Stadium Soon to Install Scoreboards
Andrew Pentis, 49ers.com
If you’ve driven past Levi’s® Stadium recently, you may have noticed – or heard – a 330-ton crane chugging along within the confines of the 49ers burgeoning home. Right now, the crane is being used to hang steel.
Very soon it will be the key to installing two gigantic, HD-quality scoreboards that will eventually be used to show in-game replays, videos and, of course, scoring information.
Zach Stuessi, project manager for Daktronics, a publicly-traded company based in South Dakota, said his team will take three weeks to hang the south end zone display starting on or around Oct. 7. The LED display for the north end zone, which is 58-feet wider than its across-the field peer, would then take five weeks to bring to life.
“We’ll be staging all of our materials on the field, lifting them up 250 feet to the structure,” said Stuessi, who as part of his duties compiles a budget and equipment list and coordinates installations. His crew will be off the Santa Clara stadium floor by early December, at which point work on the field itself will commence. “That is what pushes the install. Otherwise we come in at the end of the project.”
Post-installation, Stuessi is working with a January-February timeline to install the computers that will actually run the displays on game days. Electricians will have already wired them, pulling in fiber optic cable from an on-site control room. It helps to work alongside Sony Electronics® on a project of this size. Once complete, the scoreboards will be among the five largest in the NFL.
“The vision for Levi’s® Stadium has always been to create the ultimate fan experience through the use of innovative technology,” 49ers president Gideon Yu said when the partnership was announced in June. “The partnership between Sony and Daktronics will outfit Levi’s® Stadium with ground-breaking visual elements, setting its in-stadium experience apart from all other outdoor sports and entertainment venues and rivaling the home viewing option.”
With a cluster of speakers built into the south end-zone display, it will be 48-feet tall and 142-feet wide. In a way, those speakers won’t just be speakers. Daktronics will be covering the 48-feet-by-58-feet wide “cabinets” in mesh, porous LED panels, allowing sound to penetrate while maintaining video capability.
The scoreboard to the north is even bigger: 48 feet high and 200 feet across. (If you’re into pixel counts: 1,120 by 1,628.) Then there is a “ribbon” border display that will wrap around the inner bowl of Levi’s® Stadium. It’s only 3.6 feet from top to bottom, but 1,650 feet going left to right.
The plan is to take advantage of every square inch of scoreboard space in the building. On Sundays, fans seated anywhere inside Levi’s Stadium can expect easy views of useful information: basics such as live in-game stats and closed captioning, and potentially extras like fantasy football stats and scrolling Twitter feeds.
“This system,” Stuessi said, “is capable of a lot.”