SBD/March 20, 2014/Facilities

Texas Motor Speedway Unveils "Big Hoss TV," The World's Largest HD Video Board

Gossage said the 20,633.34-square-foot screen means fans won't miss a thing
Texas Motor Speedway lit up last night as track officials "unveiled the world's largest high-definition LED video board to the public," according to Richard Durrett of ESPN DALLAS. Sitting along the track's backstretch, the board -- "dubbed 'Big Hoss TV' and manufactured by Panasonic -- stands 12 stories high and provides 20,633.34 square feet of HD broadcasting." The imagery on the board is 79% "larger than the huge video board at AT&T Stadium." TMS' new structure "also eclipses Charlotte Motor Speedway," which previously held the record for the largest HD board. For the video board to work, it "requires its own control room that is housed adjacent to the timing and scoring booth in the suite level right above the start-finish line." That room has "five servers and two switchers that control the feed and the operator will have the ability to choose from 19 different cameras." TMS President Eddie Gossage said, "Our intent, our hope, is that those folks who are thinking about watching on TV will come. There's nothing like attending a live sporting event, but this means you won't miss a thing. To me, this is like the ultimate fan amenity." The board will "make its NASCAR debut" Sunday, April 6, for the Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 (ESPNDALLAS.com, 3/19). In Dallas, Jon Machota notes the board is "designed to hold its own against winds up to 130 miles per hour," and the strength of the LED bulbs has been "tested by having golf balls hit off the screen to simulate hail" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/20).

EVERYTHING IS BIGGER IN TEXAS: SMI Chair Bruton Smith, who owns the track, said of Gossage, "Under Eddie's persistence, he wanted to outdo another TV screen here in Texas. I finally surrendered." In Ft. Worth, Mac Engel writes Gossage "fully expects to attract other events, whether it’s automobile or trade shows, to his track with this massive TV set" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/20). Gossage said of drivers being distracted by the video board, "I don't think it’s going to be a problem for any of them. I think they're quite used to it there in Charlotte and more and more of these are going to come on-board at NASCAR tracks" ("NASCAR Now," ESPN2, 3/20).
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