CHAMPAIGN — Stationed above the stands in the south end zone at Memorial Stadium is a big, new scoreboard.
It’s 36 feet tall and 96 feet wide. With replays coming in high definition.
Perfect timing on Illinois’ part, especially considering the Big Ten announced Wednesday it will allow teams to show an unlimited number of replays at games this season.
After Wednesday’s evening practice ended, UI coach Tim Beckman said he hasn’t given much thought to the change and hadn’t heard much about it.
“I’m thinking about SIU,” the Illinois coach said with a laugh in reference to Saturday’s opponent. “I haven’t even really had a chance to think about it.”
Schools previously were able to show one replay at no less than 75 percent of real-time speed. Not anymore.
In essence, fans inside the stadium now can see the replays that viewers look at when watching the game on television.
“Our goal on game day is to blend the best parts of an in-stadium experience with the best parts of an at-home experience,” Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said. “Enhanced replay is just one way to do that, and we look forward to making it available to our fans this year.”
Beckman said he is all for the Big Ten making the gameday atmosphere as memorable to its fans as possible.
“You want it to be a great experience for any fan,” he said. “That’s what Big Ten and BCS football is all about. It’s those things that you want to make sure the fans experience some good times.”
Want to have your own input about how the Big Ten can improve game-day experiences? Jim Delany’s league wants you to let it know. Email Kenny Kerry, the Big Ten’s liaison to the conference’s game-day experience subcommittee, at firstname.lastname@example.org, to give him your suggestions.