Been out to see a professional sporting event recently? If you’ve darkened the doorstep of an NBA, NFL, MLB or even College event recently, chances are that in addition to the standard popcorn, hot dogs and foam-fingers on offer, there was also both a gigantic display in a central location as well as several dozen – or hundred – displays. These large and standard format displays are used to broadcast the game, announce concessions specials, cut to a highlight reel of the season and simulcast events as they happen on the field and the court.
- Over this past weekend, we just saw the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby. Did you notice the largest 4K display ever installed around the back stretch of Churchill Downs?
- Witness the latest news out of Texas A&M University, where they announced they will be installing– at historic Kyle Field at their campus in College Station, Texas– the largest LED video wall to date for a college stadium. Wrapping around a significant portion of the stadium, this video wall will offer instant replay and broadcasting events.
- Did you know that the new Texas Stadium has over 3,000 Sony LCD displays?
- Finally, several, high-profile projection mapping experiences – most recently in a salute to the retired star Arvidas Sarbonis of the Cleveland Cavaliers – are popping up on stadium floors around the National Basketball League.
Why all the screens? Why the constant entertainment?
Large format, and regularly-sized screens, in-stadium Wi-Fi and innovative projection mapping are all tactics to continue to compete against the dwindling attention spans of the general public. And, more and more stadiums and professional and semi-professional sports are “keeping up” with the remote and the home theater experience. In short, owners know that they best keep their visitors entertained and engaged or they will lose out to the game at home.
Why pay $165/ticket (average price for a Cowboys football ticket), fight crowds and the weather, pay for parking and sit in congestion on the way to and from the game when you can sit at home and watch the game in the comfort of your own living room? Or watch it over a few drinks with your buddies at the sports bar?
It’s tougher and tougher for stadiums to compete with controlled temperatures, instant replay and multiple camera angles. Not to mention the rapid rise of incredibly sophisticated HD playback including “Super Slo-Mo” and soon 4K broadcast – it was recently announced that the World Cup in Brazil was going to be filmed in this new crystal clear resolution – and it’s little wonder that stadium owners feel compelled to install large format displays to recreate and mimic the at-home experience.
Owners know that if they don’t keep things innovative and keep giving visitors a compelling experience, they’ll lose out to the couch at home.
With this in mind, all indications point to the continued rise of larger screens, more screens, and strategically-placed screens around stadiums around the country and the world.