When people talk about March Madness, everything is tinged with some level of exaggeration.
But in the case of the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino Sports Superbook’s record-setting video wall, those boasts are based in reality. The 4,400-square-foot, 65-million-pixel video wall, installed by HB Communications and rp Visual Solutions, is the highest-resolution indoor LED wall in the world and is part of the world’s largest sports superbook.
As part of Westgate’s $13 million transformation, they called on the integrators and Christie Digital to create a digital canvas to meet the needs of 300 gamblers and sports fans in comfy lounge chairs eager to check out a 100-foot long curved bar that conforms to the shape of the 20-foot-tall, 220-foot-wide screen using more than 1,600 Christie Velvet 2.5mm LED tiles.
Perhaps the most amazing part of the integrators’ work: they did it all in 90 days while the casino remained in operation.
“The date didn’t change on when they wanted to go live but everything else did,” says Randy Pagnan, president of rp Visual Solutions in Anaheim. “We mocked it up but there’s still always going to be some real-world realities. Our designs are always morphing.”
Pagnan noted that, as part of the renovation, the roof was temporarily removed on the Superbook in the area where the crew was working to install the new video wall. The team built a faux wall to protect the equipment and shield it from nosy patrons trying to get a sneak peek before it was officially unveiled earlier this year.
Patrick Dunn, project manager at HB Communications, said installers were dealing with “a labyrinth of conduit going everywhere. We had to be careful not to break anything.”
HB Communications had a relationship with Westgate about five years ago, and casino officials reached back out to them among about a dozen integrators. The project was in limbo for about a year, with initial conversations starting at InfoComm 2014 but the work didn’t start until the next June as officials had to wait for permits and drawings.
“It all happened very quickly,” says Dunn.
HB and rp worked together on creating a curved video wall at Mohegan Sun resort and casino in Connecticut, so Dunn was confident in the partnership. Christie Velvet tiles are suitable for 24/7 operation and feature wide viewing angles. They can be configured into any size or shape.
DON’T MISS: Read This Before You Hire Another Millennial
Pagnan’s company has earned accolades for past projects with Christie including the University of Waterloo in 2013, which was hailed as the tallest array of Christie MicroTiles, and the curved four-foot-tall-by-58-foot-long Christie MicroTiles video wall at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
“Nobody else could do what they did,” he says. Pagnan says his company has developed a system where all tiles can be vertical without any issues.
HB has “a lot of experience doing video walls, but definitely nothing this big,” says Dunn. HB’s video walls, he says, have never been directly tied to revenue generation like this one, with the focus primarily in education and corporate walls.
“For every minute this video wall goes down, the casino loses thousands of dollars in revenue, if not more,” says Dunn.
That meant integrators had to create a temporary faux projection screen in front of the construction site. Construction and installation also featured a diesel-powered forklift going through the sportsbook and forced installers to work essentially around the clock for the last two or three weeks.
Pagnan is thrilled with the final product.
“That canvas of 65 million pixels is a dynamic, reconfigurable space,” he says. “They can change the look any way they want. We wanted everything to be able to go everywhere.”
As noted by Westgate COO Mark Waltrip in a Covers article in August 2015, “This is a game-changer for our property and a game-changer for the industry. We’re going to set a very high bar for what a sportsbook should look and feel like.”
“To say it’s large is a giant understatement,” says Pagnan.
“Westgate has raised the bar and we’re proud to work with them to make this project a reality,” says Kathryn Cress, VP of global & corporate marketing for Christie.
“It is exciting to see this project become a reality,” says Dana Barron, CEO of HB Communications. “The image size and resolution are breathtaking and have totally transformed the Westgate Superbook into a ‘must see’ venue.”
Here’s a look at the Westgate Sports Superbook video wall during Super Bowl week: