U.S. Bank Stadium can boast quite a resolution for 2016 and beyond.
Crews have completed the installation of state-of-the-art 13HD video and ribbon boards that are a key way that fan experience will be taken to an unprecedented level when the bold venue opens this fall.
A webcam from EarthCam mounted on the east end chronicled the installation of the main video board at the west end of the bowl.
The main board is more than 8,100 square feet, accounting for about one-third of the stadium’s 25,000 square feet of high-definition LED displays. It will be the 10th largest in the NFL; the total square footage of 13HD LED displays will be the most in the league.
Vikings Vice President of Corporate and Technology Partnerships John Penhollow said the team focused its decision-making process on quality and placement of the boards. After looking at other sports venues, indoor and outdoor, around the country and globe, the Vikings wanted to place the boards as close to as many seats as possible and in a location that will ease the process for fans to slightly shift their eyes from the field of play to see a replay.
“We are not going to have the largest board,” Penhollow said. “That was not our intent at any point in the process. Our intent was to make these things as large as we could, but appropriately place them as low as possible. We think what we came up with is perfect for this venue.”
There was some discussion about mounting the boards from the ceiling like AT&T Stadium, but doing so would have undermined another goal of the stadium: allowing in a significant amount of natural light through the ETFE panels that make up 60 percent of the roof. The desire to maximize the indoor-outdoor feel shifted placement of the video boards back to the end zones, but the Vikings moved them lower than most video boards in the NFL.
“We settled on a spot that is just above the main concourse, approximately 10 feet above the main concourse,” Penhollow said. “Regardless of what seat you’re in, you’ll have the chance to look slightly to the left, slightly to the right or straight ahead and you’re going to get a clear visual of the game action from a live perspective and replay.”
In addition to location, the quality of content on the boards will also boost fan experience.
The 13HD refers to the size of the pixel, in millimeters, that is made up of one red, one green and one blue LED. They are assembled into programmable units that can display high quality video, crisp scores stats scores and other information.
“They’re vibrant. The imagery pops out of the screen, as well as the color reproduction,” said Daktronics President, CEO and Chairman of the Board Reece Kurtenbach. “The purples, the golds, they look like they do on the field, so that’s really the advantage of the technologies that are going in today. The same thing that’s on the video board is being used on the ribbon displays, and it just ties the whole system together nicely.”
The in-stadium videographers will use 4K cameras to capture content, down to the pellets of synthetic turf kicked up by
“The displays themselves are like a palate that an artist can paint on to, so then the video production team and production team behind it is what drives the show,” Kurtenbach said. “We give them the canvas and key control elements so that it’s easy and intuitive on how to drive the show.”
The video and ribbon boards also will enable more interactivity for Vikings partners, Penhollow said.
“Our partners are very excited and so are the Vikings because we can now start to push the envelope on interactive features throughout the game entertainment program that were perhaps on the wish list before but we didn’t have the equipment to pull it off,” Penhollow said. “It’s everything from sound quality to visual clarity, and regardless of what the theme of the feature is, all of those will become more valuable to our partners, and we believe it will resonate with our fans.”
Every replay can be further enjoyed with a dose of home-state pride. The boards were made in Redwood Falls, Minnesota, and are the only ones in the NFL to be manufactured in a venue’s home state.
Panoramic Views of the Boards
Middle of the Field