If you think you’re excited about Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, imagine how the folks at Daktronics feel. They’ve been waiting about 18 months for their work at Levi’s Stadium to be on display for millions of football fans and casual observers around the world.
Daktronics installed video displays at each end zone of the $1.3 billion home of the San Francisco 49ers and additional displays throughout the venue before the team opened its Santa Clara, Calif., facility for the 2014 season.
The south end zone features the stadium’s most innovative audio-visual combination, using freeform LED elements in an acoustically transparent façade over the speaker system to provide additional video display space for team-branded content and advertising. Daktronics had worked with the 49ers on small displays at its old stadium before the move to Levi’s Stadium two seasons ago.
Levi’s Stadium features multiple video displays in the seating bowl with 13HD pixel layouts, which Daktronics calls “the premier LED solution for outdoor stadiums.” The north end zone display measures approximately 48 feet high by 200 feet wide and the display in the south end zone measures approximately 48 feet high by 142 feet wide.
The resolution and dimensions of each display allow for true high-definition video to be shown in the form of live video and instant replays. Each display can also be sectioned into multiple smaller sized windows to present fans with a variety of up-to-the-minute statistics, scoring information, sponsor advertisements and other graphics and animations.
Around the seating fascia, Daktronics installed a ribbon display that features a 13HD pixel layout and measures 3.5 feet high by 1,650 feet wide. The ribbon provides up-to-the-minute statistics and other game information.
Here’s a look at Daktronics’ displays in action at Levi’s Stadium:
Two 10 millimeter SMD LED ribbon displays on the exterior welcome fans to the stadium and two large displays were installed in 2015 that face outward from the venue but can also be seen as fans walk around the concourse areas to keep them informed while away from their seats.
“They wanted a high-resolution board and we made sure the content was bright enough to overcome the sun,” says Will Ellerbruch, national sales manager for large sports venues at Daktronics. The company also installed a Daktronics Show Control system that works with the stadium’s Sony full HD video replay room, including professional cameras and switchers that can drive content to the Daktronics displays.
Show Control provides a combination of display control software, video processing, data integration and playback hardware.
“They wanted everything we did to fit in with their stadium,” says Ellerbruch, noting 49ers owners didn’t push to set any records with the size of their video displays. The team did break some ground as the first one in the National Football League to have a digital audio mesh changeable display over the face of its sound system.
Digital audio mesh consists of freeform LED elements mounted over the stadium’s speaker system, measuring 48 feet high by 58 feet wide, in a way that allows sound to pass through it uninhibited, rendering it aesthetically pleasing and acoustically transparent. It also allows for full video capability that can be used for additional sponsorship and other dynamic spectator experience opportunities in a space that would traditionally be unavailable.