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'Steps' required before the Pacific Coliseum's scoreboard can be installed in Gibsons

'Looking up as a player and seeing an instant replay of what just went down is a pretty cool experience, one we don’t have currently, and this installation will bring us that': Sunshine Coast Junior Hockey's president about the donation of Pacific Coliseum's video score clock to the society.
Video score clock lowered to the surface of Pacific Coliseum April 21 in preparation for a move to the Sunshine Coast.

The four-panel video display score clock from center-ice at Pacific Coliseum was donated to the Sunshine Coast Junior Hockey Society (SCJHS) on April 21 by the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE). 

SCJHS president Stu Frizzell said they became aware the unit, which has display capabilities for live and recorded video in addition to lighted game statistic features, was becoming available through its contacts in BC’s “junior hockey circles”. He said the acquisition is a “move forward” for society's efforts to secure a Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) team franchise to be based out of the Gibsons and Area Community Centre as early as September 2024. Along with negotiations with the league, that work involves discussions with the centre owners, the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD), regarding facility upgrades and the Town of Gibsons, owners of the land that complex is located on.

Coasters eager to watch instant hockey replays while at games at that facility will have to wait, as decisions on if and when the new score clock will be installed are yet to be determined, SCRD communications manager Aidan Buckley told Coast Reporter via email on April 25.

Installation details pending

Buckley stated that SCJHS representatives met with regional district staff in early April about the potential of the score clock donation.

“While the SCRD appreciates the importance of the scoreboard in B.C. sporting history, and acknowledges this unique opportunity, there are still several steps that need to be taken to confirm that this scoreboard, or parts of the scoreboard, can be installed at the Gibsons and Area Community Centre,” he wrote. He noted that the SCJHA committed to provide the technical details related to the equipment so that regional district staff can prepare a proposal regarding the potential for installation at that facility (which was opened in 2008), for board consideration.

“Right now we are in the process of going through the required due diligence …. It’s a big piece of equipment and there are a lot of details,” Frizzell said. He noted that his group intends to donate the equipment to the community and has a goal to have it ready for use in the 2023/24 hockey season.

Benefits for hockey and more

Asked about what the unit would add for local arena users, Frizzell said, “Looking up as a player and seeing an instant replay of what just went down is a pretty cool experience for sure. It is one we don’t have currently, and this installation will bring us that.

“It is an international competition calibre score clock that is multi-sport functional. It will enhance the experience for people who use that facility for hockey and other events as well. It opens up a whole window of new opportunities on how that facility can be used.”

He sees the video screens as having benefits for other sports as well as concerts or community viewing gatherings for major televised events that go beyond hockey.

Frizzell reported that he and other society members saw the score clock operating “in its full glory the weekend prior to acquiring it when it was broadcasting the Billie Jean King Cup tennis tournament that was hosted at the Coliseum”. While the unit is over 16 years old, in his view it “is in fantastic shape, the technology of the screen is very much similar with what you would get today”.

A cooperative effort

Details on costs to the society to secure the donation, which involved taking the clock down from the rafters of the Coliseum and transporting it by truck to a terminal so it could be barged to the Coast were not provided. Frizzell commented that it had been “cooperative effort”.

“There’s a lot of people on the Coast who believe that sports are a great vehicle to teach our young people and they have stepped up and worked together to keep the costs down. It is yet another example of locals pulling together to do projects to benefit the larger community,” he said.

Appreciative of all supporters of the group, he remarked that City Transfer and Ross Concrete Services deserved special recognition for their help with the score clock initiative. He encourages community members interested in supporting the work of the society to reach out via email to

The score clock’s history

The Daktronics score clock was installed at Pacific Coliseum in 2007, as part of upgrading done in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. It was the third scoreboard used at that location, which opened in 1968. PNE spokesperson Laura Balance said the original purchase price was approximately $1.5 million and she estimated the value of the donation was "in the $250,000 - $300,000 range".

A September 2007 press release from Sports Video Group news described the score clock as one with “HD-ready video technology” using light emitting diode (LED) technology “to present live and recorded video images, colourful animation and vivid graphics with incredible brightness and wide-angle visibility”. It was in place for the May 2007 Memorial Cup Hockey Tournament and at subsequent home games of that event’s champions, the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants. In 2016, that team moved its home base to the Langley Events Centre.

Balance explained that "the PNE currently doesn’t have a sports tenant in the Coliseum building and the technology of the score clock didn’t meet our current client mix needs. We wanted to ensure that the score clock didn’t end up in the landfill, so we looked for a community arena that could repurpose it for their needs, which we are very happy that the organization on the Sunshine Coast was able to do."