Collossus, the giant, four-sided video scoreboard that first gained fame at Bristol Motor Speedway, is about to make its first NCAA Final Four men’s basketball appearance.
The University of Phoenix Stadium that will host the NCAA men’s championship Final Four this Saturday — and Monday’s subsequent national title game — has put considerable effort into temporarily affixing the 700-ton scoreboard to its retractable roof.
Tom Sadler, president and CEO of the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority that owns the stadium, told Popular Mechanics that it was no easy task.
“We had to engineer the method in which we were going to hang the board because our facility was not built with a center-hung scoreboard in mind,” Sadler told the magazine on its website.
And this is a HUGE center-hung scoreboard.
It’s the same one that made its debut at Bristol for the Food City 500 in April of last year, and then lorded over the largest crowd in NCAA collegiate football history when Tennessee and Virginia Tech played in the BMS infield the following fall.
“Colossus was first imagined by Bruton and Marcus Smith, so we knew it would be big,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager at BMS, referring to the NASCAR Hall of Famer and his son, Marcus, who now heads up the family business at Speedway Motorsports Inc. that owns Bristol and six other NASCAR tracks.
But who knew Collossus would turn out to be so mobile as well?
The scoreboard also has been pressed into service at two National Hockey League outdoor games — and now will keep everyone informed at the 75,000-seat University of Phoenix venue that will host NCAA basketball’s crown-jewel games. That’s as impressive as the size of the beast itself, which features four high-definition video screens 32 feet wide by 18 feet tall, and four more statistics screens measuring 24-by-18 feet.