Phoenix sports teams see revenues in big DOOH boards

February 14, 2011 by Dave Haynes

A couple of pro sports teams see big LED boards as the answer to driving revenue and life into the district where theiur venues are located.

The Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks want to use big ad boards that hint at Times Square to pump more life and money into the city’s downtown sports and entertainment district.

The Arizona Republic reports:

By the time the Major League Baseball All-Star Game begins July 12, electronic billboards four to five stories tall will cover concrete walls and tower over the plazas of US Airways Center, the Jefferson Street parking garage and Chase Field. Giant LED TVs may cover the sides of other buildings nearby. Animated advertisements may flicker a commercial for Pepsi or Coca-Cola or a downtown restaurant.

Called the Legends Entertainment District, the marketing initiative is expected to be unveiled today by Phoenix’s professional basketball and baseball teams, which have formed a limited-liability corporation to jointly handle ad sales on the big signs they plan to build.

The plan for erecting the signs is timely. Sponsors want opportunities to market their products to baseball fans coming to the All-Star Game.

“This is going to take it to another level with the baseball All-Star Game,” said Rick Welts, president and CEO of the Phoenix Suns.

But over the next few years, buildings from First Avenue to Seventh Street and from Washington Street to Jackson Street are expected to be covered with the bling of a bustling city.

The aim is to create more energy to encourage people to linger outside the major stadium events to shop, eat and drink downtown.

“The point of the Legends Entertainment District is to really put some excitement on Jefferson Street,” said Judd Norris, the district’s general manager.

Mayor Phil Gordon said he believes the district will let other downtown venues benefit from the estimated 700 games and other events held each year at US Airways Center and Chase Field. “The new Legends Entertainment District, an attraction itself, will help connect all other downtown attractions, assuring visitors a more memorable and exciting downtown experience,” Gordon said in a statement.

The city, the Suns and the Diamondbacks all stand to gain financially from the initiative.

Additional retail sales downtown would bring additional sales-tax dollars for Phoenix. The city charges a 0.5 percent license tax for advertisements that are broadcast, published or appear in the city. Last year, the city collected about $2.8 million in license taxes from ads.

The teams would earn money from ad sales and sponsorships. The teams have about 200 sponsors.

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