The Atlanta Braves probably don’t have to worry about clearing their schedules in October this season for playoff baseball, but they’ve added a marquee attraction that should help generate significant fan interest starting when they host the San Diego Padres April 14: a new ballpark, SunTrust Park.
As you’d expect, the biggest talking point at the new home of the Braves is the Panasonic LED BravesVision video board in center field, part of a partnership between the company and the team that includes a 350,000-square-foot retail and restaurant area called The Battery Atlanta along with the new 41,000-seat ballpark.
Panasonic will provide “state-of-the-art technology in three areas: LED solutions, security and eco and sustainability.” That includes the large video board, ribbon fascia, digital signage, video monitors and security cameras and a security video management system throughout the park and adjacent spaces.
SunTrust Park features about 30 Panasonic designed and installed LED displays. They include a 90-foot-tall-by 30-foot-wide out-of-town scoreboard in left-center field and two LED displays—each measuring 90 feet tall by 6 feet wide—above each bullpen in right center field. The Braves also have an 830-foot-wide LED display that stretches from foul pole to foul pole in three sections along the terrace level: first baseline, home plate, and third baseline.
The new BravesVision 64-foot-tall-by-121-foot wide center field video board is so eye-popping, even Braves players themselves are sharing it on social media:
— Chase d’Arnaud (@chasedarnaud) March 30, 2017
The Braves also added five Grass Valley LDX 86 hard cameras, four under the video board and facing out at the crowd and the fifth LDX hard camera positioned at high home plate. The Braves plan to rely on the home broadcast feed for game coverage and use their own cameras to capture fan reaction, crowd shots and more. Two additional wireless cameras will roam the stadium and provide extra coverage.
Rounding out the LED signage at SunTrust Park are a handful of closed-captioning displays, sponsorship signage (including an LED sign in place of the iconic Chik-Fil-A cow’s sandwich board), highway marquees and plaza displays. The plaza features a giant baseball wrapped in a spherical NanoLumens LED display.
The team, with the help of Alpha Video, chose a Grass Valley hybrid router that can deliver 1080p/60 video throughout the stadium with the option to upgrade in the future as IP-based technology becomes more common.
The Braves also decided on a full suite of gear from Ross Video, including the company’s Acuity production switcher, XPression character generators, and XPression Tessera graphics designer/controller.
Rounding out the big-ticket items in the press-level video-control room, the Braves selected Evertz DreamCatcher for replay. It will take in the truck feeds and enable Cunningham’s team to cut its own unique show for BravesVision.
Braves officials are particularly excited about the team’s Cisco IPTV system, which will keep fans informed and engaged throughout the stadium; its LED light system, which will be incorporated into overall game presentation; and its WJHW-designed audio system, which will give the team the ability to play with stereo effects, chase effects and more.
Finally, the Braves have partnered with Georgia Tech and others to experiment with virtual reality and see how fans interact with VR as part of their overall game experience.
Around the Horn
Of course, the Braves aren’t the only MLB team that added new technology to their ballparks this offseason. The Boston Red Sox, for example, continued their renovations and updates of 105-year-old Fenway Park with a new video board in right field that’s designed to give fans in the bleachers and Green Monster sections better access to statistics and game information.
— Joe Giza (@JoeGiza) March 30, 2017
The Red Sox also expanding their virtual reality station in the Kids Concourse by introducing a VR batting cage experience where fans can feel what it’s like to take swings against Major League players at Fenway Park. The team introduced VR during the 2016 season.
Meanwhile, PingHD added the Houston Astros to its client list with new menu boards throughout Minute Maid Park, the Philadelphia Phillies are now offering Zoom Food, a technology that allows fans to order and pay for their food by touchscreen, streamlining the process by as much as one-third.
PingHD now has digital menu boards in the homes of the Chicago White Sox, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners and IPTV and suite signage in Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. They’ll soon install digital menu boards at Wrigley Field for the 2016 World Series champion Chicago Cubs.
As usual, Daktronics had a busy offseason around Major League Baseball, adding two ribbon displays and an outfield display for the Tampa Bay Rays; a freeform “Holy Toledo” display honoring 2017 Ford Frick Award-winning broadcaster Bill King and an auxiliary display for the Oakland Athletics; three ribbon displays and an auxiliary display for the Detroit Tigers; one ribbon display for the Milwaukee Brewers; two auxiliary displays for the Philadelphia Phillies; four auxiliary displays for the Houston Astros; four ribbon displays for the New York Yankees and four pylon displays, a marquee display and lobby displays at an office building next to Wrigley Field.