A Prime Display Location You’ve Seen, But Never Heard of

In the recent months, Daktronics has seen a large number of arena installations in the college and pro sports markets. Control specialists like myself have worked around the clock with venue staffs to prepare for upcoming basketball, volleyball, and hockey seasons. In many of these cases, the arena has a centerhung display fascia display that typically wraps around the entire arena bowl, courtside tables, and vomitory displays.

Because of their location in the arena bowl, vomitory displays offer a perfect location to hang LED displays for sponsorship exposure. These displays often integrate with the rest of the display system to create a cohesive look inside the bowl and allow for full moments of exclusivity. They may vary in shape and size, but all provide a prime location to catch the eyes of crowds exiting the venue.


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Although these displays provide excellent sponsor exposure opportunities, many people are unfamiliar with the term “vomitory” as a way to describe this common location for displays. After many quizzical looks over the few past months, I decided to do some research on the history of the word.

Where does the word “vomitory” come from?

The word actually dates back to the 1730’s and comes from the Latin word vomitorium (plural vomitoria), and refers to “an entrance piercing the banks of seats of a theater, amphitheater, or stadium.” The design of the vomitorium was used in ancient Roman architecture, which paved the way for the design of the modern stadiums and arenas we have today. The Roman Colosseum was built with 76 vomitoria, allowing the venue to fill with 50,000 spectators in just 15 minutes.

Does it have anything to do with vomiting?

No. Although the two words sound similar, the vomitory is not a designated place to lose your lunch. This is a common misconception and one that seems to be the first in everyone’s mind when I mention the new displays in this location. Through history, various writers have incorrectly linked the term with meaning a dedicated place for the Romans to go and purge (so that they could go back for seconds), which only fuels the confusion. Today, we encourage sports fans to use the restrooms if the need arises…rather than the space below, around, or on the vomitory display.

Although an unfamiliar vocabulary word for most, vomitory displays are a key part of many arena display systems. In many cases, they are an underutilized digital canvas that if maximized, could create big moments using your entire display system in a coordinated content segment. 

For a consultation on how you can integrate your vomitory displays with the rest of your show, contact professional.services@daktronics.com. To learn more on industry trends with our displays, follow our blog for updates.

Authored by Adam – Control System Specialist (Operations).

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