Seton Hall community reacts to new scoreboard on Owen T. Carroll Field
As the Pirates hit a grounder to the shortstop, scoring their second run of the game, the sun started to set, ending the mid-70s temperatures that brought fans out to Owen T. Carroll field.
Only a handful of the 70 plus in attendance turned their attention to the recently installed almost quarter-million-dollar scoreboard in right field, which quickly updated showing a huge digital photo of the next batter. In fact, it seemed only the same eight people even glanced at the scoreboard for the next hour.
With the season more than halfway over and with the Pirates having just six home games left, the high-tech new scoreboard has not quite impressed the Seton Hall faithful, not yet anyway.
Anthony Di Paolo, a freshman who is an avid fan of Pirate baseball, paused while staring at the scoreboard before admitting it was not too exciting.
“I don’t really look at it that much,” he said, “I mean, yeah it’s nice but….”
Di Paolo trailed off as the next batter put the ball in play, ending the 6th inning. He did not think the scoreboard added much to the fan experience.
Other fans share this sentiment, and it is a problem Matthew Sweeney, Assistant Athletic Director of Communication, is working on.
“We’re still learning its capabilities,” he said. “It’s important to note, we have not scratched the surface.”
Sweeney said that the board has very advanced capabilities, such as playing full video, but the athletics department wants to make sure everything can run smoothly before revealing such enhancements. Sweeney said that just a single person with a laptop who is constantly in-putting graphics, statistics, and pictures controls the board.
While that operator is updating the scoreboard, the public address announcer, who sometimes is Sweeney himself, stands behind them reading the line score at the end of an inning as well as introducing the next batter. It is a complicated process, which must take place in a matter of seconds.
Sweeney said that at the beginning of the season, as Seton Hall staff got accustomed to programming the new board, the display was limited to the line score, which contains runs by inning as well as total hits, runs, and errors. It took a few weeks before the athletics department started to project the pictures of players on the board.
The scoreboard now features a waving American flag, and graphics, such as a flaming baseball representing a strikeout, are expected to come next. Sweeney admits that although the moving graphics will enhance the fans’ experiences, the Pirates’ coaches enjoy the basics.
“The coaching staff likes having the full line score,” he said.
Sweeney said the athletics department plans to use the video capabilities beginning in August with soccer season because soccer does not generate the same amount of individual stats as baseball, which would give the operator more time to focus on video, which will be taken straight from Pirate Sports Network.