The 2017 Major League Baseball (MLB) season officially started this past Sunday. In many ways Opening Day signifies so much more than simply the first day of baseball. It means spring is right around the corner, the hope and optimism for fans that this is their team’s year, championship aspirations for all 30 teams as they begin a new campaign towards the World Series, and for us, another round of successful installations at MLB ballparks around the league. While Opening Day looms large for the teams, it also serves as an unofficial national holiday for avid baseball fans. As teams practice and prepare to provide a quality game day on the field of play, so to do the staffs of each team’s front office, preparing strategies and tactics to entertain and engage fans while at the ballpark.

In the ongoing effort to enhance the fan experience, Opening Day looms large for us as well, as we look to support teams with the products and services that help in their efforts to provide a memorable game-day experience for all those in attendance at the ballpark. For the 2017 season, we are just finishing up installations at eight MLB ballparks including new LED displays for the Astros, Athletics, Brewers, Cubs, Phillies, Rays, Tigers and Yankees. We also provided major upgrades to several Spring Training venues.

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It seems like just yesterday the Cubs won that epic Game 7, and claimed their first World Series title in 108 years. One of the lasting images from the 2016 World Series was the historic marquee display outside Wrigley Field proudly displaying, “World Series Champions“. Maybe it was a touch of good luck or just coincidence, but prior to the 2016 season, we worked with the Cubs to upgrade the LED technology within that marquee display. Highlighting the Cubs success all season long, all of us at Daktronics were excited to see it proudly showcasing for all to see the Cubs accomplishment as World Champions.

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For the 2017 season, the Cubs again turned to Daktronics to provide additional upgrades around Wrigley Field, including a 1.9mm Narrow Pixel Pitch (NPP) LED display located in the lobby area at their corporate offices, several pylon video displays located in plaza areas, and a large exterior marquee display. These displays will complement the in-bowl integrated LED system at Wrigley Field installed in 2015, which included the left and right field video boards and several ribbon boards, helping the Cubs implement video displays at Wrigley Field for the first time in the ballpark’s storied 100-year history.

Bringing the first significant video installation to historic Wrigley Field wasn’t without challenge, as final installation needed to take place and be completed within 48 hours before Opening Night of the 2015 Major League Baseball season, hosted at Wrigley Field. In a herculean effort, with staff working around the clock, we were able to complete the installation and have everything ready to go for that opening night.

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All the displays at Wrigley Field will work together seamlessly to welcome fans, inform them as they make their way to the ballpark, and entertain and engage them all game long while in their seats. The outfield video boards have also shown their durability withstanding a few home run balls bouncing off them in the past two seasons.

The Cubs’ opponent in the 2016 World Series, the Cleveland Indians, are set to showcase the second season of their integrated super system that features the largest video display in baseball. At 59 feet tall by 221 feet wide, the Indians main video board is larger than a space shuttle and the Goodyear blimp.

The 2016 install at Progressive Field was the third time the Indians came back to Daktronics for major upgrades to the ballpark (they also in upgraded with us in 1994 & 2004). They partnered with us largely because of our ability to meet their needs in creating a product that can withstand the environmental conditions found at Progressive Field. These video boards too were proudly displayed during last season’s World Series for the whole world to see. To find out more about the integrated super system at Progressive Field visit www.daktronics.com/indians.

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As another MLB season starts, we are proud the be affiliated with all 30 teams in having a presence in each ballpark. In 2015, we provided pace-of-game timers at every MLB ballpark. We wish all 30 teams the best of luck this upcoming season as they set out for October and the World Series.

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Check us out at www.daktronics.com/mlb.

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