(from Venues Today, October 15, 2013) BB&T Ballpark, home of the Charlotte, North Carolina Knights, is under construction, and the plans correlate with society’s technological advancements with the addition of the widest video board in Minor League Baseball. The ballpark includes a 30-by-82 foot HD video board which is six times larger than the previous board at the Knights Stadium.
Total Sports Entertainment Services reached out to the Charlotte Knights when they first heard of the plans for the new $55-million stadium. David Frost, Vice President of Consulting Services at TSE Services said, “The process is a little bit reversed, but when we have knowledge that there’s going to be a new facility built, we want to be sure that we have a relationship with that club.” TSE Services works with the facility in finding out exactly what they’re looking for, helping to develop a budget and plans, and putting the project out for bids.
Toshiba American Business Solutions won the bid and offered much more to the project than just the main video board. Toshiba also implemented plans for a 14-by-35 foot LED exterior video display, an 8-by-120 foot LED ribbon board display in right field, two smaller ribbon displays in the upper level, a video ribbon board in the park’s ticket plaza, and LCD menu boards at concession stands. Chris Applegate, Director of Enterprise Services at Toshiba Managed Business Services, states, “We will start engaging the fans before they even enter the ballpark with the exterior ribbon and video board displays while continuing that dynamic audio-video experience throughout all levels of the stadium. The focus was to keep fans informed, involved and, most important, entertained at every step of their experience at BB&T Ballpark.”
The cost of all of the video technology is approximately $3 million and the Knights made this investment with the hopes and efforts to stay ahead of the game with the quickly-changing advancements in the technological world. Charlotte Knights Executive Vice President and Chief Operation Officer Dan Rajkowski said, “We felt it was important early on to retain consultants who understood where technology was today and where it was heading. If we don’t adapt, we’ll be left behind.” This investment in technology will allow programming to include elements, such as Twitter messages and Instagram photos, which are important to fans and popular in the social media world today.
All the video technology will be installed after the first of the year, and construction is on budget and on track to be completed by opening day on April 11.