Austin, Texas is known for a lot of thing: food; music; hospitality; an exciting nightlife.
But more recently an addition to the University of Texas’ Darrell K. Royal- Texas Memorial stadium has been making headlines and raising questions. As if 10’s of thousands of fans packing the stadium each week to see the Texas Longhorns play wasn’t enough, a new scoreboard has been turning heads. Officially it doesn’t have a name, other than the Darrel K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium Scoreboard. But others in town know the screen as Godzillatron or sometimes she’s called Adzillatron.
Godzillatron (as we’ll refer to her for the rest of this article) is one of the largest high definition video screens in the world. It was manufactured by a company call Daktronics in Brookings, South Dakota. They are known for producing many of the world’s largest display screens. All total, Godzillatron is a staggering 55.5 feet tall and 134 feet wide (that 16.9 m tall and 41 m for all of you non-Americans.) Just a few short years ago, not only was a screen this size unlikely, but the resolution would have been nothing to brag about, but thanks to changes in technology trends, this screen can brag 2064 x 848 pixel resolution. Not too shabby for a screen that has the square footage of a small neighborhood of homes. Godzillatron debuted in 2006 after a $150 million dollar overhaul to the stadium, $8 million of which was used for the screen. It has become a staple of the stadium and is the centerpiece during the game. Fans are relying more and more on the screens to interact during live games. Godzillatron replaced the previous 2 scoreboards that took up each end of the stadium (the Steinmark Memorial Scoreboard and JumboTron, which could be found on the north end- a video matrix screen. These screens were removed in 2005, just prior to the arrival of Godzillatron. In place of the scoreboard at the North end of the field, the stadium expanded and added more seats.
Although a scoreboard located in Tokyo Japan eventually surpassed it, Godzillatron was for a short time the largest digital high definition screen in the world and is still the largest screen in college football. There couldn’t be a better place for the huge TV- as they say, everything is bigger in Texas and the Texas Longhorns scoreboard is no exception.
As far as things go for other college stadiums, the 2nd largest high definition screen is located at Nebraska and #3 can be found at Texas A&M. Mississippi has also added a giant screen that measures a grand total of 5,217 square feet. It is 112 feet (34 meters) by 48 feet (15 m). But even Nebraska can’t hold up to Godzillatron, which is a jaw dropping 84 percent larger than the screen at Nebraska. It’s worth noting that the Dallas Cowboys have the largest HDTV in the NFL and second largest in the Western Hemisphere.
A controversy has erupted, however, about the screen’s uses during games, leading to its other nickname: Adzillatron. If it isn’t obvious, the reason is because fans say the stadium abuses it’s space to run intrusive ads, which take away from the game’s fun and light hearted (albeit sometimes intense) atmosphere. In fact, at times more than 50 percent of the screen is used to run advertising, which tends to annoy game patrons. Another issue is that the ads tend to be very loud, so that they can be hard, even if the band is playing. Recently fans have begun shouting at the screen as they are blasted with advertising.
Despite some of the known problems, in particular with the advertising aspects, the screen has been an overall welcomed addition to the stadium. It gives fans real time access to replays, announcements and more. And overall, it’s fair to say that this has been a welcomed addition to the field. It goes without saying that every change has its fans and its naysayers, and Godzillatron is no exception to that rule. Regardless of your opinion, it’s also safe to say that monster HD displays are here to stay in sports arenas!