LED Scoreboard Price Trends: What to Know Before Buying One

With the commercial success of professional and amateur sports leagues worldwide, there has never been a better time to invest in LED scoreboards. The Summer Olympics for instance has consistently drawn over a billion viewers across the globe since TV networks started its live broadcast. Sports events of this magnitude are the perfect venue for brands to advertise their products and services. Similarly, it is the perfect time for stadiums and indoor arenas to rake in the cheques by offering valuable advertising slots: the LED scoreboards.

A Brief Recap on LED Scoreboards

Scoreboards have come a long way from the simple chalk scoreboard of the ancient Greeks. The first modern LED scoreboard was introduced in the 1970s by Major League Baseball after seeing its potential as a lucrative advertising space. With millions of fans flocking to watch the games throughout the season, placing an ad on its scoreboard could generate millions of impressions.

Today, there are several types of LED scoreboards utilized in different sports. NBA teams use center-hung LED scoreboards with four screens facing each side of the arena. These are hung above the court and display player/team statistics, highlight plays, timers, scores, and more. Perimeter LED scoreboards are used along the sidelines, notably in basketball and soccer. Football and baseball stadiums use outdoor column LED scoreboards that are weatherproof and can simultaneously display different content across the screen.

How Much Does A Scoreboard Cost?

LED scoreboards offer guaranteed mileage for brands who will advertise. Take a regular NBA season for instance. Throughout the season, each team gets to play 41 home games. With an average gate attendance of 18,000, a brand is guaranteed up to 3.7 million impressions if its ad is shown on the LED scoreboard five times per game.

With the impact LED scoreboards have on advertising, it is a no-brainer that brands are willing to pay a fortune to have even just their logos shown during a game. However, before talking about ad placement revenues, it is important to know how much LED scoreboards cost in the first place.

Generally, LED scoreboards installed in modest-sized stadiums like schools and public recreational facilities can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $700,000 or beyond. The final cost will depend on the display size, LED quality, and features. There are two types of LED scoreboards: single-color/double-color and full-color.

Single-color/double-color LED scoreboards are the most basic, only being able to use one or two colors–usually red, green, blue, or white–to display content. They are limited to showing text and are typically used for scoring and timekeeping. Meanwhile, full-color LED scoreboards can display images like any other LED display. Aside from scoring and timekeeping, they can display player profiles, game highlights, replays, and advertisements.

LED Scoreboard Prices Per Sport

LED scoreboard prices can be influenced by factors specific to the sport they will be used. Aside from the size and features of the display, sport-specific customizations also affect the cost of the scoreboard. Different sports have different mechanics and scoring, which means there cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution.

For instance, basketball venues need scoreboards that can display the score, shot clock, timeouts, and fouls of each team, while baseball scoreboards need to display innings and pitch count. The size of the venue, mounting options, and electrical infrastructure are also factored in.

Below are the price ranges of LED scoreboards per sport:

Scoreboard per sport Price Range
Baseball Scoreboard Cost $36,000-S750,000
Football Scoreboard Cost $25,000-S550,000
Soccer Scoreboard Cost $15,000-S500,000
Softball Scoreboard Cost $12,000-S350,000
lce Hockey Scoreboard Cost S10,000-S150,000
Basketball Scoreboard Cost S10,000-S140,000
Volleyball Scoreboard Cost S8,000-S110,000
Swimming Pool Scoreboard Cost S4,000-S90.000

 

LED Scoreboard Prices Per Seating Capacity

LED scoreboard prices also depend on the type of sports facility they will be installed in. This includes the capacity and the level of competition being played in the venue. Scoreboards used in amateur or non-commercial leagues are generally more affordable than professional leagues as they are typically non-ticketed events with limited viewership. This includes school stadiums used for district meets or government-funded public sports complexes.

College sports, at least in the US, are almost at the same level of viewership as professional leagues. This is evident in NCAA Division I basketball and football games which are like national holidays for school alumni.

Below are the price ranges of LED scoreboards per seating capacity:

Facility capacity Price Range Competition level Scoreboard type
No spectators $4,000-$24,000 Training &Recreational Traditional /LED scoreboard
0 to 1,000 spectators $12,000-$54,000 Middle / High school LED video scoreboard
1.000 to 5.000spectators $28,000-S96,000 High School/College LED video scoreboard/Video display
5.000 to 10.000spectators $56,000-S188.000 College /Professional LED video scoreboard / Video display
Over 10,000 spectators S140.000$750.000 Professional LED video scoreboard / Video display

 

Replace or Buy A New Scoreboard?

If your venue has an existing scoreboard that you want to upgrade, you may be able to use any relevant infrastructure, especially the mounting hardware, and save on installation costs. However, you will have to consult with your supplier to ensure that the existing mount can accommodate a new LED scoreboard. While the LED scoreboard’s upfront cost remains the same, having a usable mount can significantly cut your expenses. 

What influences the cost of LED scoreboards?

Outdoor vs. Indoor

Compared to indoor venues, outdoor venues such as football stadiums require a larger screen that can be viewed from afar. This ensures everyone can see the scoreboard even in a full-packed game. Additionally, higher brightness levels are needed for outdoor LED scoreboards to maintain their visibility under all lighting circumstances.

Weatherproofing can be expensive and significantly add to the final cost of an outdoor scoreboard. Aside from the need for weatherproof LED cabinets, the modules themselves have to be glazed with a protective layer, which complicates production and makes them expensive.

