NC State’s new video board shuts down after lightning

Select panels on NC State's new video board wouldn't reboot after a close-by lightning strike momentarily knocked out the display during its 9/9/2023 home opener against Notre Dame. (Ryan Henkel / North State Journal)

RALEIGH — NC State’s new video board made its debut Saturday when the Wolfpack hosted No. 10 Notre Dame at Carter-Finley Stadium.

The weather had other plans.

A lightning storm in the second quarter sent both players and fans scurrying for shelter and delayed the game — and powered down the $15 million video board.

Nearby lightning strikes had already postponed the game, and it wasn’t too long into the delay before a bolt struck near the stadium, leading to the video board going black.

When the board was rebooted, eight panels on the top-left portion of the board remained black, leaving an Oklahoma-shaped dead spot on the 7,100-foot screen.

According to NC State, the board was not directly struck by lightning, and it was again rebooted and operational at approximately 2:35 p.m., moments before the game resumed.

Daktronics, the company that sold the board to NC State, had said the board would feature “industry-leading environmental protection ensuring it will operate in the Raleigh outdoors.”

The Wolfpack had installed the new video board along with a state-of-the-art sound system this offseason as a way to upgrade the overall fan experience. Last year, NC State also overhauled its overhead lighting and experienced a similar hiccup when the lights wouldn’t turn on for an 8 p.m. game against Florida State.