With a couple of upgrades, the White Hall football stadium is starting to become one of the premier venues in Class 5A.
The school replaced the old scoreboard on the north side of the field with a Jumbotron that is 7.5 feet tall and 9 feet wide. But that is not the only upgrade as White Hall added 300 padded-back seats to its stadium and replaced the sound system.
“We are really thrilled and I think it will help attendance,” White Hall football coach Mike Vaughn said. “It’s a great situation for the fans and it encourages them to come out and buy season tickets.”
White Hall athletic trainer Tim Atkinson was White Hall athletic director Craig Dupuy’s right hand man for the two projects. Atkinson said the idea to add the Jumbotron and padded seats was an easy one.
“We wanted to add a little bit of atmosphere at the football games and trying to find ways to generate revenue,” he said.
Even before the two new features to the stadium, White Hall has never really had a problem packing the stadium on Friday nights, and this will only help bring in more spectators, Vaughn said.
“Our fans support us and our home side is always full, no matter who we play,” he said. “Anything new like that is exciting.”
Season-ticket sales for football games are going well so far, too, Atkinson said, and there are still a few season ticket passes remaining.
This is the first Jumbotron that White Hall has ever had. It was built by Rainey Electronics out of Little Rock with Simmons First National Bank taking on part of the bill.
“About three-fourths they took care of it,” Atkinson said. “The school paid some of it, too. Simmons name is on both sides of it. We probably can rename it Simmons vision and we are very appreciative of their gift.”
Atkinson did not disclose how much the Jumbotron, padded seats or sound system cost.
The Jumbotron goes with a scoreboard that is 22 feet high and 20 feet wide. The Jumbotron will be able to show the play as it is happening. Future plans for the Jumbotron include instant replays and commercials for businesses.
The Jumbotron also provides a teaching tool for the White Hall students.
“Our East lab kids will run the video board and people can put messages on it,” Atkinson said. “They will do the animation and the stuff that goes on it, and they will operate the cameras. The kids are excited and they want to enhance the atmosphere.”
The sounds system was purchased by Pine Bluff National Bank, Atkinson said.
“The quality of sound is a lot better,” he said. “With the microphones and everything, it sounds really good. People will be able to tell the difference.”
The padded seats were installed Tuesday morning.
“Word is out and hopefully when people see them, there will be a big, last push for them,” Atkinson said. “We want people all around to pack the house and we want them to leave with a great experience.”