Experience and engagement. These are two words often thrown around in our industry, and more often than not, we accept them without thinking about what they really mean. What type of AV technology provides an experience? And what does it take for us to become engaged in what we see on a display?
These were a few thoughts I had as our team toured Chase Center, the newly built home of the Golden State Warriors. Yes, as Tar Heels, we love basketball. But the real reason we spent a day at the brand new stadium? The displays. As part of a Samsung Chase Center partnership, the venue has a whopping 1,111 Samsung TVs and more than 60 LED displays.
The first stop on the venue tour was the outdoor LED display, the only outdoor video board in San Francisco, installed above one of the stadium’s main entrances. The parallelogram-shaped screen overlooks a grassy courtyard area, where visitors can wait or even hang out when there isn’t a game.
- Dimensions: 74 feet x 42 feet
- Total Pixels: 2,190,336
- Total Square Footage: 3,108 square feet
Rick Welts, president/COO of the Warriors, was also excited to show us an art piece of silver spheres that sit another entrance to the building. The spheres each had a flat side, allowing for optimal picture-taking before a game. (Even at night, since the spheres have LED lighting.)
“We’re big on LED here,” Welts said. “This is the official selfie headquarters of San Francisco… It’s a 14,000 square foot Instagram attraction.”
Providing that attraction, plus some outdoor ribbon-shaped LED displays, allows the stadium to launch the visitors’ seamless experience before they even walk in the doors.
Once inside, our tour took us to the press and media briefing room to view the first digital signage press backdrop in the NBA. The 7×22 feet, 1.4 mm display was designed to look as crisp on TV as it does in person. Why make it digital? Welts said an overarching theme in Chase Center is engaging viewers by adding innovative touches wherever the company can.
“Every day we do something new that adds to the experience of watching a game in the arena,” Welts said. “Linear TV is not doing so good. [We’ve had to think about] how do we engage viewers.”
But is digital signage enough to engage the average viewer as well as the #AVTweep(s)? That’s what the Samsung Chase Center partnership is banking on. Our final stop on the stadium tour was the center-hung: a whopping 165,000-pound contraption made up of 15 different Prismview displays. We walked around to view it from different angles, and Samsung’s claim holds — the largest center-hung in the NBA looks readable and clear from any seat. Even at courtside, you can look up in the center and see an underbelly display with an optimized sightline.
- 9,699 square feet
- 26,309,376 total pixels
“Not everything is 16 by 9,” said Kirk Kessler, sales manager for live events and entertainment at Samsung. “A lot of organic shapes went into this.”
View our interview with Kessler, and get a view of the center-hung below.
Experience and engagement don’t stop with the technology. Shawn Bennett, executive producer for event presentation; Paul Hawkins, executive producer of Warriors Studio; and Scott Heitman, director of scoreboard operations, spoke about the investment the Warriors are making in content production. The Warriors Studio team, led by Hawkins, is one of the largest in the NBA and is responsible for the design and deliverability of each piece of static and moving content in the venue. With just over 1,000 displays, this is quite the task.
Jacob Blount contributed to this story’s reporting.