As video scoreboards go, this one has all the bells and whistles.
Some would say it was a long time coming, jumping hurdles and pushing through City Council discussion and debate.
As other ballfields began to have start-of-the-art videoboard technology that was keeping baseball fans attuned to the games and providing commercial opportunities, Williamsport’s own Mancy Bank Park at Historic Bowman Field finally can also claim it has a scoreboard with all the trappings the older version did not have.
“It makes for a much better fan experience,” said Gabe Sinicropi, vice president and marketing director for the Williamsport Crosscutters, the team playing home games there and member of the Major League Baseball Draft League.
The scoreboard, which cost about $700,000, is a lot like a large television set that is controlled at the press box by operator Jay Hawkins, production director.
Hawkins, who is a full-time production director for the Cutters, mans the controls overseeing the seats and playing field.
He also said the Cutters also have a social media presence with Cutters on Deck.
The board, created by Daktronics, is a far cry from the older board, which was prone to breaking down.
This has state-of-the-art capabilities.
Cameras are on the field and in the stands and the video board can broadcast live action, including when Sinicropi works the crowd between innings.
The board provides fans with a crystal clear head shot of the player at bat, with statistics and is capable of showing commercials and broadcasting television stations.
The experience at the ballpark now is much richer because of the addition of the new scoreboard screen, said team photographer Dave Kennedy. Pre-game interviews, video clips from previous games add to the show that the ‘Cutters can put on for their fans. Each day a new pre-game show called “The Leadoff,” Which is hosted by Sinicropi, gives fans a run down on previous games, in-game promotions for that night and upcoming special events for the week at the ballpark, Kennedy added. The addition of the screen system isn’t simply a way to display the hits, runs and errors in the game; it adds a full multimedia experience for anyone in attendance at Muncy Bank Park, said Kennedy.
The scoreboard was paid for through a state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant that was pushed for by state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township.
The Cutters, as a team, contributed $100,000 toward the cost of the videoboard believing it was such a vital upgrade needed for the fans and the teams playing in the league.
Such grants are through the Office of Budget and are used for economic development and job creation purposes.