Daktronics Readies Rose Bowl Stadium for ‘The Next 100 Years’

The 88-year-old Rose Bowl Stadium, home of “The Granddaddy of Them All,” is looking a lot younger these days, thanks to a high-tech makeover by Daktronics.

As part of the three-year, $152 million Rose Bowl Renovation Project, Daktronics designed and installed a 15-mm LED video display board at the north end of the stadium. The new display measures 77 ft. by 30 ft. — more than three times larger than the previous board — and provides a wider viewing angle for better visibility, increased contrast, and image clarity. With 600 lines of vertical resolution and the ability to display 144 quadrillion shades of color, the board is used primarily to show live video and replays, crowd prompts, and other information.

“The original concept for the renovation project has been to embrace the stadium’s history while providing the technology and amenities that current patrons expect to find at any new sports venue,” says Margo Mavridis, project director, Rose Bowl Operating Co. “The new video board has been a large part of helping us achieve this project objective.”

On the south end of the stadium, a vintage scoreboard combines LED digits with an analog clock in a custom architectural design.

“This is a great upgrade for the Rose Bowl,” says Robin Hall, region manager, Daktronics. “The LED technology gives them the opportunity to preserve the history and tradition, while offering the fans additional entertainment value. In addition, the new system allows new avenues and inventory for sponsorship and revenue.”

The video board and scoreboard include LED advertising displays that will provide digital signage for sponsors as well as real-time statistics, out-of-town scores, time, and game information. Additional digital displays will line the east side of the stadium.

“Daktronics had one of its busiest fall seasons in years, providing 25 integrated scoring and video systems for college football programs across the country,” says Mark Steinkamp, marketing director, Daktronics. “The Rose Bowl project was among the largest. It’s a fantastic system for the historic venue, blending new technology with the great traditions of the stadium and the teams that play there.”

The Next 100 Years
Installation of the video display, scoreboard, and advertising panels marks the completion of Phase I of the Rose Bowl Renovation Project. The project, also termed “The Next 100 Years,” is expected to be completed before the 100th Rose Bowl Game, in 2014.

Next on the agenda is a video control room upgrade, slated for completion next season.  The Rose Bowl installed a Click Effects video server system this year in preparation for next year’s planned HD upgrade.  With plans underway to move the video control room from its current location on the second level of the venue to the fourth, those involved in the renovations opted to upgrade the control room equipment after the move was complete.

“We didn’t want to move all the new equipment twice,” explained Mavridis. “We integrated [the Daktronics boards] with the existing equipment this year. Next year, when we move the location of the video control room, [we will transition to] new equipment and a new location at one time.”

In addition to the technological enhancements led by Daktronics, the renovations will improve fan safety and enhance the fan experience by widening tunnels from 2.5 sq. ft. per person to 4 sq. ft., increasing concessions and restrooms, and adding a limited number of modernized luxury suites, loge boxes, club seats, and lounge areas.

The premium seating will be completed as part of a substantial reconstruction planned for the press box, the only renovations that will take place during the football season (Rose Bowl Stadium hosts UCLA football home games in addition to the Rose Bowl Game played each January). The renovated press box will measure 55,000 sq. ft. — more than six times the size of the previous press area — and be completed in 2013 as part of the project’s Phase III.

The largest investment in the history of the stadium also includes lease extensions that keep UCLA football at the Rose Bowl through 2042, and “The Granddaddy of Them All” at its namesake venue through 2043.

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