Media outlets have heavily over-played this, but it is still an interesting cautionary tale that the scoreboard at the arena for a university in Washington, DC fell onto the basketball court Tuesday afternoon.
The coverage tends to vaguely imply the four-sided LED board at George Washington University fell from the rafters, perhaps because that sounds much more alarming, but what really happened is a pulley slipped after the screen array had been lowered to about eight feet above the floor for maintenance. The pulley gave way as the array was being raised back up, with one end of the LED beast dropping to the hardwood.
Judging by the condition of the thing, it may have been a slow-motion drop, as opposed to a sudden eight footer. Not a lot of debris or visible damage.
Not good. But no one was injured. Great reminder these things need to be handled with care.
Interesting note – sports media all seem to call these things jumbotrons, but that’s actually a trade name for an LED scoreboard Sony stopped making and marketing in 2001. It’s an LED center-hung scoreboard, sometimes called a video cube. Jumbotron is a bit like Kleenex is the generic name applied to facial tissue.
BREAKING: The Charles E. Smith Center Jumbotron has collapsed onto the court. More information to come soon. pic.twitter.com/D9dIh3Ix3d
— GW Television (@GWTV) September 11, 2018
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.