A long-term relationship between Daktronics and the Cincinnati Reds led to a short-term installation to add even more technology to Great American Ballpark in time for next week’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game in the Queen City.
Reds ownership called on Daktronics to build and install a 31-foot-high, 90-foot-wide, 13HD pixel LED video board in right field in time for the eyes of the baseball world to be on the ballpark for the All-Star Game, Home Run Derby, celebrity softball game and more.
And, although Daktronics only got the final go-ahead in mid-May, they were able to install the board in time for all the festivities.
“We’ve had a growing relationship with the Reds and it’s been great for both parties,” says Daryl Mihal, regional manager for Daktronics. “The Castellinis want to put on a great show for the fans and they know that includes incorporating technology. Having this additional display area allows them to really dig down and give fans greater depth in terms of statistics and information they can show them.”
The new right-field video board features wide-angle visibility that will allow just about every fan at the game to see what it’s displaying. It features variable content zoning to allow for one large image across the entire display or multiple smaller zones to show a variety of live video, instant replays, scoring information, up-to-the-minute statistics, graphics and animations, sponsor messages and other venue announcements.
And, even when the All-Star Game is over and home field advantage for the World Series has been decided, the new video board will remain in its new right-field perch. Mihal says Reds ownership first started talking about adding a right-field video board a year or so ago as their All-Star Game planning started but didn’t finalize that plan until shortly after the 2015 season started in April.
“Of course, they wanted it done for the All-Star Game,” says Mihal. “We were able to get it done because we had great collaboration with a lot of different entities.”
Perhaps even more impressive was the fact Daktronics did the installation during the season, meaning they had to work around the Reds’ home schedule and move some of the heavy equipment out of the way during the time when they were playing games. The supports for the board go through the lower concourse and tie to bleacher supports.
“We’ve gotten very good at being efficient with our time,” says Mihal. “The quick timeframe tends to focus us as a company. There’s always some anxiety and anticipation, but we saw it fired up this weekend so we know it works.”
Star-Studded Tech Makeover
Great American Ballpark has had several high-tech upgrades in the past year in anticipation of the Midsummer Classic, including inside the Handlebar Restaurant premium club, where Nor-Com installed a 3×6, 8,196-by-2,304 pixel resolution video wall with Sharp 55-inch displays, covering the entire backdrop of the bar.
Nor-Com also wrapped two columns on three sides inside the Handlebar with LG 55-inch 5,760 x 5,400-pixel resolution displays, which are used for broadcasting MLB TV, digital signage, special effects, scoreboard feeds, bullpen camera, gameday announcements and events.
In addition to the Handlebar Restaurant, Nor-Com also installed a 4×5 social media wall with Sharp 50-inch LCD displays in the public concourse, near the café tables and charging stations, and upgraded the Reds Hall of Fame, the largest in baseball.
Before this season, Daktronics installed a “Batters Eye” 3.5-foot-high, 109-foot-wide ribbon display along the fascia of the seating area to provide additional statistics and game information and highlight sponsors throughout the game.
Over the years, Daktronics has installed nine different LED video displays at Great American Ball Park including fascia displays, auxiliary displays and the main outfield display featuring more than 5,300 square feet of display space.
“Daktronics continues to exceed our expectations in delivering the products and programming that make our in-park experience unbeatable,” said Phil Castellini, chief operating officer of the Cincinnati Reds. “We rely on their innovation and insights, and once again are very pleased with the results.”
Daktronics will have three experienced technicians on hand during All-Star week for event service and support, says Mihal.
“We’re always doing additional work and training so there’s not much new in terms of that,” he says. “There’s a lot of trust on both sides. It’s always important to have great partners and to find out who they work with too. This isn’t just a Daktronics project or a Reds project. It takes a lot of companies to pull these things off.”