. That brought laughter from others at the meeting, and one aide said jokingly that Goldstein inadvertently had ended the dispute.

"That's a great name," Schaefer replied.

"I'd be glad to make the motion," Goldstein said.

But the issue was quickly dropped, and the board moved on to awarding the scoreboard contract to Daktronics Inc. of Brookings, S.D., with the lowest of three bids.

Daktronics will deliver two large scoreboards and two smaller ones, plus the equipment for the computerized control center.

The contract provides for a nine-year warranty and a full-time electrical engineer for every game of the first season to make sure the scoreboards work properly.

The biggest scoreboard will go across the park's right-field wall.

It will be capable of showing the score of every game in the majors at one time, and updating those scores as they change inning by inning. It will be covered with a protective shield in case batters line hits off the scoreboard face.

A scoreboard will be erected about 30 feet beyond the 410-foot mark in left-center field, positioned on top of the DiamondVision screen that will be moved from Memorial Stadium to Camden Yards.

On the back of the scoreboard, facing Pratt Street and downtown, "Welcome to" and the name of the stadium will be added. The name also will be atop the entry tower outside the stadium behind home plate.

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