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  • Fri., Sep. 22, 2017 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EDT Live Jay Gruden, Matt Cavanaugh At The Podium Tune in to hear Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden and offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh talk at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.
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FedExField Goes HD: The Finale

Posted by Matt Terl on August 8, 2010 – 4:45 pm

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: Read more »

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FedExField Goes HD, Part 7: Daktronics To Deliver HD Boards, CEI To Provide Infrastructure

Posted by Matt Terl on April 29, 2010 – 4:59 pm

If you were at FedExField for the Draft Day Party, this is what one of the endzones looked like — no longer completely gutted and beginning to show what it will one day be.

Today, the team announced that Daktronics had been selected to design, manufacture, and install the high resolution video boards at the stadium, while Communications Engineering, Inc. would be upgrading the infrastructure to handle the capabilities of the new hardware.

The team sent around a Video Board Fact Sheet that includes some Fun Facts about the Video Boards, which I’ll post after the jump. (NOTE: amount of “fun” received from these facts may be relative.) But before that, an answer to one of the questions I’ve heard most since the Draft Day Party: yes, there were some leftover Lite Brite pieces, and the folks at the Charitable Foundation should be getting in touch with people on the waitlist at any moment. So if you’re on the list, hope for a call in the next week or so.

Without any futher ado: Fun Facts and further details! Read more »

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FedExField Goes HD, Part 6: An Update (With Steelwork)

Posted by Matt Terl on April 14, 2010 – 11:57 am

An update on the ongoing work at FedExField. Looking at previous entries in this series will help to provide some context and comparison for these shots. The main change of note is that demolition seems to have largely halted, and construction is underway.

The welders you see in these shots — shots, I might add, which abjectly fail to capture the fiery awesomeness of the actual welding process — are doing steelwork, installing vertical and horizontal struts to support the new videoboards and the roof behind them.
Read more »

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FedExField Goes HD, Part 5: Cooley Sells The Lite Brite, Talks About The Offense

Posted by Matt Terl on April 8, 2010 – 1:37 pm

When I visited FedExField to see the first stage of scoreboard demolition, the old JumboTron was in pieces on pallets in the concourse. After I wrote about it, there was some question about what would be done with the pieces, and now we know:

They’ll be given to fans who make a five dollar donation at the Draft Day Party, and Chris Cooley addressed the media at Redskins Park today to explain how the whole process works.

“They’re tearing down the scoreboard,” Cooley said, holding up a piece of the JumboTron. “They come in these tiny cells that, I guess, look like Lite Brite pieces. A bunch of ’em make up a module; then they all make up the entire scoreboard. So we ripped it down, and instead of just throwing it away, of course we want to make money.” He paused. “No, I’m just kidding — it all goes to charity. Everything’s for charity. We’re selling ’em for five bucks apiece at Draft Day. It’s first come, first serve; it’s ‘the original FedExField Scoreboard’. Get ’em for five bucks, charity, cool stuff.”

What he means by “it’s ‘the original FedExField Scoreboard'” is that each piece is affixed with a sticker authenticating it as just that. (Pictured below.)

“The new scoreboard’s gonna be cool,” Cooley continued, “but when Jerry Jones built that great big scoreboard … I mean, we HAD to have a big one. So it’s gonna be 30 by 100 feet. It’s gonna be great. This old scoreboard was, like, 25 by 30, so it towers over what we used to have. It makes us more impressive than ever.”

Cooley majored in Art in college, is an avid potter, and is a generally creative guy. So you just know he’s not going to just toss the Lite Brite piece onto a shelf. He’s got plans for that ex-scoreboard.

“When I get home,” he explained, “I’m gonna build this little wooden trophy case and frame it in nicely, and then it’s gonna go over my mantle in my living room. I want it to be more of a formal piece, so I’m thinking about walnut or Brazilian cherry, but definitely [with] a plaque, and maybe Dan [Snyder] will autograph it for me. It’ll really complete the room. That’s what I’m hoping for my Lite Brite.”

Eventually, of course, people changed the subject to non-JumboTron matters, to Cooley’s (feigned) disappointment “Seriously?” he asked. “I thought we were talking about the scoreboard.”

And then he described, as so many others have this year, just how excited he is about the new offense. For example: Read more »

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FedExField Goes HD, Part 4: Demolition Continues

Posted by Matt Terl on April 7, 2010 – 9:42 am

As Extreme Makeover: Roster Edition seems to be picking up speed at Redskins Park, Extreme Makeover: JumboTron Edition rumbles cheerily on at FedExField. When last we checked in, the control room had been gutted, one panel of one endzone scoreboard had been removed and the bits of the old JumboTron were stacked on pallets in the stadium concourse.

As you can see, things have picked up a bit since then.

That’s the east endzone has now had all three panels removed, clearing the necessary space for the new HD board. And now the west endzone is coming along as well.

Read more »

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FedExField Goes HD, Part 3: The JumboTron In Pieces

Posted by Matt Terl on March 26, 2010 – 11:17 am

I had such hopes that the removed JumboTron would be sitting out in the concourse at FedExField, maybe hooked up to a cable box so I could sample The Price Is Right at thirty feet tall. I was right that it was sitting in the concourse, but it was in no shape to display any programming.

That’s the JumboTron.

I knew it wasn’t some sort of enormous cathode ray tube with a gigantic piece of glass in front of it, but I didn’t realize that it broke down into six hundred-ish pieces, each roughly the size of a shoebox. There are 24 of the things on each pallet, and there were 24 complete palette-loads in the concourse. Read more »

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FedExField Goes HD, Part 2: The Gutted Control Room

Posted by Matt Terl on March 25, 2010 – 10:05 am

Upgrading the FedExField gameday experience to HD isn’t like upgrading your living room set. You can’t just junk the old set, plug the new one in, and enjoy your sitcoms in beautiful hi-def.

The equipment used to produce the games needs to be upgraded, people need to be trained, and the control room needs a full overhaul. As of yesterday, here’s what the control room — the nerve center for the whole operation of presenting the game on gameday — looks like.

Okay, it doesn’t look that impressive. I can see that. It’s a construction bin and some tools and not a whole lot else. It’s hard to imagine that it’s an upgrade over anything. Then again, here’s what used to sit in roughly that spot: Read more »

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FedExField Goes HD, Part 1: One Jumbotron Down

Posted by Matt Terl on March 24, 2010 – 3:41 pm

At a glance, this picture may not make much visual sense. It probably looks like workers doing … something … on a three-story building behind some seats in FedExField, and that’s precisely what it is. What’s interesting about it is that the “three-story building” is actually the workspace behind what used to be the much-derided JumboTron. It’s visible and open to the air now because … well, because it’s gone.

Here’s another shot that moves things back a bit and adds some context. Read more »

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