Copper thieves zap $60,000 scoreboard at Duluth's Wade Stadium


A new $60,000 scoreboard among the recent upgrades at Duluth's Wade Stadium is broken after being targeted by metal thieves.

FOX 21 reports that the scoreboard at the historic stadium will require $5,000 worth of repairs thanks to thieves attempting to strip copper they could sell at scrapyards.

They used a battery-operated saw, the TV station reports, to cut through electrical wiring to the scoreboard which sent a 240 volt surge through it.

The Duluth News Tribune notes that the surge is twice the power the scoreboard is designed to handle, and so it burnt out electrical components in both the scoreboard and the message board below it.

The repairs will require $5,000 of parts and labor and comes as $4.6 million of renovations are being made on the stadium, which have seen an artificial pitch, state-of-the-art drainage and new lighting installed.

It serves as the home ballpark for St. St. Scholastica, Duluth Denfeld and Duluth Marshall in the spring, the newspaper notes, and the Duluth Huskies in the summer.

"It's just, it's pointless," stadium worker Charlie Sarracco told the Northland News Center. "People don't realize what they're doing to the community when they do something like this."

The Huskies play their first game on May 27, and though it has been returned to a semi-functional state since the vandalism was discovered, it is hoped to be fully repaired by then.

CNBC reports that the copper theft "business" is worth around $1 billion in the United States given the demand for the metal, with thieves known to target electrical substations, cellular towers, telephone landlines and railroads.

Next Up

smoke, hazy sky, wildfire smoke

Hazy conditions may lift temporarily, but smoke will keep coming for MN

Drifting smoke "will likely remain with us for a while," one group warned.

Pixabay - covid face mask bicycle bike

Number of MN counties with high, substantial COVID transmission hits 64

Nine days ago, 14 counties passed that threshold. We're now up to 64.

rowdi billboard

Six months on, devoted family not giving up search to find missing Rowdi

Rowdi went missing on the North Shore in February, but Cory Carlson has hope Rowdi is still alive.

Pixabay - hospital emergency room sign

Woman suffers fractured neck, leg after driver blows through stop sign

The crash happened early Thursday about 20 miles outside of Detroit Lakes.

suni lee

Watch: Suni Lee reunites with family after winning 3 Olympic medals

Suni said she wouldn't be where he is today without her family.

Julie blaha and melisa franzen

Blaha, Franzen reveal extent of injuries suffered in crash

The state auditor and state senator were driving home from FarmFest.

covid vaccine card

More than 11K Minnesotans signed up for $100 COVID incentive on Day 1

The new vaccination rewards program opened on Wednesday, and it has proven quite popular among the newly vaccinated.

jeremy jones richardson - pine county

Charges: Man broke into friend's home, killed him with his cane

Pieces of the victim's cane were found on his back, charges say.

Awwal Adebayo Ladipo Go Fund Me hospital

Charges: Fatal punch after fight led to fractured skull, brain bleed

The victim, a 25-year-old St. Cloud State grad, died two days later.

Pixabay - school - classroom

Minneapolis Public Schools to require face masks for staff, students

The rule goes into effect Monday, and will continue at the start of the new school year.


Copper thieves steal ice rink's pipes, could delay opening

Copper thieves made off with 64 4-foot pipes at the popular outdoor St. Paul ice rink at Phalen Recreational Center, and the repair cost could run as much as $30,000, the Pioneer Press reports. Now the facility's opening day, typically around Thanksgiving, might be delayed.