That's what officials at the Baltimore Ravens and the Maryland Stadium Authority believe will be the response from fans to the new $7 million-plus, high definition RavensVision boards at M&T Bank Stadium. Installation of the boards, located above the lower deck at the east and west ends of the facility, has been completed in time for this weekend's NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships.
"We tested RavensVision earlier this week, and the picture quality is spectacular," Larry Rosen, the Ravens' vice president of broadcasting, said. "Our boards already receive a lot of attention because of their locations in the lower bowl. We think the quality of these pictures will match the best of any high def TV. The visual is stunning."
Each RavensVision screen measures 24 feet high and 100 feet wide. Those dimensions would equal a 1,234-inch diagonal TV screen. It would take 600 37-inch flat screen TVs to equal one of these giant LED (light emitting diode) boards. Nearly 2.5 million individual LEDs provide the image on the two screens, allowing the highest quality pictures in the brightest sunlight and at night events.
(Each of the two giant screens is made up of modular LED panels – 12.6 inches by 15.1 inches. These panels were then assembled into larger sections measuring 8 by 9 feet. Each section weighs 900 pounds, and there are 33 sections on each board.)
The Ravens and the Maryland Stadium Authority shared the costs of the new boards. "The MSA is pleased that our partnership with the Ravens made it possible to develop this state of the art video board system to enhance not only the NFL fan experience, but also for the many others who visit the stadium year round," Michael Frenz, MSA's executive director, said. "M&T Bank Stadium is a revenue-generating asset of the State, and the MSA is committed to keeping it in the top tier of facilities nationwide."
"We are particularly proud of our staff, who managed the demolition and installation process around the Ravens' schedule, some pretty brutal weather and two early spring lacrosse weekends," Frenz continued. "We are grateful that the new system will be in place for the nationally-televised NCAA lacrosse tournament this weekend and also the international soccer game on July 31."
One of the reasons these new boards were installed is that repair parts for the previous SmartVision screens, installed in 1998, have become obsolete. "We've literally been salvaging from older boards, including one used at the Barcelona Olympics, to keep the old screens going the last couple of years," Rosen explained.
"Our continued investment at M&T Bank Stadium is to enhance our fans' game-day experience and to attract more non-Ravens events," Ravens team president Dick Cass stated. "We work to create an environment that is more compelling than a fan's staying at home and watching our games on television. RavensVision will be a significant part of our presentation. We're excited for our fans and others to see these dramatic video boards."
Cass also noted that the NFL's very popular "Red Zone" television package will be included in the video presentation during games. "Red Zone" features live and taped feeds of every score made by NFL teams. "This goes to giving our fans the same thing they can get at home," Cass added.
The RavensVision boards were developed and produced by Daktronics. "Daktronics is extremely pleased to be part of this significant upgrade at M&T Bank Stadium," Jay Parker, Daktronics national sales manager, said. "The Ravens organization is building an incredible legacy in Baltimore. We are proud to work with the Ravens and the Maryland Stadium Authority to keep their home one of the most technologically-advanced. The new end zone video boards will make the game experience even better for their faithful fans."
Other stadiums that feature the Daktronics' HD-X boards include the new stadium at the Meadowlands, home of the Giants and Jets, as well as the homes of the Steelers, Colts, Minnesota Twins, Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Mets.
A new control room that can allow the high def boards to work at peak quality is now being installed at M&T Bank Stadium by Diversified Systems, the U.S. industry leader in the construction and installation of control rooms. Integrating the control room with RavensVision is the Baltimore-based Video Production Company.
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Over 500 Sony flat screen, high definition televisions are also being installed throughout M&T Bank Stadium to enhance the fans' game-day experience.