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Mission may be looking at a new scoreboard at Tom Landry Stadium.
During this week’s regular called trustees meeting at the Mission Consolidated Independent School District, the board discussed the beginnings of the Tom Landry Hall of Fame Stadium Scoreboard Project. At this stage, they are budgeting the new board at $1.6 million.
Ricardo Rivera, the Assistant Superintendent for Operations, presented the proposed budget and approval of the project. According to the district, the scoreboard currently occupying the stadium is in need of major repairs.
The current board was completed in Dec. 2010, and electronic scoreboards of that kind are typically functional for ten years. In supporting documents for the budget item, it is noted that operators have “continued to experience system failures such as speaker/audible issues and outages concerning the timekeeping and the other needed functions for game information.”
Tom Landry Stadium rests going east to west, as opposed to other stadiums built going north to south. Because of this, the scoreboard faces direct sunlight at the hottest point in the day, incurring further damage according to electronic scoreboard vendors.
The new scoreboard is planned to include a new LED video panel, sponsor panels and an improved sound system. MCISD is open to possibly utilizing existing structures and equipment.
Rumalda Ruiz, the MCISD Assistant Superintendent for Finance, presented potential funding endeavors the district may undertake that would cover the proposed budget maxing out at $1.6 million.
“A mechanism we were proposing for the purchase was maintenance tax notes,” Ruiz said. “With maintenance tax notes we could finance the whole project – not necessarily the purchase of the scoreboard, therefore that’s why we were bringing that specific financing source for the board’s consideration.”
The tax note would be at four percent interest rate. The market is attractive for low interest rates at the moment according to financial advisors for the district, and Ruiz noted that the four percent rate matched district rates in 1982.
“The market is attractive for lending purposes,” Ruiz said, adding that vendors may also offer zero percent financing for scoreboard purposes. “We did have a walkthrough with a potential vendor last Thursday after the committee meetings, and we told them more or less what we were envisioning on the scoreboard project.”
The potential vendor provided a cost estimate and financing options they offered. The finance department began working with a financing company to get more information and check on the taxable status of leasing in order to clarify information.
“If we were to finance the purchase, we were looking at more or less $1.2 million,” Ruiz said. “It would be a bank-qualified transaction. Bank-qualified transactions will only be available for tax-exempt purchases or leasing or financing.”
The scoreboard will not be able to be tax exempt, the district intends to use the revenue for sponsorship. The other option for funding would stem from the fund balance, which some board members and the superintendent were on the fence about.
“We do have a strong fund balance that can support the expenditure with minimal impact,” Ruiz said. “I do want to re-emphasize that this project will be paying itself off, we anticipate in ten years or sooner, depending on the level of sponsorship we have on the scoreboard.”
Board member Petra Ramirez expressed hesitation to use the fund balance for the purchase unless they specified that all sponsorship funds collected from the scoreboard go directly back to the fund balance. The board is able to change its mind on the funding options later according to administration, so once the details are ironed out they plan to decide on an option.
Supporting documents about the project items specified that a scoreboard facilitates the game functions of athletic events hosted by MCISD, and also allows the district to obtain advertisement revenue from business sponsors during events. It can also be utilized in promoting educational programs, district awareness and showcasing student and staff accomplishments.
Following the budget approval, the board also voted to start the procurement method (design-build, where the facilitator acts as a one-stop-shop and does both), ranking committee and wage rate of the project. The board approved for administration to advertise a request for qualifications for architects and a structural engineering assessment.
When the board meets again on Jan. 22, Ruiz said they should have more concrete figures on the financial side of the project.
This article originally appeared in the Friday Dec. 20, 2019 issue of the Progress Times.