Blue Jays’ Home Park Gets $200M Upgrade, Including $6M In BIG LED Screens
March 31, 2022 by Dave Haynes
The Major League Baseball season opens next week and venues like the home park for the Toronto Blue Jays will be unveiling off-season upgrades – some modest, some ambitious. In the case of the Jays, some $200M has gone into sprucing up what many still call the Skydome. That number includes almost $14 in AV upgrades.
The big number on the AV budget was for LED displays – $6M for screens, including a 110 by 44 foot score and replay board out in centerfield. The video replay control room was also rebuilt for an eye-popping $4.9M and there is another $2.8M in new speakers and amplifiers around the cavernous, domed stadium.
The upgrades were guided by a company called Anthony James Partners, self-described as an industry leading owner’s representative and AV consultant. Daktronics, which does a LOT of work in big sports and entertainment venues, won the LED business.
The screen mix:
o The previous Primary LED Scoreboard was landlocked by building structural features around it that prevented a size increase. AJP managed structural engineering for major renovations that resulted in a significant increase in scoreboard size. The new High Dynamic Range (HDR), 10mm pixel pitch, concave scoreboard measures 110-feet wide by 4-inches wide by 44-feet, 2-inches feet high and boasts 4,873 square feet of LED – a significant upgrade from the previous board’s 3,499 square feet.
o 10mm Ribbon Board Displays surround the primary, with a new lower “Monster Ribbon Board” that measures 13.3 feet high by 77 feet wide, and refreshed LED for the upper Ribbon Board at 4 feet by 75.5 feet, creating major visual impact.
o Existing Left and Right Outfield Wall Displays (each 10.5 feet by 63.5 feet) were replaced with 10mm LED and a specialty, glare-free, polycarbonate sheeting to protect them.
o New 16mm LED was installed for the Parapet Ribbon Board that runs nearly 360 degrees around the stadium. Left and Right Foul Pole Displays were also upgraded with 16mm LED.
The home opener is next Friday. The PR just had conceptual images but we can assume the screens have been installed, tested, etc, etc. Safe bet the Jays didn’t allow real images, wanting to save that for the opening game.
The renos were done instead of building a replacement for the stadium, which at 33 years is crazily a senior citizen by North American sports venue standards. The cost of a new building would likely exceed $1B, as it will for a new home for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.
Details for hardcore AV nerds:
Video Replay Control Room
- State-of-the art Video Replay Control Room design that features a full 1080p HDR system. The all-encompassing design upgrade involved the central equipment room (Technical Operations Center), the Production Control Room, all front-of-house operations, and the augmentation of the existing JBT broadcast cable infrastructure with single-mode fiber. Alpha Video was the awarded integrator with partner Unity-SI.
- The control room refresh was a complete rebuild with 100% of the control room cabling being gutted and replaced, right down to the last wire—not typical for this type of upgrade scenario.
Sound Reinforcement System
- Distributed loudspeaker design, which included replacement of all loudspeakers, complimenting amplifiers, digital signal processing, front of house source equipment for the bowl, back of house and outdoor areas, and replacement of all outdoor speaker cable.
- For main seating loudspeakers, responsible for the heavy lifting portion of the sound system in terms of achieving higher levels of SPL and coverage density, the EAW QX series checked all boxes for size, performance, and value. QSC Q-SYS processing and amplifiers were chosen for the robust and reliable hardware set, ease of networking, and full system monitoring capabilities (venue staff have complete, remote control over any aspect of the system, for real-time adjustments from essentially anywhere in the stadium).
- All Pro and Spark Power (New Electric) were the awarded integrators, and the installation was supplied by Canada’s SFM. Arthur Skudra tuned the system.