Well, it became official today. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder led members of the media on a tour of the new upgrades at FedExField, and the new videoboards are now a live, working thing. Because of my travel schedule back from Canton (you guys, did I mention that I was in Canton? I’m not sure if you got that or not!) I was unable to attend today’s event. That was a bummer.
But I did attend a wonderful suiteholders event last week that let me get a sneak peek at the boards. And I cannot emphasize this fact enough: they are seriously awesome. The picture above, which looks kind of like a photoshop of a sharp picture pasted onto the videoboard space, is 100% untampered with and real. I didn’t even do any color correction on it. (Click image to enlarge.)
Most of my pictures came out a little blurrier, probably because I wasn’t quite sure how to set my camera for shooting a gigantic outdoor high definition television screen at dusk, but here’s another one anyhow.
Less visible to fans but arguably just as impressive as the new videoboards is the totally renovated control room for the boards. Here, to refresh your memory, is my 2008 post about what the control room used to look like. And here’s the money shot from that post, the single image that — to my mind — best sums up the old control room:
Yes, really. As recently as two seasons ago, that was a computer that was helping to run the control room. Then they gutted the place and renovated it in coordination with the videoboard installation, and here’s what the final result looks like.
And the old PC pictured above is gone, with this in its place:
So, yeah, that’s a LITTLE bit of an improvement.
The new videoboards and control room, along with 8 ribbon boards around the stadium, will allow the team to provide immediate instant replays (which sounds like a redundancy, but I think you know what I mean), scores and highlights from around the league, and even highlight packages of the game currently in progress on the field. It represents an ENORMOUS upgrade to the gameday experience, and one that I think will impress people when it makes its full-fledged debut on Friday.
Here’s the full text of the team’s press release announcing the various upgrades to FedExField:
For Immediate Release
August 8, 2010LOUDOUN COUNTY, VA – The Washington Redskins are pleased to announce a number of new improvements to FedExField for the 2010 season. Among the improvements to the facility are a new text message traffic alert system, installation of the locker of the late Sean Taylor for viewing on the club level, and club level party decks, as well as the previously-announced installation of new HD videoboards and complete renovation and replacement of the stadium’s video control room.
“Everything we are doing is focused on continuing to improve the gameday experience for fans at FedExField,” Redskins Chief Operating Officer David P. Donovan said. “We believe fans will really feel the impact of these improvements.”
This season, the Redskins will provide traffic alerts via text message, giving fans access to regular updates on the best routes to use to get to FedExField on gameday. The service will provide information on gameday bottlenecks to avoid up until kickoff, as well as announcements on any post-game traffic issues that arise to help fans get to and from the stadium for every home game. Redskins staff will monitor traffic on the Beltway, Landover Road, Arena Drive and Central Avenue to provide up-to-the-minute updates. Fans can opt in to these alerts by completing the signup form at http://www.redskins.com/trafficalerts. The Redskins also have updated route guidance to the stadium to give fans alternatives to Beltway exits 15, 16 and 17, including turn-by-turn guidance so fans from D.C. and Northern Virginia can enter the stadium grounds from the west on either Landover Road or Central Avenue. This information and more can be found online at http://www.redskins.com/parking.
The Team also has added more than 1,000 additional cash parking spaces for this upcoming season for fans attending Redskins home games at FedExField. The parking lot, located on the corner of Brightseat and Landover Road, is available to fans on a first-come, first-serve basis. Parking is $40 per vehicle.
Although the most notable addition this year is the previously announced 100-foot long HD videoboards installed in each endzone, the multi-million dollar renovation of the stadium’s control room is just as important. The much-anticipated video boards are accompanied by eight new digital ribbon boards to provide fans with out-of-town scores, statistics and more, all monitored and operated from a state-of-the-art control room located on the Owner’s Club Level. The improvements will allow for simultaneous multi-angle game highlights and replays, game graphics and other high definition content. The Redskins have retained Big Screen Network Productions, a worldwide leader in stadium videoboard productions, to operate the control room for all games for the 2010 season. Big Screen Productions has handled stadium video production for the last 26 Super Bowls and 15 Pro Bowls, as well as NCAA National Championships, Olympic Summer and Winter Games, and many other prominent sporting events around the world. FedExField premiered the new video boards with the first showing on July 17 of “Brothers of the Legacy,” a documentary chronicling the friendship of Redskin legends and Pro Football Hall of Famers Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff.
FedExField is also the new home of the locker of the late Sean Taylor, located near the Sprint Gate A club level escalator. The locker from Redskins Park, which has been kept exactly as it was left at the time of Sean’s untimely death in November 2007, is enclosed in Plexiglass, with oversized photographs of Sean exhibited on the exterior. The locker will be on display for Suite, Loge and Club Level ticketholders on gamedays, and all fans will be able to view the locker during stadium tours, the annual draft day, and other events.
Fans will also appreciate the Redskins’ new partnership with Lasting Impressions Landscaping Contractors, Inc. (LILC) to completely renovate the exterior landscaping at FedExField, including planting thousands of burgundy and gold annuals and perennials this fall and next spring, as well as maintenance, pruning, and irrigation updates outside all the main gates, the ticket office, VIP suites and club entrances and the Redskins Hall of Fame area.
Tags: fedexfield, hd, VideoBoard
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