Bolton Wanderers to double up on big screens at Toughsheet

WANDERERS plan to double the number of big screens at the Toughsheet Stadium, The Bolton News can reveal.

Two screens were installed as part of a digital revamp which began in the summer, along with two-tier LED advertising ribbons which is thought will eventually increase advertising revenue ten-fold.

After some teething issues and delays – some of which have been caused by shipping the individual components from China – the new displays made their official debut in the game against Stevenage earlier this month.

CEO Neil Hart has now confirmed that an additional two screens will be fitted in the south west and north west corners of the stadium, which he feels will create a modern feel to matchday and give the club a chance to generate more income through advertising.

“We wanted to try and give the stadium a ‘wow factor’ and Premier League quality technology – and an opportunity to really up our commercial revenue,” he told The Bolton News.

“It has taken time. Equipment has been shipped over from China, and as you can imagine it isn’t a speedy process, but we think the technology will now last us for 10 years.

“There is still a small supply issue and a little bit more to go on the West Stand mid-tier, about 60 metres, which will hope to have sorted by the end of the year.

“We have so much more flexibility with what we can do with the advertising now, it is more animated rather than just static, and the screens in the corners gives us the ability to show footage and replays.

“We are now in discussion with ADI to put another two screens in the other two corners. I think we’ll be the only four-screen stadium in the EFL when that happens, but I think it will complete it.”

Some concerns have been raised by supporters over the size of the screens, which are landscape, rather than the previous portrait version in the south-east corner.

The club is looking at ways it may be able to use the old screen, potentially on the exterior of the stadium, to advertise fixtures and upcoming events.

But Hart hopes that once the two new displays are in place, fans will quickly get used to the new version.

“The old screen was larger than what would be normal and sat portrait, it didn’t really work with the LED ribbons and so with four screens it might mean a slight change in mindset, where you are looking to the nearest display,” he said. “People have maybe become used to focusing on the one place but I think with all four corners it will feel more interactive and impressive.

“We’re really pleased to be working with ADI, who are based in Preston, and they are really invested in working with Bolton, they see it as a bit of a showcase venue.”

The new technology – which was part-funded by money made by the Wanderers Bond this summer – enables Wanderers to attract new sponsors and offer different types of advertising.

Hart said: “The LEDs give us the capability to doing 10 times the commercial revenue than we had before.

“If we sell our capacity, it will take us into seven figures. Last year we were lucky to break £100,000.

“It is significant and that is only League One prices, there would be a lift-up in the Championship.

“The investment we made pays for itself very quickly. Even at the rate we are at now, we are four times better off.”

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