April 08, 2013 By D. Craig MacCormack
Since buying the Los Angeles Dodgers last season for a record price of more than $2 billion, the ownership group has spared no expense when it comes to trying to put a winning product on the field. In the offseason, the group spent more than $100 million to improve the ballpark experience for fans.
While there were many pieces to the overhaul of Dodger Stadium, including a full replacement of the lower seating bowl, improvements to bathrooms and concourses, and an audio system upgrade, the most noticeable change is the video screens featuring the highest pixel densities in Major League Baseball.
More than 30 years after Dodger Stadium unveiled one of the first full-color video screens in sports in 1980, ANC Sports debuted the first 10mm surface mount LED displays in baseball at the third-oldest ballpark in the major leagues during a March 29 spring training game.
ANC deployed a pair of 1080p HD video screens, one in left-center field and the other in right-center. Both displays are designed in the historic hexagonal shape of the stadium’s original scoreboard and will feature a total active viewing area of almost 2,500 square feet.
The new hexagonal shaped displays measure almost 78 feet wide with varying degrees of height. In the center, the video screens are almost 38 feet high while the ends of the screens measure almost 24 feet high.
Although the new board pales in comparison to ANC’s work at Safeco Field, where the Seattle Mariners will unveil a 200-foot-by-62-foot record-setting display next week, the company and team are happy.
“We were asked to incorporate modern technology into an iconic ballpark without installing something that doesn’t fit in terms of the feel,” says Chris Mascatello, executive VP of technology sales and services for ANC Sports.
The displays—which include enhanced statistical information—will be operated by ANC’s VisionSOFT, which is designed to display large 1:1 greater than high definition resolution content. VisionSOFT and the 1080p control room infrastructure will maximize the image clarity and continuity across more than 2.3 million pixels on each screen.
The new scoreboard structures will also feature a 10mm LED strip measuring approximately 6 feet high by 69 feet wide beneath each video screen. ANC is integrating two outfield video wall displays, each measuring approximately 6 feet high by 61 feet wide, and an LED ribbon system along the club fascia that runs for 1121 feet. The entire display system will be capable of seamlessly transitioning between statistics, animated content, sponsor engagement and fan interaction.
ANC had relationships with several members of the Dodgers front office from their previous work with other teams, including ballpark makeover guru Janet Marie Smith, with whom they worked when she was with the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox, and Stan Kasten, who spent years with the Atlanta Braves.
“There was a lot of comfort and a lot of trust in the ANC group,” says Mascatello.
ANC won the big about a month after the 2012 season ended and had to have their work done by the first game. That challenge was amplified by the amount of other work the Dodgers were having done to the ballpark at the same time.
“A lot of the work that had to be done was inter-related,” says Mascatello. “We pushed our guys pretty hard, but Opening Day doesn’t move for anyone. It was such a tight timeline that a lot of decisions were made for us in terms of the logistics.”
Through a multi-year partnership with the Dodgers, ANC will continue to provide creative services, game day operation and display system maintenance after the signage is fully integrated. Additionally, ANC will provide the Dodgers with a home plate and field level rotational system, including banner printing, installation and signage operation.
“We’re going to be connected to this project for years to come,” says Mascatello.