Des Moines-Based Scoreboard Company Leaving for Missouri

DES MOINES, Iowa - A local scoreboard company is leaving the state within the next few months for a better tax incentives package in Missouri.

According to the Des Moines Register, Fair-Play Scoreboards, which was founded by Elmer Foster in Des Moines in 1934, will move to Hazelwood - about 17 miles northwest of St. Louis - this fall. The decision to move to a 66,000 square-foot plant there was made by Fair-Play's parent company, New York-based Trans-Lux Corp., which bought it in 1997.

Fair-Play has two facilities in Des Moines - one at 1700 Delware Ave., and another at 2245 Dean Ave. - that will shut down and affect roughly 50 jobs. A severance package for workers has not yet been worked out, but the company will leave a small office in Des Moines that will employ some sales, research and development, and engineering workers. Workers at the closing Des Moines plants will be eligible for these new jobs in the area, according to the report.

Fair-Play has provided electronic scoreboards for Principal Park, Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino, Valley High School, Iowa State University, and other clients throughout the country. The decision to leave is based on a tax incentives package being offered by the state of Missouri and the Hazelwood municipality. According to state officials in Iowa, a tax incentives package fell through, in part, because the Iowa Economic Development Authority could not offer state tax incentives to the company due to employee wages not being high enough. The City of Des Moines' proposed package was rejected by the company.