Safeco Field will boast the largest high definition video display screen in Major League Baseball starting in 2013.
The 56.7-feet high by 201.5-feet wide display will replace the scoreboard that has been above the centerfield seats since the stadium opened in 1999. The entire screen is the same size as the current scoreboard, but because the entire thing is a high definition screen, the video space itself is nearly 10 times the size of the current video screen.
The Mariners say the viewing area is equal to about 2,182 42-inch flat screen TVs.
“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.
For those who want to geek out on the specs, the Mariners write:
The new Panasonic HD video screen will combine 1080p x 3840 screen resolution and Surface Mount LED technology, which uses more pixels and therefore produces higher quality images. Paired with the latest ANC Sports VisionSOFT operating system, Safeco Field’s new video screen will have image quality that is superior to broadcast HD signals. VisionSOFT is the first 64-bit operating system in large format live event display.
“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 Mariners said the video screen and other production upgrades are part of an estimated $15 million maintenance and capital improvement plan for Safeco Field. The Mariners said it has invested over $80 million in the ballpark since it opened.
The Mariners open the home schedule April 8 against their new division rival, the Houston Astros. In addition to the video board, the outfield walls are being moved in with the hopes of providing more home runs at the stadium.