New York Mets Anticipate Bright Future With New Daktronics Display at Citi Field
On a sunny — but chilly — April morning, the New York Mets welcomed the local media to Citi Field to unveil a number of elements for this season, the crown jewel of which is the new high-resolution Daktronics videoboard in centerfield.
Measuring 62% larger than its processor — the venue’s original Citi Vision display, installed in 2009 — the new videoboard stretches 54 ft. high by 105 ft. wide and features 13HD technology. The board comprises more than 1.5 million pixels and more than 4.6 million LEDs and, according to Daktronics, is equivalent to 299 80-in. television sets.
“Looking at it from here, you can see it’s significantly larger than last year and a much higher quality,” said Lou DePaoli, EVP/chief revenue officer, New York Mets. “Since the centerfield scoreboard is generally the centerpiece that most fans look at during the game, we think this is going to make a big impact on the fans’ experience when they come to a ballgame this year.”
One of the 10 largest video displays in Major League Baseball, the Citi Field videoboard will continue to shine bright and show excellent image clarity and contrast even in the direct midseason sunlight. The Mets and Daktronics opted to maintain the aesthetic of Citi Field’s original architecture and, rather than install a mammoth new video display, designed one that would maximize the space allotted for the videoboard yet fit within the existing steel structure.
Because of the 13HD technology, fans seated anywhere in Citi Field will have a prime viewing angle of the display. “It’s big, especially in baseball. When you have only one video display, you’re having people watch it from the left-field seats, the right-field seats, from up above it, down below it, every different direction,” said Jay Parker, VP, live events, Daktronics. “The viewing angles are very critical because you want to give every fan the same experience: whether they’re sitting in left or right field or sitting behind home plate, you want to show them a great image.”
Throughout the season, the Mets will experiment with highlighting one image across the videoboard or divide the display into multiple sections to show scoring, statistical information, graphics, animation, sponsor messages, and special announcements. The team kept its right-centerfield video display — a Daktronics board installed in 2009 — intact for additional video and information.
Citi Field also replaced left-field static signage with new fascia displays approximately 5 ft. high by 234 ft. wide. The team hopes the digital signage — also 13HD — will drive revenue, with advertisers purchasing a half inning of exclusivity.
The venue also unveiled the “K Board” behind home plate. A nod to the “K cards” at Shea Stadium, the K Board is approximately 5 ft. high by 49 ft. wide and will record Mets pitchers’ strikeouts per game.
“This is going back to our roots,” said DePaoli. “[With the] arms that we have on our staff this year, we’re expecting a lot of strikeouts from our guys, and we think they’re going to become a real focal point in the ballpark. [We can] show the number of strikeouts, animate the strikeouts, [post] frontwards K’s or backwards K’s; there’s a lot of opportunity here to do some great activation with some of our partners.”
In total, the stadium, now celebrating its seventh season, boasts more than 17,000 sq. ft. of LED video displays, up from 13,500 sq. ft. The beauty of the LED video canvas, said DePaoli, is the ability to sync the boards for a single moment of exclusivity, be it a sponsor message or a Mets home run.
Outside the stadium, fans traveling to the game along the Whitestone Expressway will notice a new Daktronics 15HD marquee display. At 54 ft. high by 40 ft. wide, the display is more than three times the size of a standard billboard. The entire structure is nearly 100 ft. tall and 40 ft. wide, with the display starting 26 ft. off the ground for maximum driver visibility.
Although the videoboard was certainly the focal point of the tour, the Mets used the media event to show off another change that made headlines during the offseason: the field dimensions. Last fall, the team announced that portions of the outfield wall will be moved in 3-11 ft.
And of course, no tour of new stadium offerings would be complete without a look at this season’s promotions (Free Shirt Fridays, Fireworks Night, a Jacob DeGrom Garden Gnome giveaway on May 2), concerts, and, best of all, concession-stand offerings. Citi Field announced new culinary partners Josh Capon and Rao’s Specialty Foods, as well as a number of new menu offerings — each more delicious than the last.