Prosper Independent School District (ISD) in North Texas is growing at an incredible rate. In fact, the high school added 400 students in the first four weeks of the 2019 school year. So when they decided to build a new athletic stadium, they went big $53 million big.
The turf stadium features 12,000 seats. The centerpiece of the arena is the 57’ x 67’ Daktronics video display scoreboard, a digital audio facade that synchronizes audio and video, and LED ribbon board displays. All told, there are more than 1.4 million video pixels in the stadium, covering over 3,000 square feet – more than any other high school in Texas.
The school district also wanted to make a big splash. Their display needed to make a major impact within the state-of-the-art stadium.
“Our superintendent wanted it to be the largest true HDTV in the state, so we had to make sure it was bigger than our friends down the road who had just built one,” Little says. “We didn’t mind spending a little bit of money if it meant we got a great product.”
Michael Logan, audio/video production instructor at Prosper ISD says they tried to plan for future needs as well. “When we planned the opening of the stadium, we basically wanted it to be future proof. So we put in everything in here that we think we would be needing for the next five to 10 years.”
Investing in students, not just a stadium
Logan says that while he understands the concern some people have about the expense of the stadium, his perspective changed after the first game.
“I had a crew of 14 students who have been training for over three weeks and have spent the last six months generating content finally get the chance to put it to action,” he says. “Nerdy kids who usually sit in the back of the class and hate going to the lunch room got to actually experience professional studio work on professional equipment.”
Little agrees that the Daktronics board and control software are a big asset to their students.
“It’s been a really amazing experience to watch them and how proud they are of the product that they’re putting out. Watching them take some responsibility for it.”
Logan adds, “Yes, the broadcast control room and cameras cost a lot of money, but I truly see how it was an investment in MY students. I’m sure within a few years some of them will be working in the NFL or NBA for no other reason than the opportunity they were given – because of this money invested.”
He adds, “One of my students told me, ‘Mr. Logan, I want this to be the best high school show in America. I want other schools to be calling us, asking how we’re doing this.’ So we’re sort of taking this to the next level and creating a lot of our own content. Daktronics supplied us with a lot of graphics we can use to start out with.”
Advice for schools considering a video display
“I would say that they need to do it, and don’t be afraid to let the kids do it,” says Little. “They will pleasantly surprise you at how much they can do.”
Logan says that while he and his students jumped right in and started developing complex content right away, it doesn’t have to happen all at once.
“To the schools that are considering doing this, I would tell you that you can take it to whatever level you feel comfortable with. You can keep everything real simple, or you can be really complex.”
“On the basic level we could just run cameras, run simple graphics, and most schools would have the opportunity to do that.”
Logan sums it up by saying, “I’m very thankful for our district and school for investing in my kids and including me in the planning process. I am very blessed.”
Athletic Director Valerie Little says they chose to go with Daktronics because of our reputation and customer service.
“This is my 18th year in athletic administration, and Daktronics has always had such a great reputation when it comes to their product,” she says. “But most importantly customer service. We wanted to go with a company that we knew would provide that.”