In comparison to indoor scoreboards, installing an outdoor scoreboard is also more complicated. And because they are constantly exposed to the elements, they require more rigorous maintenance.

Type

The most crucial factor influencing costs is the scoreboard’s type. There are two main types of LED scoreboards:

Traditional Fixed-Digit

Traditional fixed-digit LED scoreboards are also known as single-color/double-color because they are limited to displaying one or two colors–usually red, green, blue, or white. They can only show time and score and are typically installed in smaller venues like school gyms.

Fixed-digit scoreboards traditionally used incandescent bulbs that required a significant amount of energy to operate and produced too much heat. LEDs provide the same if not brighter lights while being energy-efficient. 

This type of LED scoreboard is controlled via a mobile phone or computer. However, it can also be manually adjusted by the assigned game official via physical buttons and switches. Since fixed-digit scoreboards have limited features, they are also the cheapest to install. If you are installing in a small venue, you may get away with just a single-color scoreboard.

Fixed-Digit Scoreboard Price

While it is the most basic type of LED scoreboard, a fixed-digit scoreboard can still go for around $4,000 up to $30,000 and beyond. The final cost will depend on the size, quality, and installation location.

Hybrid

Hybrid scoreboards integrate a full-color screen with a fixed-digit scoreboard. They are typically divided into areas that can display a specific type of content: the top half for images, animations, and videos and the bottom half for the score and time. The top half can also have multiple ad placements, helping the venue earn from brand sponsorships.

These are perfect for venues that want to upgrade their existing fixed-digit scoreboards as all they have to do is buy and install a full-color one. It will not only modernize the venue but will also attract brands who want to place ads or enter a sponsorship deal in exchange for promotion.

Hybrid Scoreboard Price

Hybrid LED scoreboards can range between $40,000 and $70,000, depending on size and quality.

Large LED Scoreboards

Large LED scoreboards such as jumbotrons are typically used in big, open-air venues like football stadiums. These are high-resolution displays capable of simultaneously showing different contents across the screen. They can also have added features like an integrated sound system that works in conjunction with the LED control system.

These LED scoreboards are utilized in college and professional sports where gate attendance can be as high as 100,000. One of the most well-known jumbotrons is the 60-yard center-hung Dallas Cowboys jumbotron in the AT&T stadium. With its massive size, every one of the 80,000 spectators can see the on-court action up close. It is also a prime real estate spot for advertisers wanting a share of its viewership.

Large LED Scoreboard Price

Large LED scoreboards can range from $30,000 to $3 million and beyond, depending on the dimensions and any additional features. The larger the venue, the bigger the needed scoreboard.

Display Size

As with any other LED display, the screen size is what mainly dictates the price of an LED scoreboard. The display size is highly dependent on the venue size. Smaller, recreational facilities typically need a display as small as 6 x 4 ft. Larger stadiums with a bigger seating capacity need at least a 20 x 30 ft. display. Additionally, smaller displays are suitable for indoor venues, while larger displays are for outdoor venues.

Features

LED scoreboards are not made the same across all sports, affecting the final cost. Take a basketball scoreboard for instance. It displays the game clock, shot clock, box scores, fouls, and timeouts. Meanwhile, a cricket scoreboard displays the names of the bowlers and batters, outs, innings, runs, and even batting percentage. The additional features make the LED cricket scoreboard price higher than the basketball’s.

Some LED scoreboards also have an integrated sound system that works with the LED control system. This can significantly increase the scoreboard’s final cost.

Competition Level

The competition level played in the venue is crucial in determining what type of scoreboard to install. College and professional leagues would require high-resolution displays to help the large crowd immerse in the on-court action. Additionally, these televised games draw sponsorships, so it is just fitting that the advertisements are played on a high-quality display.

Location

The installation location may also contribute to the scoreboard’s overall cost. Materials and labor costs are not the same throughout the country, and some areas may be more expensive than others.

Other Factors that Affect LED Scoreboard Prices

Pixel Pitch & Resolution

Pixel pitch and resolution define the scoreboard’s visibility. LED scoreboards nowadays range have a pixel pitch ranging from 1mm to 30mm–the smaller, the more detailed. However, large applications such as these do not necessarily need a small pixel pitch as they will be viewed from afar. Therefore, it is crucial to find the right balance between pixel pitch and the size of the screen relative to the venue size.

Control System & Software

Non-commercial applications like school-level scoreboards can be controlled via a personal computer with the correct software. However, any content management software has associated licensing costs. Larger applications that include displaying advertisements require more advanced software, which could be even more expensive. 

Customization

If you are installing the scoreboard in your home court, there are customizations such as adding team logos and colors that can be made. Of course, with additional costs.

Brand

Lastly, the LED scoreboard’s brand or manufacturer has an impact on its final cost. More established brands will have a higher asking price, but it usually comes with a guarantee of high quality. However, there are smaller brands that offer the same-quality scoreboard for cheaper.

How You Can Finance the Installation of LED Scoreboards

  • Sponsorships: This is a common practice among sports venues. Owners can offer naming rights as well as a coveted slot on the LED scoreboards to brands who want to promote their business in exchange for sponsorship deals. One example is the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T stadium. The telecommunications giant not only has the naming rights to the stadium, but it also has a prime spot in its jumbotron.
  • Grants: Public sports facilities may apply for government grants to fund LED scoreboards that will benefit the community.
  • Fundraising: Local sports teams can ask for support from loyal fans to finance their home court’s scoreboard.
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