Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I'd Say The Scoreboard Industry Is A Pretty Sweet Racket

Sony makes the Nashville Predators a multi-million dollar scoreboard less than a decade ago and then stops making parts for it, essentially forcing the Preds to buy a completely new multi-million dollar scoreboard "in order to keep up." That's quite an industry.

We need to find another name for them, because they are no longer just scoreboards. Scoreboards were those industrial-grade, wall-mounted boxes we glanced at back in high school; they usually had certain lights burned out so that we couldn't tell whether a digit was a "0" or an "8." At $3.6 million, I would not call what the Nashville Predators and the Sports Authority want a scoreboard. I would call it a "Broadcast Interface With A Panoramic Sharper-Than-Life Multi-Faceted LED Cluster." Whatever you want to call it, we still cannot afford it. The Preds either need to find a corporate sponsor to buy them this Cluster or we need to jack up taxes on game and season tickets so that the hockey fans cover the extra expense. An outside option is to lure the State of Dubai to purchase Metro bonds to pay for the most advanced scoreboard ever built while simultaneously freeing up more money to pay for public education (I can hear the public announcer now: "Today's game is brought to you by the United Arab Emirates. We only allowed nuclear components to be smuggled to Iran once"). That could also steer Dubai away from ownership of our strategic seaports. Since neither the NHL nor the GEC is of any strategic consequence in the war on terror, I think we'd be safe.

That $500,000 a year cap on Metro's financial obligations to the Nashville Sounds doesn't look so bad now, does it?

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