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Big Canvas

SoFi Stadium gets the biggest LED videoboard in sports

It weighs 22 million pounds and fills 70,000 square feet with 80 million pixels for end-to-end 4K. It rises 122 feet above the action and at 120 yards long it is 1.2 times longer and 1.5 times wider than the field. Its design/structure is the first-of-its-kind, making it the only dual-sided, center-hung videoboard. Its largest panel is about 40 feet or four stories tall; its smallest panel is almost 20 feet or two stories tall. It was installed in pandemic.

Like Touchdown Jesus or winter at Lambeau, the videoboard at SoFi will become part of a long tradition of stadium icons and defining fan experiences—but with a modern, digital AV twist. Rams and Chargers fans who grow up at SoFi will be part of the first radically digital stadium experience, one that’s built into the bones of the building and the view from every seat. It’s a big responsibility for the content creators who will fill those screens. But for now, the first historic accomplishment is already done—the icon is built.

Behind the HKS-designed, all-Samsung system is the first and only 4K end-to-end video production system in a stadium. Pix – els are spaced 8 millimeters from center-to-center and can be uniquely or congruently programmed with statistics, live and/or animated content. The different sizes of the video panels are designed to serve spectators in every seat, from the sideline to the upper deck. Fans sitting in the lower bowl of the stadium will view the inside of the videoboard as it sits directly across from their line of view, while guests in the upper bowl will view the outer panels of the videoboard. Built into the videoboard is a state-of-the-art JBL audio system with more than 260 of the stadium’s total 4,500 loudspeakers. The videoboard sound system accounts for half a million of the 1.3 million watts of the Crown Audio amplification in the venue, which was expressly designed to be equally powerful as a sports stadium and concert venue. The BSS networked digital signal processing audio system includes 852 audio inputs and 852 outputs in addition to more than 5,000 potential networked audio feeds.

For Mark Quiroz, Samsung’s Display Division VP of Marketing, the project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for fanship and career to converge. As a lifelong Rams fan, he’d like to see the inside of the stadium (we all would) but he can already visualize the potential of this historic display. As much to the point, he understands the commitment of the Samsung teams responsible for fabricating and install – ing the massive LED canvas.

He’s not just talking marketing when he points out that this is the kind of thing Sam – sung is uniquely qualified to do. “We asked the ownership and architects what they would dream of,” he says of how the conversation started. “What was the aspiration for the fan experience?” The goal was a combination of architectural integration and an ultra level engagement for fans.

“It was really around thinking ahead. Over the next couple decades. How would this be augmented as future technologies came online—not just the screens, but in the environment and the entire park, and beyond? From our perspective, we gave the organization a visual canvas and enabled them to deliver and paint whatever experience they wanted from there.

“You can have a big gaudy screen and it will do the job,” he says, but the Rams/Chargers organizations had a much more ambitious goal than that. The result seems to usher in a new way of looking at the integration of AV features and architecture. “It’s integrated into the whole being of the facility, and it’s also really functional and practical too. There’s a lot of pride being involved with this.

“The biggest worry was getting it up there,” Quiroz continues. “Because you’re talking about 2 million pounds of video board and steel that you had to lift. The teams were lifting at an inch increment at a time. The key moment was seeing that once it was up there, the integrity of the screens held. All of that 4K content can be delivered without any latency, and calibrated across the entire surface. If it wasn’t, that would have been noticeable,” he understates.

“The Samsung LED technology represented in the videoboard at SoFi Stadium is unlike anything fans have ever experienced,” said Jason Gannon, managing director, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. “The design as well as the board’s video and audio capabilities are the first of their kind in sports and will set a new precedent for the in-stadium experience.”

“The monitor is designed to activate the entire seating bowl and is unprecedented in the world of sports and entertainment,” said Mark A. Williams, FAIA, principal HKS. “The display is shaped to extend the field of play, allowing the 360-degree, two-sided board to provide every seat location and fan an unparalleled experience in content and viewing options.”

Additional Samsung technology is represented throughout Hollywood Park, connecting fans across the district’s residential, office, and retail areas through Hollywood Park’s connected mobile app.

“As sports and concerts begin to come back, stadiums need to deliver a new kind of experience to their guests every time they step into the venue, something that also provides customers with safety information and overall peace of mind,” says Samsung Display VP Brett Unzicker. “At Samsung we understand how using the latest technology in digital signage can help partners like Samsung not only elevate the overall fan experience, but also ensure that safety is top of mind to all.

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