Thursday, May 3, 2012

The arena scoreboard arms race is on

An artist's rendition of the new HD scoreboard
at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, which is rumored to be the
model for the new Nationwide Arena scoreboard.
Don't look now, but we're in the midst of a Golden Age for arena scoreboards.  Either that or an arms race.  Or maybe it's the same thing.

(While I know it wasn't the first, I still blame Jerry Jones and his 60-yard-long HD scoreboards at his $1 billion Dallas football palace for raising the competitive ante to current levels.  But I blame Jerry Jones for a lot of things.)

In fact, new scoreboards (or should I say "screens" to be more accurate?) appear to have become a quid pro quo for hosting the NHL All-Star Game. Ottawa got theirs in time to host the game last year, and the Blue Jackets are on line to get their own with the All-Star Game coming in January.

The Blue Jackets' should be a good one, seeing as the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority has up to $5.5 million budgeted for a scoreboard and associated improvements.  Speculation is that it will follow Ottawa's model.

But if you've got $5.5 million on the line, it's worth checking out what the Jones' are doing.  Or maybe the Viniks, as it was announced that the filthy rich owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning is dropping $5 million for "the largest high definition center-hung video displays in any U.S. or Canadian arena." And the photos are impressive, too.  Check out this concept art example:

A rendition of the forthcoming scoreboard at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
That's a LOT of screen for five million bucks.

What's your take on all of this?  Is the high-def scoreboard the Holy Grail of the fan's audio-visual experience?  Has any reader been to a game with one of these monster screens...and, if so, what were your impressions?

1 comment:

  1. Been to the Cowboys stadium, that thing is so big you find your self watching that instead of the game! As for indoor arena, the United Center is sweet! Huge! Would love to see that here! Won't happen though. Nashvilles is pretty nice too! The hi def video replays are great, easy to see! I'm expecting ours to be a middle of the road thing. Better than what we have now but not as nice as a lot of the other fancy ones in the league, like Chicago. That Ottawa model just doesn't add up to some of the elaborate boards out there.

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