Petco Park in San Diego is the home of this year’s Major League Baseball All-Star festivities, starting with the Futures Game and Celebrity Softball Classic July 10, continuing with the Home Run Derby July 11 and culminating with the All-Star Game July 12.
Although you won’t necessarily see any brand-new technology rolled out for the Midsummer Classic and associated festivities this week like last year in Cincinnati, that doesn’t mean Petco Park is bereft of cool technology for the hard-core baseball fan or even the casual observer.
Daktronics installed the third-largest video board in the majors in left field (61 feet high by about 124 feet wide, five times larger than the old video board) at Petco Park in time for the 2015 season, along with ribbon boards spanning more than 750 feet around the first- and third-base lines, as part of a multi-year improvement project at the ballpark.
We’ve yet to hear about anyone hitting a ball into or on top of the Padres left field video board, like has happened at Wrigley Field regularly since the 100-year-old ballpark welcomed new technology in its outfields and opened a new high-tech clubhouse this season, but maybe some of the game’s top sluggers will take aim at it during the Home Run Derby.
In addition to the video boards and ribbon boards, Daktronics installed a surface mount device LED video display in 2014—an area dubbed Park at the Park—and an enhanced audio distribution system with 226 new and improved speakers throughout the facility for the ballpark’s 10th season.
The grassy Park at the Park area is directly outside of center field and simulates taking your family to the park. The video display features 10 millimeter line spacing and measures approximately 17 feet high by 29 feet wide. It keeps fans at the Park at the Park up to date on all of the action with live video, replays, stats and more.
The audio system upgrade represents Daktronics’ largest audio project. It covers the upper and lower bowls, concourses and three restaurants. This project required reprogramming 200 amplifiers and 12 processors. It now includes a more intuitive user interface and overall functionality allowing for easier operation and monitoring. The majority had to be installed using scaffolding that needed to be moved from location to location.
Now that you’re ready to look for all the cool technology in and around Petco Park, check out what some other MLB teams did with their ballparks this season, ranging from more new video boards to upgraded audio systems to virtual reality offerings.