By now, you should have noticed the enormous scoreboard at Target Field while driving into Downtown Minneapolis on Interstate 394. Oh, yea, it will have the line-ups, outs, balls, strikes, the time, and an assortment of game statistics. But, you may not know that Target Field has the fourth largest scoreboard in Major League Baseball; Kauffman Stadium has the largest. It may not seem helpful to some, but to some disabled fans, it will mean an awesome game day experience. For years, fans have had to look at a black scoreboard with smallish writing and a video board that could fit in some living rooms. Starting next year, the 101 feet by 57 feet massive main scoreboard will be greatly appreciated by fans with vision impairments. The huge main scoreboard will probably have big lettering and huge full-screen images. This scoreboard could really improve the game day experience dramatically for visually impaired fans.
The smaller scoreboards: Target Field will also have smaller scoreboards around the stadium, called ribbon boards. There are over 1230 feet of ribbon board around Target Field. These boards will have the same information as the main scoreboard, but with smaller lettering. I don’t think this is going to be a problem for fans with vision impairments because the lettering on the ribbon boards will be bright, spaced out, and big enough to read even if your seats are in right field, commonly known as the “Trapezoid”. I bet you, at night, those ribbon boards will be as bright as the moon.
There is only one electronic board that I have concerns with and that is the “out-of-town scoreboard”. The “out-of-town scoreboard” really could get messy sometimes. There will be about 13 to 15 Major League Baseball games being played each day. All of the games being played on a particular day will be displayed on that scoreboard. I assume that they will put up the score, outs, strikes, balls, runners on base, and who’s pitching of each game. That could get a little overwhelming for visually impaired fans if they are trying to look at a score for just one game. On the flip side, that scoreboard will be bright also and that could help some fans with vision impairments see it better. My hope for the “out-of-town scoreboard” is that the font will be easy for fans to read.
To sum up this topic, I think Target Field will attract more fans with visual impairments then the HHH Metrodome did due to the scoreboards. Oh, by the way, Target Field’s main scoreboard is nine times larger than the Metrodome’s scoreboard. I’m going to end this post by asking you a question to ponder about: What do you think those four white boards beside the main scoreboard are for?Written by: Michael L. Sack