If you’re keeping score at home, Highland Park High School’s Wolters Field could boast a couple of brand-new features for the 2023-’24 sports seasons.
Township High School District 113 officials are planning to replace the existing scoreboard on the main stadium turf field as well as the scoreboard located on the baseball field at the high school’s athletic complex.
The current scoreboard for the primary field was installed in 2005 while the scoreboard for the baseball field was put up in 2014, according to a memo from District 113 Superintendent Dr. Bruce Law. Both of the scoreboards are “weathered, out of date, have recently suffered operational issues and are inconsistent with the modern sports amenities that other neighboring public schools enjoy,” Law said.
According to district documents, the new stadium scoreboard will include a 9-foot high by 16-foot wide video display to “provide additional viewing opportunities for fans.” The scoreboard is proposed to be in the same location as the current one on the south end of the field behind the south end zone, district officials said.
Officials noted that since the new scoreboard will use the existing sound system, there will be no change to the current audio equipment or the sound levels that are broadcasted throughout the games.
The new scoreboard for the baseball field will also be located in the same location, directly behind the center-field fence, according to Law. The new scoreboard will feature the ability to display the visiting team’s name, as opposed to “visitor,” and the names of each batter.
Advertising opportunities that could generate added revenue for HPHS athletics are also a feature of both scoreboards.
A 3-foot high by 15-foot long video display will showcase HPHS athletic content as well as advertising on the baseball scoreboard, Law said, adding that the back of the scoreboard will allow for two static advertising sponsors.
“The (District 113 board) desires to provide its students, fans and athletes with a modern sporting experience and to provide the same athletic benefit to Highland Park High School students, fans and athletes that are enjoyed by Deerfield High School students, fans and athletes,” Law said.
Deerfield High School, the other school in District 113, installed a new scoreboard in 2021 for a cost of $292,739, according to district records. Fifty-one percent of that total, $150,000, was donated by the high school’s booster club.
Similarly, a significant portion of the funding for the new HPHS scoreboards comes from a donation from the school’s booster club. The estimated cost for the new scoreboards is $221,183, per district documents. The HPHS booster club is donating $100,000, or 45 percent of the estimated cost.
“This is a great improvement, and once again our schools are mirroring each other … and we are so so grateful and fortunate that our boosters can help us do these things without sacrificing other programs and things that our boosters do,” District 113 board member Jodi Shapira said at the board’s April 25 meeting. “They’ve added another layer to their support of our students and this doesn’t only help our student athletes, it helps all of our students that ever touch a foot on Wolters Field or the baseball field next to it.”
The district will still need approval from Highland Park’s City Council to finalize plans. The council was set to review the district’s proposal during its Monday, May 22 meeting but tabled discussions until its June meeting.
According to a donation agreement between the booster club and the district, the new stadium scoreboard is planned to be installed before the start of the fall football season while the baseball scoreboard is set to be installed before the start of the spring season.
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Martin Carlino is a co-founder and the senior editor who assigns and edits The Record stories, while also bylining articles every week. Martin is an experienced and award-winning education reporter who was the editor of The Northbrook Tower.