Memo to Penn State: DigNittany Will Do the Scoreboards for $4 million!!!



DigNittanyVolleyball Wakes Up to New Beaver Stadium Scoreboard Project

Rip Van WinkleRip Van Winkle has nothing on DigNittanyVolleyball

We admit it. When it comes to the new Beaver Stadium scoreboard project, we’ve been Rip Van Winkling it — asleep at the wheel, totally missed the boat, dime short and 700 days late — pick your cliché.

As everyone but our slacker staff of researchers and statisticians has known for a long time, Penn State has awarded contracts to install, at a total cost of $6,800,000, new HD video scoreboards at Beaver Stadium.  According to Onward State’s interview with Jason Smith, of the Penn State’s Office of Physical Plant:

[Installation of the scoreboards will] run through the beginning of August 2014 in order to be ready for the September 6th, 2014 game versus Akron. The new 16mm (physical dimension between pixels) SMD (Surface Mounted Display) HD board will fill the entire front of the existing shell and will combine in-game video, game details (score, game clock, down, and distance), and advertising.

(For the complete article at Onward State, Click Here.)

We realize that, technically speaking, we may be too late to bid.  Still, we believe the bid we would have made would have been undeniably superior (and much less expensive!).  So we are posting it here, and now, in the hope that Penn State might reconsider.  We’ll walk you through it:

The Request for Bids and Project  Description

Here are excerpts from the letter from the David Zehngut, Penn State University Architect, dated May 20th 2011, sent to a list of companies inviting them to bid on the project.  In what clearly was an oversight of the highest order, was not included on that list, but we’re willing to put that aside, and assume Penn State will also:

Dear Design Professional:

Beaver Stadium, home of Penn State Football, is one of the largest and most recognizable sport venues in the country. The existing main end zone scoreboards were installed prior to the 2001 football season and operational maintenance is becoming increasingly challenging and costly.   In addition, there have been dramatic advances in the audio/video technology of these products.   In order to address the operational issue and enhance the game day spectator experience, we intend to replace both scoreboards with state-of-the-art, HD video boards that will complement  the character of the stadium.

*    *    *    *    *

With this letter, we are inviting the firms identified in the attached list to submit proposals to design the replacement of the existing main scoreboards. We envision that the process will include a validation phase to determine the scope of the project followed by the development of several conceptual alternatives including preliminary pricing. The preferred alternative will be fully developed and implemented. The total project budget is $6,800,000.

*    *    *    *    *

If your firm is interested in pursuing this project, please provide us with the information requested in the enclosed questionnaire no later than June 14, 2011 at Noon. Please answer all of the questions in the order requested. This will provide uniform information on all firms for evaluation by the Selection Committee. We encourage you to be as brief as possible without sacrificing accuracy and completeness. Please submit twelve (12) copies of all materials. In addition, I am including a non-binding fee proposal form for you to fill out; please submit one copy under separate cover; to assist you in filling out this form please assume a construction budget of $5,500,000.

DigNittany’s Scoreboard Proposal (Short Form)

Now, sticklers among you probably noticed that the letter asks that companies provide Penn State “with the information requested in the enclosed questionnaire no later than June 14, 2011 at Noon” and asks that they “answer all of the questions in the order requested.”  Seasoned bidders like DigNittany know that is just window dressing: they don’t want to read through those tiresome documents any more than we want to write them.  So in the spirit of mutual self-interest, here’s our Short Form Bid Proposal:

1. The Video Scoreboards

Samsung FD 9000 65 inchOur bid includes four scoreboards, not just two!

Penn State asked for really big HD video screens.  We get that.  But $6,800,000 seems a bit high to us.  So we have an alternative that can come in well under that budget — four Samsung F9000 65″ Ultra HD LED TVs — one for each corner of the stadium.  These babies are sweet:

4K Standard Future Proof TV
Spectacular 4K Ultra HD Picture Quality
Precision Black Local Dimming
Micro Dimming Ultimate

  • Total cost — $500,000 (including $470,000 for installation)

2. 100,000 DigNittany Scoreboard Binoculars

Some of you are probably saying, their screen size is only 64.5 inches — that’s pretty small. We won’t kid you, they will be a bit smaller than the ones contemplated by Penn State, but here’s the beauty of our bid — we include 100,000 pairs of binoculars, which can be rented to fans if they want them. The total cost to Penn State would be only $1,000,000, with the opportunity to recoup that in rental fees!  Take a look:

BinocularsArtist’s rendering of the DigNittany Scoreboard Binoculars. Actual binoculars will be may be . . . completely different

  • Total Cost: $1,000,000

3. Matching Contribution to Penn State Women’s Volleyball Team

Gift_iconDigNittany believes that it is better to give than to receive, and better still if you can combine both in one caper project

One thing we couldn’t help but notice in the solicitation of bids is that it  was all about the vendors and the scoreboards.  But we say, there is no “I” in “scoreboard,” and Penn State sponsors 30 sports other than football — what about them?

So we decided that, as part of our bid, if we are selected, we will provide a donation to the Penn State Women’s Volleyball team in an amount equal to the total cost of our scoreboards (including installation) and binoculars ($500,000 + $1,000,000 = $1,500,000).  We think every bid should include a provision like this, though they wouldn’t all be required to go to Women’s Volleyball.

  • Total Cost: $1,500,000

4. Miscellaneous Expenses

Antibes PanoramaDigNittany will need to cover miscellaneous expenses associated with its Penn State Scoreboard bid

Our final bid item is for miscellaneous expenses.  Our crack team of researchers and statisticians informed us that we needed to include funding for absolutely necessary items like a small villa in Antibes France or some similarly nice location office supplies.  So we have:

  • Total Cost: $1,000,000

Grand Total — DigNittany’s Bid: $4,000,000

The Choice is Clear: DigNittany Wins Hands Down!

Just compare the two bids:

  • Current Subject-to-Change (We Hope) Penn State Selection: Two Scoreboards and stuff — Total Cost $6,800,000
  • DigNittany’s Bid: Four Scoreboards, 100,000 pairs of DigNittany Scoreboard Binoculars, $1,500,000 donation to the Penn State Women’s Volleyball Team — Total Cost $4,000,000

Lots more stuff from DigNittany, and $2,800,000 in savings to Penn State.  Can there be any question?

We thought not.  Send us the check for $4,000,000 to DigNittanyVolleyball, P.O. Box 2013, Antibes, France.