The NFL is now into its season and one of the new venues is SoFi Stadium in LA, which has, among many things, a 70,000 sq. ft. LED halo videoboard hanging over the playing surface.
The dual-sided Samsung display is touted as having the only 4K end-to-end video production in a stadium, though I am not 100% sure what that means. Given the pixel pitch, a 4K visual would need a whole lot of that halo to add up to 3,840 horizontal pixels.
The videoboard, says Samsung in its PR about the project, has the largest LED content playback system ever deployed. With nearly 80 million pixels, each panel can be uniquely or congruently programmed with statistics, live and/or animated content.
The LED modules are 8 mm pitch, which reflects the substantial viewing distance from the seating bowl and suites to the screen. The halo has different shapes and the largest panel is about 40 feet tall, with the smallest nearly 20 feet. The halo shape is actually wider than the playing surface it looms over, but since it is two sided, that works well in terms of sightlines for ticketholders.
The videoboard also has more than 260 individual speakers embedded into its frame.
The screen is part of a larger deal that sees Samsung named as the Official Mobile, TV and Display partner of Hollywood Park, a 298-acre sports and entertainment destination, inclusive of SoFi Stadium and a 6,000-seat performance venue.
“Samsung is a company built on a foundation of excellence, which is also a cornerstone of the Hollywood Park experience. Our display technology in SoFi Stadium and throughout the entire space will offer fans a truly immersive and state-of-the-art experience,” says Harry Patz, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Display Division, Samsung Electronics America. “Los Angeles is a vibrant city with a rich history, filled with passionate fans. It is a great honor to be a part of creating the city’s next landmark.”
“Our partnership with Samsung is an industry game-changer and has allowed us to create a unique and one-of-a-kind product that will impact the way our industry thinks about live event content,” says Jason Gannon, managing director, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. “With our Samsung videoboard, we continue to elevate the experience for fan entertainment on game days and across events.”
The first game in the stadium was Sunday, with the home team Rams playing to stands kept empty because of COVID-19.
The PR doesn’t really get into it, as the huge halo screen is the subject, but the Samsung deal sees displays around the rest of the development. “Beyond SoFi Stadium, Samsung’s LED display technology will be represented throughout Hollywood Park, reaching fans across the development’s residential, office and retail areas and through the Hollywood Park connected mobile app.”
This is a technical, behind the scenes video tour with Skarpi Hedinsson, Chief Technology Officer of the new SoFi Stadium.
I have done a couple of sports venue tours as a Samsung guest, and in those cases, Samsung’s deal also saw the company supplying everything from LED sponsor displays in the concourses, digital menu displays at concessions, and TVs and even microwaves in the suites.
Very impressive, and this gives the halo in Atlanta’s NFL stadium some worthy competition. That one was supplied by Daktronics.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.