What if you had 306 pigs?
I mean, how much room would they take up? About 3,162 square feet maybe?
Well, that’s the size of the new big screen at Coca Cola Park. It’s more than triple the area of the old board, it’s high resolution (15mm) Daktronics LED in full HD with the natural HD aspect ratio of 16:9–the largest screen of it’s kind in the Minor Leagues. (Memphis’ square display is larger, by about 10%. For better reference, this new IronPigs board will be almost twice as big as Reading’s new board, and about 33% bigger than Scranton’s Daktronics display.)
But, that’s not all. The IronPigs will upgrade the “time and temperature” boards along side the main board, install a giant HD ribbon above the left field billboards, and add fascia displays on the first and third base club level overhang. All boards will have the capability to work in unison or individually, and all stadium video feeds will be upgraded to full HD from the standard definition installed when the stadium was constructed prior to the 2008 season.
This is the number one thing that they could do in this off-season from a fan, game-day enjoyment, standpoint. It’s a major investment for the facility, but I think it will pay off at the gate as people will return to the ballpark more often. My opinion is that the Lehigh Valley fan base is more attracted to the “big time” feel of our park–and our arena–than we would be to something more down-home, like Reading. Look at the changes the IronPigs organization made in the first few years as they realized that they could do so much better than duplicating the “small time” in Reading. And, don’t get me wrong–I love Reading and have season tickets there as well. But it’s a different feel–and the ‘big time’ feel in Allentown has been more successful here. These video improvement are going to make you think you’re in a miniature version of an MLB park, I’m telling you.
Year 10 is going to be something special–but I can’t imagine anything else they could do to have a more positive impact on the fan experience than this. I spoke with General Manager Kurt Landes about this, and other off-season issues. Look for that interview soon. In the meantime, the full press release from the IronPigs is included below:
IRONPIGS TO UNVEIL MASSIVE, STATE-OF-THE-ART VIDEOBOARDS FOR 2017
Primary 43’ X 73’ HD Videoboard Will Be Largest In Minor League Baseball With HD Aspect Ratio
(Allentown, Pa.) – In anticipation of the upcoming tenth anniversary season, the IronPigs will debut a series of state-of-the-art HD videoboards for the 2017 campaign at Coca-Cola Park, highlighted by an enormous 43’ x 73’ main HD videoboard that will be the largest in Minor League Baseball to incorporate a 16:9 HD aspect ratio and 2nd-largest overall. In addition to the main videoboard upgrade, seven other videoboard enhancements are scheduled for Coca-Cola Park this off-season, including the addition of a new 130’ wide ribbon board above the left field signage, among the widest displays in professional sports. Upon installation, the main video board (3,162-square feet) will be greater than triple the square footage of the current 20’ x 50’ display (1,000-square feet) and contain 1,897,490 LED bulbs. Interestingly, the main videoboard is so big that it could contain roughly 306 pigs standing next to and on top of each other within its dimensions.
The brand-new HD videoboards – supplied by industry-leader Daktronics – represent the largest capital improvement campaign in Coca-Cola Park history. They also incorporate cutting-edge technology for superior brightness, contrast and viewing angles and the same industry-leading 15 mm HD resolution as the primary videoboard at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The new videoboards will often operate in unison to enhance the game day experience and magnify key moments, like home runs, strikeouts or on-field fan contests. The ribbon board will enhance Coca-Cola Park’s game presentation by providing in-game scoring, out-of-town scores, upcoming promotions and enhanced statistical information.
“The best fans in Minor League Baseball deserve the premier entertainment and fan experience that the industry has to offer,” exclaimed IronPigs President and General Manager Kurt Landes. “Our fans will be happier than pigs in mud when they get their first look at these jaw-dropping HD displays on April 6, 2017 for opening night at Coca-Cola Park.”
In addition to the primary videoboard and left field ribbon board, other off-season video upgrades include:
- First Base and Third Base fascia displays on the Club Level façade (4’ x 30’) which will now be more than triple the size of the current fascia displays.
- Bullpen videoboard (9.6’ x 19.2’ HD-15 LED display)
- Speed of Pitch videoboard (15.6’ x 9.6’ HD-15 LED display)
- Time and Temperature videoboard (15.6’ x 9.6’ HD-15 LED display)
- Home Plate videoboard (3.6’ x 7.2’ HD-15 LED display)
With this project, the Coca-Cola Park control room and equipment will also be updated to HD levels. Previously, the controls and videoboards were all standard definition.
Coca-Cola Park has been among the most progressive venues in professional sports since its highly-acclaimed debut in 2008, receiving numerous honors and distinctions, including the prestigious 2012 Bob Freitas award, recognizing long-term excellence in the operation of minor league franchises, with a focus on the areas of market commitment, operational practices, community involvement and business success.
The IronPigs’ tenth anniversary season begins on Thursday, April 6, 2017, at 7:05 p.m. against the Pawtucket Red Sox and is highlighted by 33 weekend games, home dates on numerous holidays including Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend as well as a franchise-record 19 home games against either the Yankees’ or Red Sox’ Triple-A affiliate.
See you at the park,