SBJ/August 15-21, 2011/Facilities

Daktronics gets the call on IPTV installation at Florida Marlins' new ballpark

The Florida Marlins have selected Daktronics to produce the Internet protocol television network at their new ballpark.

It is a big victory for Daktronics, the South Dakota company best known for supplying scoreboards for arenas and stadiums. The Marlins’ deal is the firm’s first IPTV installation at a major league facility and second overall in a sports venue.

Claude Delorme, the Marlins’ executive vice president of ballpark development, refused to disclose the value of Daktronics’ IPTV system. Elsewhere, those programs can run well into seven figures, and went as high as $15 million for Cisco’s installation at Yankee Stadium.

The Marlins also considered Cisco and Harris Corp., the tech firm that supplied the IPTV system at Amway Center and is a founding partner for the Magic at its new arena in Orlando.

Recent IPTV installations

FACILITY IPTV VENDOR # OF SCREENS TV SUPPLIER
New Marlins Ballpark Daktronics 700 TBA
Livestrong Sporting Park Cisco Stadium Vision 300 Panasonic
Amway Center HarrisCorp. 1,100 Samsung
Consol Energy Center Cisco Center Vision 800 LG
KFC Yum! Center Daktronics 414 Sony
New Meadowlands Stadium Cisco Stadium Vision 2,200 Sony
Target Field Cisco Stadium Vision 650 Insignia

Source: SBJ research

Daktronics’ first IPTV project was for the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, where it came in with a low bid of $1.1 million. The 22,000-seat college basketball arena opened in October.

Daktronics produced the arena’s center-hung scoreboard and LED ribbon boards, and all signage in the seating bowl is connected to the building’s 400-plus televisions.

IPTV technology enables teams to send dozens of messages on video screens throughout a facility and customize the information depending on who’s sitting in those seats. For advertising purposes, an automaker, for example, can run a commercial for a luxury car in the suites, and at the same time, show an ad for an SUV to a family sitting in the upper deck.

Cisco’s StadiumVision product, or CenterVision, as it’s branded at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, allows suite holders to order food and drink in the suites through touch-screen technology. The flexibility of those digital display systems extends to menu boards at concession stands that can change prices and images during a game at the push of a computer key.

In south Florida, the Marlins decided Daktronics provided the best value for their $515 million ballpark, Delorme said.

Similar to Louisville, Daktronics is supplying the high-definition video board for the Marlins’ park, measuring 102 feet wide and 51 feet tall, and its ribbon boards, out-of-town scoreboard and other digital displays.

“What we really liked was the synergy of the system, with all the scoreboard information linking seamlessly with the televisions,” Delorme said. “We have one supplier with a strong presence, which also helps with maintenance issues.”

Officials with Daktronics, a publicly-traded company, could not comment last week because the deal had not been signed.

In Miami, the Marlins’ new park opens April 1 with the first of two exhibition games against the Yankees.

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