TMS president doesn’t miss big chance to thank big screen’s inspiration

09/25/2013 8:44 PM

09/25/2013 8:45 PM

Eddie Gossage had a lot to brag about Monday night when he introduced the plan to build a 218-foot video board at Texas Motor Speedway.

Proud as a papa, the racetrack president talked about “Big Hoss TV,” the baby he’s been wanting for years.

He could have talked all night.

“You don’t know how bad,” he said, about how bad he has wanted one. “It’s something you’ve always wanted to do.”

He had so many numbers on the tip of his tongue — you could put nine Alamos in it, three or four dinosaurs, a couple of Big Tex’s, stuff like that — it would have taken most of the night to get them all out.

But Gossage found time for a classy move.

The new proprietor of what will become the biggest video board in sports gave credit to the man who set the example four years ago — Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

“Give Jerry and the Cowboys all the credit, because they made this a big-screen market,” Gossage said. “You look around this area, and even high schools have big screens that are bigger than the screens that we’ve been using.”

Gossage is a Cowboys season-ticket holder. He is not in competition with the Cowboys.

But his screen had to be bigger because TMS is a bigger venue than AT&T Stadium.

“It’s not about being bigger than the Cowboys. It’s about doing the best we can for our fans,” Gossage said.

The big screen will also be good for TMS.

Actually, it’d better. Jerry Jones paid $40 million for his video board. Gossage won’t say what Speedway Motorsports Inc. paid for “Big Hoss,” but it is 79 percent larger and four years’ worth of technology more advanced.

It really needs to deliver on the light bill.

“I think it will be a novelty, if you will, for some people to come out and see it,” Gossage said. “And if they come out and see it, they’re going to love the racing. If they’ve never been to a race before, it’s going to expose them to racing, and then we’ll reel them in and make them a regular.”

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