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

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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.

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