In the Pacific Northwest, professional soccer has a passionate following marked by authentic support for local teams.
The excitement for soccer is especially rampant in Portland, home to the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer and the Portland Thorns FC of the National Women’s Soccer League.
These teams play their home matches at Providence Park, a historic sports venue that was built in 1926 in the downtown area of the city
In May 2019, following an extensive expansion and remodel, the Portland Timbers and Thorns FC unveiled the results of an $85 million stadium transformation. The renovation includes a new three-tiered seating structure with over 4,000 new seats and a modern edge-to-edge roof on the eastern portion of the stadium. Additionally, both team locker rooms were renovated, new concession stands built, the turf field upgraded, and a new team store added.
Highlighting Providence Park’s transformation is a versatile array of high-tech LED video screens and LCD displays that are integrated throughout the stadium in a variety of ways to engage fans and drive excitement.
From Planar, as well as Lighthouse following a partnership with Planar in late 2018, the technology integrations include:
- LED video scoreboards
- Portrait-orientated LED video walls
- LED ribbon boards
- Commercial-grade LCD displays
“The display technologies really heighten the fan experience,” said Jack Jewsbury, director of business development at the Portland Timbers and Thorns FC
“Going from static to digital signage changes the stadium dynamic on game days, allowing better communication with fans and creating more opportunities to generate revenue through sponsorship placements.”
LED scoreboards expand digital opportunities
Behind the south goal, a new 76-foot-wide, 25-foot-tall signature LED scoreboard composed of Lighthouse 10mm pixel pitch LED video screens provides more than 150 percent additional display area compared to the previous scoreboard.
With a larger digital footprint, multi-source viewing is also now possible, according to Jewsbury
“To show a replay on the old board we had to break away from live action, but now we can show replays and live footage concurrently,” he said. “We can even have a replay sponsor to drive additional revenue.”
A secondary 46-foot-wide, 16-foot-tall LED scoreboard also designed with Lighthouse 10mm pixel pitch LED video screens replaces a static sponsor signage in the stadium’s northwest quadrant that previously would mimic the score on the primary scoreboard.
Video wall placements
What was once the blank exterior of the stadium’s south elevator shaft is now a giant Lighthouse LED video wall in portrait orientation. During the design phase, the Timbers and Thorns FC considered different options for the blank surface, such as a rock wall or mural.
But upon Planar’s suggestion, elected to go with an 18-foot- wide, 42-foot-tall LED video wall installation with a 10mm pixel pitch
On the lower portion of the northeast elevator shaft exterior, former static signage of a Tillamook Cheese block was replaced with a portrait-orientated 8-foot-wide, 20-foot-tall Planar CarbonLight CLO Series LED video wall with a 7.8mm pixel pitch (CLO7.8).
LED ribbon boards and LCD displays contribute to stadium’s modernization
The display technology improvements also feature three Lighthouse LED video arrays with a 16mm pixel pitch that are designed as continuous LED ribbon boards. The LED ribbon installations include a 307-foot-wide ribbon in the grandstand and a 97-foot-wide curved ribbon in the grandstand club, both in the stadium’s east end. The third is a 128-foot-wide ribbon in Providence Park’s Sunset Porsche Audi Suites, located in the stadium’s northwest corner.
Additionally, a total of 87 Planar LCD displays are integrated throughout Providence Park in the stadium’s concourse, concession areas, premium seating sections, team store and locker rooms. In each concession stand, two Planar LCD displays broadcast the game to ensure that fans visiting the concessions won’t miss a play, which encourages more sales.
The LCD displays are also used to advertise special merchandise and communicate other messages and information
“Every display offers the perfect resolution at their viewing distance. The digital technologies have elevated the video experience for fans in a massive way” — Jack Jewsbury, Director of Business Development at the Portland Timbers and Thorns FC