NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Titans promised their fans bigger and better, and they're coming through with video boards almost as large as those at Cowboys Stadium trying to put the home theater experience into their NFL stadium.
"We are certainly making it our top priority to keep fans coming and have a great time and give them reason to come to LP Field as opposed to staying at home and watching it on high-definition television," Titans executive vice president Don MacLachlan said Monday.
The team announced plans for $25 million in improvements last October, and work started this offseason stripping old signage and speakers making room for 800 new speakers to go with video ribbons between the lower and upper levels along with new elevators to the upper deck. But the highlight of the renovation project comes this week with the delivery of equipment for the new video boards, which will be the biggest in any NFL outdoor stadium in the end zones.
The video boards will stand 157 feet wide and 54 feet high, just under the Cowboys' boards that measure 160 feet wide by 72 high. In Baltimore, the Ravens' video boards measure 100 feet wide and 27 feet high.
"They're all state of the art, and they'll be certainly a reason for fans to come, let alone the environment you get at an NFL game to begin with," said MacLachlan, who's in charge of administration and facilities for the team. "All these enhancements will take our fans' experience at LP Field to an entirely new level."
ANC Sports Enterprises is installing all the video ribbons and the boards in the end zones, and president Jerry Cifarelli says these boards take advantage of technology new to outdoor stadiums offering 16-millimeter surface mount pixel display to offer the sharpest display possible close to a 1080p picture. The technology has been available for about five years and used at indoor arenas and stadiums and only now is being introduced to outdoor stadiums.
"The experience should be as if you're in front of your TV set at home, no different," Cifarelli said.
The Titans and ANC also will be using all the video ribbons and video boards to provide the in-game statistics and current updates on other NFL games, the kind of information fantasy fans so desperately crave. ANC, based in Purchase, N.Y., assisted with the software for the boards at the Cowboys' stadium but has a 10-year contract to manage the content and displays for the Titans. Cifarelli said the Titans want to create a different experience inside the stadium.
"We're trying to do everything in a real classy way, and that's obviously important to the Titans," Cifarelli said. "It's not just throwing all these displays out there. It's a coordination of how to display the information. It's almost like a TV production, so it's really making sure everything's done as pleasing as possible and not all flashing lights and crazy animations."
The CMA Music Festival just wrapped up four nights of concerts at LP Field, so Cifarelli's crews are busy delivering equipment this week. Installation of all the new video boards and equipment is expected to be done by early August. The NFL scheduled the Titans' first two preseason games on the road to give them time to wrap up all the renovations. MacLachlan said fans at the music festival were disappointed not to be able to use the elevators where the shafts have been built with more work still remaining.
The deadline for show time will be Aug. 23 when the Titans host the Arizona Cardinals in a nationally televised exhibition on ESPN.
"It will be a fun game Aug. 23 for all the fans to see what we've really got to offer and for our fans to just be able to celebrate the fact it's going to be an entirely new environment at LP Field, not just for Titans' games but for any event held there for years to come," MacLachlan said.