Opening Day for the 2020 Major League Baseball season is finally just around the corner. As the season gets set to swing into action, there are several items of note and some new projects we are excited to showcase across the MLB landscape for 2020.
As we prepare for the new season, complete our ballpark checkups and fire up displays, here are 6 things to know for the upcoming season.
1 – Texas Rangers set to unveil Globe Life Field
The 2020 MLB season will mark the inaugural year for Texas Rangers baseball at new Globe Life Field in Arlington, and Daktronics long-standing relationship with the team continues on into the new ballpark. Globe Life Field will showcase eight LED displays, including the 6th largest video board in MLB, a fully-integrated 1,450 LCD IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) system, and Daktronics powerful Show Control System featuring Live Clips and Camino technology. The ballpark will incorporate over 18,600 square feet of LED video displays and 8.8 million LEDs. All but one LED board will be HDR-capable to bring better image quality to the content shown.
2 – Cincinnati Reds to introduce the 1st all-HDR LED system
For the 2020 season, the Reds’ Great American Ball Park will be the first MLB venue to have all of its LED displays in high-dynamic-range format (HDR). A total of 12 LED displays, including the left field main video board that will be the 7th largest in MLB, will create 16,750 square feet of digital space throughout the ballpark for the fully-integrated HDR system to provide better image quality to video and digital content for the Reds.
3 – Miami Marlins and Texas Rangers continue the trend of narrow pixel pitch displays in out-of-bowl applications
One of the larger trends in sports and entertainment venues is incorporating narrow pitch pixel displays in out-of-bowl areas such as concourses, lobbies, clubs, concessions and press backdrops to name a few. Venues continue to look and implement displays helping to convert what would be blank spaces around the venues into digital inventory with creative LED solutions.
At Marlins Park, the Marlins are adding a beer garden area on the main concourse which will feature a 2.5mm, 8’ x 14’ video board. At Globe Life Field, the Rangers will go digital with their press conference backdrop, a 7’ x 13’ 2.5mm board.
4 – Spring Training sites continued to upgrade to larger and tighter pixel pitch video displays
Fans attending spring training games expect a great fan experience just as they would receive at MLB ballparks. These more intimate ballparks continue to look at evolving the fan experience by installing larger video displays, and in some cases incorporating video technology for the first time. Statistics are a huge part of baseball which fans are enamored with. However, these ballparks also need the digital real estate to display all the pertinent in-game information fans want.
Currently, 20 of the 23 spring training sites rely on Daktronics for their main video board. In 2020, Salt River Fields (Diamondbacks & Rockies), Goodyear Ballpark (Indians & Reds) and TD Ballpark (Blue Jays) all feature new Daktronics video displays. CoolToday Park (Braves) added new LED displays towards the end of the 2019 season to help start off the 2020 season. And as displays are becoming larger, tighter pixel pitch video boards are making their presence at spring training sites as well with two of these sites incorporating 10mm pixel spacing.
5 – The shift to HDR-capable displays takes another big step
HDR-capable LED video boards have started a trend in major league sports over the past couple years and have taken a large step this year with the new systems at Globe Life Field and Great American Ball Park.
There are many important features to consider, especially when looking to make the jump to HDR. HDR isn’t about more pixels, it’s about better pixels! HDR can benefit a display of any resolution, but there are also many requirements for HDR-capable systems.
6 – Always advancing Daktronics control system features
We’re also excited to see ballparks incorporating some new control features this upcoming season. Show Control will help showcase the Rangers in their new ballpark, including implementing Live Clips and Camino technology.
The game of baseball has more breaks in the action than any other sport or game. There’s between every pitch, every inning, every mound visit and so on. When fans are at the ballpark, they want to be informed during these breaks in action all game long, and teams need ample information to keep them engaged. Because of this, and because stats are so important in baseball, we continue to develop and expand our control system features and our baseball stats packages to display every stat the baseball fan wants to see.
We also recently sat down with Tim Gunkel, Executive Director of Ballpark Technology and Procurement for the New York Mets, and Garret Young, Production Manager for the Houston Astros, to find how the Mets and Astros are focusing on the fan experience and what activities and fun things they employ to put on a good show.
CHECK OUT MORE information about our involvement in Major League Baseball and enjoy the upcoming season!