With places like Mercedes-Benz Stadium and T-Mobile Arena blowing their fans away with technological feats, we know the main event is a big place for video displays. But we’re seeing our technology in use outside of the traditional game-day environment.
Training and practice facilities are using video displays to help with the learning process, to simulate the game-day atmosphere and to create a space for additional events. When it comes to professional football, training camp has become a huge fan event as well. Teams like the Minnesota Vikings are introducing LED technology into that space to build upon the fan experience.
TCO Performance Center, home to Minnesota Vikings training camp, has installed a 30-foot-high by 54-foot-wide LED video display at the end of their practice field featuring the same technology as inside U.S. Bank Stadium. Standard scoreboards and game clocks were also installed at the facility to help the team replicate real-game situations during practice. (And for all those Allen Iverson fans out there, yes, we’re talking about practice!)
This is a huge benefit to the team. Not only will they be able to have a simulated game-day atmosphere for practicing certain scenarios, but they also have a massive TV to watch game and practice film. Coaches can use it as a teaching tool while players are on the field. Players can see the formations, adjust and practice the adjustments right away.
From an organizational perspective, the display also helps thank training camp sponsors, shares the schedule for the upcoming season and offers additional advertising opportunities to generate revenue. From a community perspective, the venue can now host special events for the public from movie nights to high school football games. It’s a fully-equipped venue adding to the possibilities for the surrounding area.
The Vikings aren’t the only sports team to unlock the potential of video displays outside of the regular season game-day setting. Great Park Ice & Fivepoint Arena, the Anaheim Ducks training facility, has done the same thing, but indoors, with a four-sided centerhung video display system. Each side measures approximately 8.5 feet high by 14.5 feet wide and features 10-millimeter line spacing.
Like the Vikings, the Ducks use their system to replicate game situations, but they open the facility to the community for public skating, private lessons and skating classes, youth and adult hockey leagues, and open stick time where people can work on their hockey skills on the same ice used by the pros.
Similarly, Real Salt Lake Training Academy, the training facility for the professional soccer team, incorporated similar LED technology. They receive all the same benefits as the Vikings and Ducks while also hosting exhibition matches in front of a crowd. Real Salt Lake also included pitch-level displays to maximize the impact for their sponsors during these matches. In this case, the setting is the same as other live sporting events.
In the past, we’ve talked about professional baseball and how their spring training has become a major fan destination. In those settings, main video displays have been introduced as if the spring venue is the regular season venue with the goal of maximizing fan entertainment at all live events.
It’s not only the professional teams. Colleges such as the University of Oklahoma, the University of Georgia and the University of Houston have incorporated video displays into their training facilities as well. At the collegiate level, the focus is generally on the training and real-time adjustments to game and practice film, but additional events are always a possibility as they know they now have the technology to pull it off.
Seeing the benefits of having video capabilities over standard timing is a trend spreading across the entire sports landscape. Will there be a new video display at an NFL training camp near you next year? The odds are in your favor.