For Nuggets president Josh Kroenke, shopping for a new TV will never be the same.
After overseeing a project more than two years in the making, Kroenke was proud to unveil the new high-definition scoreboard and accompanying sound system at Pepsi Center on Monday.
The scoreboard will broadcast in a true 16:9 aspect ratio at 1080p HD and boasts a surface area of more than 4,400 square feet, making it the largest in the NBA or NHL. The length spans 3-point line to 3-point line for basketball and blue line to blue line for hockey.
“This is all about the fan experience,” said Tim Romani, president and CEO of ICON Venue Group, which managed the project. “When you’re talking about fan experience, it’s not necessarily what you saw or what you heard – it’s what you felt emotionally. These are the kinds of pieces that bring people back to the building.”
Romani was president of the Ascent Arena Company that opened Pepsi Center in 1999. The arena was built before HD technology revolutionized sports viewing, so he was eager to come full circle 14 years later.
“I always felt like there was something missing, and that was the audio and video,” Romani said. “It’s really an opportunity for me to complete unfinished business.”
Tom Philand, senior vice president of partnership marketing and media sales for Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, said discussions about upgrading the scoreboard began in 2011.
Working closely with Josh Kroenke and Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke, Philand, Romani visited arenas around North America to gather information about what would work best at Pepsi Center.
With a production design in place by February, construction on the scoreboard and other in-arena digital upgrades began when the Nuggets finished their season in early May. The board was designed by WJHW and installed by Daktronics. Diversified Systems handled the video production, while LVW Electronics installed the sound system.
“There’s a great sense of appreciation of the Kroenke family going forward with this and making the investment to change the dynamic so aggressively,” Philand said. “They only laid out one goal for us: We want the best. We want it to be the best quality. We want it to change everything about what it’s like to come to a game here.
“It’s all geared toward giving them what they are asking for. How do you give them real-time stats? How do you give them replays that make them feel like they’re part of the action? All these things are going to be available and change dynamically the experience of the game.”
Hockey fans will get their first look at the scoreboard when the Colorado Avalanche open their preseason schedule Wednesday.
“We’ll use the board and show it off, but we won’t show it off to its full capacity until opening night,” Philand said.
Nuggets fans will have to wait a little longer; Denver’s first preseason home game is Oct. 14.