In addition, the scoreboards were put in surprising places. Because football is a game of split-second plays, a fan can miss important moments by looking away for an instant to check the score. In part for this reason, Cooke moved the scoreboard and video board, allowing spectators to glance at them without craning their necks upward into the sun.
In fact, Cooke tucked the scoreboards and 24-foot-by-32-foot SONY Jumbotron video boards behind each end zone almost as if they were part of the action on the field; the location required special permission from the NFL. Lynch said lost-seat revenues were sacrificed for the sake of the board placements but there also was an important revenue gain as well. The Jumbotrons include two color-matrix boards for advertising now within the sights of TV cameras focusing on end-zone action as well as for other scores and game-day information.
Stadium ads alone will provide substantially increased Redskins revenues. The team will get an estimated $6 million to $8 million alone each year from stadium ad sponsorships, up sharply from $250,000 a year at RFK. Corporate giants such as Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, NationsBank and Sprint are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for sponsorship packages in hopes that some of the Redskins' fan loyalty and national following will rub off on them. The ad packages include everything from end-zone scoreboard messages for $500,000 to 30 seconds, in-game Jumbotron commercials for $15,000 a season.
"All we need now is for the Redskins to score," said Steve Koonin, marketing guru for Coca-Cola.