SBJ/Sept. 30-Oct. 7, 2013/NFL Stadium Experience

Assessment of NFL video boards

Our reporters give their take on the video boards, and the content they showed, during game day.

Seahawks at Panthers, Sept. 8
Bank of America Stadium
Carolina’s video boards fail to measure up to newer, bigger boards elsewhere
Photo by: AP IMAGES
The video quality is fine, but Bank of America Stadium has two of the NFL’s smallest video boards compared with much larger screens at other stadiums. As a result, the two end-zone screens devoted to live action and replays are a downgrade for fans accustomed to watching the NFL at home on large, HD televisions. As a Panther fan, I would feel cheated considering the monster boards installed over the past five years at the Georgia Dome and FedEx Field, the two NFL markets closest to Charlotte, as well as at Williams-Brice Stadium in nearby Columbia, S.C.
— Don Muret

Buccaneers at Jets, Sept. 8
MetLife Stadium
Big boards populate corners at MetLife Stadium.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
The visual quality is excellent. They show largely fans, some player stuff. A couple of first-down clips — one showing fans in Manhattan doing first-down gestures, another showing jets flying in. Some sponsor stuff. There was a tribute to James Gandolfini. The content did get repetitive. For example, they have the two first-down spots. Why not more, why not mix it up? I also had a hard time understanding the audio. I could make out some of it but didn’t really hear a lot, especially some of the player stuff. All in all, I felt like it was a big miss.
— Daniel Kaplan

Bengals at Bears, Sept. 8
Soldier Field
They have good video quality on both boards in each end zone, with heavy use of replays. Video programming began 50 minutes before game time with player warmups. Limited but effective use of fan cams, blended with statistics. Balanced audio. Most video content was sponsored, but it was not a distraction in the presentation. Replays were shown after almost every play, with a crawl explaining the action, who carried the ball, made the tackle, etc. This was a good add-on and helped fans follow the action. Overall, the video board is not overwhelming in the game presentation. The overall content is as much informative as entertaining, with a good variety ranging from statistics to fan cams.
— John Lombardo

Eagles at Redskins, Sept. 9
FedEx Field
Video quality was fine. No noticeable hiccups from the main video boards behind each end zone. The LED boards that ringed the stadium appeared to be extremely high quality. There were some highlight packages, all involving the Redskins. Some commercials. Some crowd shots. The content did not get repetitive. There didn’t seem to be too much of it to start with, and no spots were particularly memorable. This appears to be a missed opportunity to me.
— John Ourand

Jets at Patriots, Sept. 12
Gillette Stadium
The quality of the board is very good. It generally shows continuous game action, with cheerleaders and crowd shots during breaks. It was a bit too much on the crowd and could use some original content.
— Daniel Kaplan

Chargers at Eagles, Sept. 15
Lincoln Financial Field
The Eagles offered a clear look at the scores.
Photo by: TERRY LEFTON / STAFF
Good to excellent video quality. The next generation of boards next year will undoubtedly be better. But the ones now are good, easily visible and large. The audio also is clear. They primarily show replays with some crowd shots. All in all, it was fine — just enough, not too much.
— Terry Lefton

Browns at Ravens, Sept. 15
M&T Bank Stadium
The quality of the video was good, except during booth reviews and NFL RedZone highlights, when sponsor messages would appear on screen, thereby shrinking the picture. I didn’t find any of the content to be too repetitive. Some, like spots for Under Armour and Ford, were meant to be repetitive. But overall, the board was complementary to the game. It showed live video of plays, and sometimes I watched the board instead of the on-field action.
— John Ourand

Rams at Falcons, Sept. 15
Georgia Dome
The video boards are huge and easy to see, especially since there’s no glare from the sun. The content was mostly predictable and not unlike what I had seen the week before at the Panthers’ opener. Lots of random fan shots, players walking through the tunnel and onto the field, as well as the occasional promotion. During the early pregame, the video board urged fans to tag their photos from Instagram with #STLatATL. The hashtag flashed on and off the video board so fast, I bet it was hard for most people to memorize it. Photos with that hashtag designation were put on the board, but they typically ran eight to 10 photos at a time, making them hard to see.

The one video that got the crowd fired up the most came just before kickoff. The Falcons’ motto is “Rise Up” and just before the game starts, Samuel L. Jackson stars in a video short as a preacher in front of a large choir. With Jackson preaching and the choir singing, the crowd reaches a crescendo just as the kicker’s foot connects with the ball. Once the game started, the huge video boards were a great place to follow the action. Each play was followed by at least one replay, and often more. Nearly all of the replays were from multiple field levels.
— Michael Smith

Broncos at Giants, Sept. 15
MetLife Stadium
The board quality is excellent, though the audio wasn’t that clear. The content was fairly tame — the game, some prompts, some players, fan shots and that’s about it. The Giants are about the game, little else. They will use replay and show the game on video boards, but that’s about it. I was happy they did not bombard me with ads.
— Daniel Kaplan


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