Mariners installing gigantic scoreboard

Seattle Mariners will be able to boast about having the largest scoreboard in MLB next season as a high definition video display system will replace the main scoreboard in centerfield at Safeco Field.

“The Mariners are committed to building a winner on the field and providing fans with a great experience at the ballpark. After 13-plus seasons, fans have been asking, ‘When are we going to replace the scoreboard?’ It’s time,” said Kevin Martinez, Seattle Mariners Vice President of Marketing.

The new video display will fill the same location and space as the old scoreboard that was built in 1999, during the inaugural season of Safeco Field, but because the entire scoreboard is a high definition screen, the video space itself is nearly 10 times the size of the current video screen. The viewing area will be equal to about 2,182 42-inch flat screen TVs.

“Northwest sports fans have never seen anything like this. From the high-resolution imagery to the dynamic presentation, this new video screen provides the flexibility to present real-time game information in a way we’ve never been able to do until now,” said Martinez.

The new Panasonic HD video screen uses more pixels and therefore produces higher quality images and combines 1080 X 3840 screen resolution and Surface Mount LED technology. The image quality will be superior to broadcast HD signals and will be paired with the latest ANC Sports VisionSOFT operating system. ANC Sports is a long-time Mariners partner for signage operations and integration at Safeco Field.

“1080p live sports is an experience unavailable in ballparks or to home viewers until now. It’s like the difference between normal HD programming and a Blu-ray disc, except displayed on an enormous scale. You’ll be able to see details like blades of grass and the texture of the infield dirt. Fans will be amazed when they see it,” said Dave Curry, Seattle Mariners Vice President of Technology.

The entire board can be programmed for live action or video replays or split into sectors for graphics, animation and statistical data. “There is a growing desire among fans to delve more deeply into individual player statistics and the new board will let us present the stats, along with everything else, in a way that we think will improve the game experience,” said Martinez.

“We’ve made a conscious effort to design the graphics to fit the overall design and architecture of Safeco Field. The presentation will be crisp and clean and will even incorporate some classic ballpark elements seen not only at Safeco Field, but in some of the game’s classic ballparks,” said Martinez.

The scoreboard and production upgrades, including a LED Out-of-Town scoreboard system installed in left field in 2010 and LED ribbon boards installed in Terrace Club fascia in 2011 are part of an estimated $15 million maintenance and capital improvement plan for Safeco Field to be completed before the 2013 season. The current improvements are scheduled to be completed in time for the home opener on April 8 vs. the Houston Astros.

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