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Wednesday's Daily Briefing: FAU fans like video board's palm trees

We expected a large response from Monday's stadium story about the new video scoreboard, and that's exactly what happened.

I spent several hours on campus after publishing the story and most of my conversations invariably turned to the video board. Daktronics did such a nice job creating that simulation that FAU fans seem to be even more anxious to see it live.

On a personal note, it was pretty cool to some of our FAUOwlAccess.com video used to create the simulation.

Aside from being wowed by the size of the video board and the different looks it presents, many people commented on the palm trees attached to the video board. That should please the folks at Daktronics and FAU.

“I'll tell you right now, I don't think we've ever done LED lit palm trees before. I can't wait to see this thing light  up,” Daktronics project manager Thomas Westman said. “Of this entire project, those palm trees were probably the most intricate to design. I don't know that many have done this before in this kind of a way.”

What made the design so intricate was the decision to outline the individual palm fronds with LEDs. You'll notice in the video that the palms are back lit in either red, blue or green.

Most who talked with me agree that the changing colors enhance the look of the video board, and the palms add to the Football in Paradise feel.

“We did have that in mind as we continued to brainstorm about this stadium, while looking to create a beach club theme,” FAU athletic director Craig Angelos said.

Incidentally, Angelos also said they are looking at ways to get actual live palm trees as close to the field as safely possible. The open corners on the sides of the student section are the likely destination.

Even if FAU doesn't pull that off, FAU fans should be truly excited about the way this stadium is starting to look.

I had my doubts about how state-of-the-art FAU could make its stadium and still remain within budget. Final judgment can't be made until we see the video board live, but at this point Angelos, the rest of FAU's stadium planners, Daktronics and Balfour Beatty appear to have given FAU's stadium a wonderful focal point that will not only excite fans, it will be the talk of the South Florida recruiting trail.

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FAU coaches are trying to get as much information about the 3-4 defense as possible. Tuesday's story detailed the defensive coaches' trip to Davie to swap ideas with Dolphins defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.

June 21, 2011

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