At a special meeting Thursday, Moncton city council approved the purchase of a $1.4 million digital scoreboard system for $112 million Downtown Centre still under construction.

The original budget, in 2014, for the sports and entertainment centre allotted $1 million for a four-screen scoreboard.

But council was warned last year that more money would be needed to buy a system good enough for the centre. At the time, council gave city staff permission to spend up to $400,000 more.

On Thursday, Greg Turner moved the motion to buy the equipment.

Downtown Centre takes shape

Moncton's $112-million Downtown Centre will have a $1.4 million, four-screen, digital scoreboard. (Submitted by Ron Ward Photography)

"This facility has been about five to six years in the planning stages and in that time the technology has moved ahead quite a bit."

He said council decided the extra cost was worthwhile.

"For another $400,000 we can add a few more features plus a higher degree of quality … to the board and be in line with other arenas in a similar nature."

The extra money will come out of the centre's $7.2 million contingency fund. The fund is already being used to pay for an outdoor plaza, priced at $4.3 million.

Bryan Butler

After raising concerns about the warranty included in the scoreboard price, Bryan Butler asked city staff to research other warranty options and the costs. (Tori Weldon/CBC)

Coun. Bryan Butler voted against the purchase, citing concern about the warranty.

"$1.4 million and we got a warranty for two years," he said. "I mean you buy a car, you get a warranty for five, and a hundred thousand kilometres."

Tanya Carter, purchasing manager with the city, said an extended warranty is available for three to seven years but it would cost extra. 

Citing confidentiality issues, Carter said she couldn't give an exact figure, but, "it's in the ballpark of $50,000."

Butler said the extra cost would make sense, and he brought forward a motion recommending city staff come back to council with other warranty and repair options and the associated costs.

The motion passed unanimously.

Daktronics was awarded the scoreboard contract. Turner said that as part of the price, the company will train staff at the centre during the first few events that take place after the centre opens.

The building is expected to be completed in September 2018.