Crew announces new video boards at Crew Stadium ahead of 2014 campaign

Multi-million dollar investments made in effort to enhance fan experience

COLUMBUS – The Columbus Crew today announced that manufacturing is underway for new state-of-the-art Crew Stadium video boards, most notably on the main scoreboard on the facility’s south side. Installation of a Daktronics main and auxiliary video board on the scoreboard, as well as ribbon displays on the east and west sides of the seating bowl, are set to be completed ahead of the Crew’s Opening Match on March 22 as the first topflight soccer-specific facility built in the United States opens its doors for its 16th season of Major League Soccer.

“We have been going through a thorough process of analyzing all of the different aspects of our club and where we need to make improvements, and it was fairly obvious that replacing the existing video board at the stadium was a top priority of Precourt Sports Ventures for improving the fan experience,” said Crew Chairman and Investor-Operator Anthony Precourt. “In addition to winning soccer matches and trophies, delivering a professional, high-quality and exciting experience at Crew matches is paramount to our success as an organization, and I am looking forward to this high-impact upgrade for the 2014 season.”

The Daktronics main video display is set to be expanded to nearly 17 feet in height and 66 feet in width, more than doubling the square-footage of the current video board. Its display – a 15 millimeter pixel layout – is capable of highlighting live video, instant replays and interactive fan promotions. The display can also be divided into separate windows to show a variety of vivid graphics, colorful animations, up-to-the-minute statistics, scoring information and sponsor advertisements. The auxiliary video display – located directly under the main display – is set to feature the same Daktronics 15 HD technology and measure nearly five feet high by 40 feet in width.

Two 42-foot-long ribbon displays – one located on each side of the seating bowl – also feature Daktronics 15 HD technology, providing the opportunity to showcase sponsors throughout events and provide real-time statistics and game information. These video upgrades – coupled with the LED field boards installed in 2012 and the full stadium audio system in 2013 – represent a significant investment to the fan experience by the organization over a three-year period.

PHOTO GALLERY

The club also invested in creating Premier East seating – the three center areas in sections 105, 106 and 107 – on the east side of the stadium. There, bench seating is being converted to individual chair-back seating. Additional renovations include investing in creating four more access points from these sections to the lower concourse concession stands and restrooms. The square footage of the lower concourse was also doubled in an effort to alleviate fan congestion before, during and after matches for both the lower east and west concourses. 

“These are significant upgrades for our fans and sponsors,” said Crew President Mark McCullers. “The new seats and concourse access points on the east side of the stadium are major improvements for the fan experience, and the new video board capabilities will allow us to create deeper fan engagement and feature our partners in a technologically advanced platform that provides greater value. I think these investments speak volumes about the commitment that Anthony is making to this community and Crew fans to ensure we provide the right type of experience to help grow our season ticket base and our corporate partnerships.”

The technology operating the new video boards is being integrated by iVideo Technologies. The Ohio-based company is focused on engineering, installing and supporting advanced audio, video and broadcast systems at Crew Stadium. The majority of the technology in the control room – including the LDX cameras, DYNO-S replay system and the GV Director switching unit – is provided by Grass Valley.

The Crew opens the home portion of its 2014 campaign against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, March 22 at 6:00 p.m. ET. Before then, players report for preseason camp on Friday, January 24 ahead of two separate training trips to Florida with a week of training back in Columbus in between. For more information on catching the Black & Gold in 2014 – visit TheCrew.com/tickets. Single-match tickets for all Crew regular-season home games in 2014 are now on sale. Prices range from $23 to $50 for advanced purchases, and through a special limited-time offer, all tickets purchased by midnight on Friday, January 24 are not subject to any online fees.

ABOUT THE COLUMBUS CREW
The Columbus Crew is Ohio's Major League Soccer club. Owned and operated by Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV), and one of the League's Charter Members, it won its first MLS Cup championship in 2008, and has also won the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and MLS Supporters’ Shield titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009. 2014 is the Crew’s 16th season at first-of-its-kind Crew Stadium, the first topflight soccer-specific facility built in the United States. Founded by the American sports pioneer Lamar Hunt, the club was purchased by PSV on July 29, 2013 as part of the privately held investment and management firm’s sports and entertainment business enterprise.

ABOUT CREW STADIUM
Crew Stadium is the first ever soccer-specific stadium in Major League Soccer. It opened its doors on May 15, 1999 to a sell-out crowd for a match against the New England Revolution. It has hosted numerous national and international events: eight U.S. Soccer FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – specifically four consecutive “Dos a Cero” victories for the U.S. over Mexico (2001, 2005, 2009, 2013) -- FIFA Women's World Cup matches and a number of concerts, including the annual three-day festival Rock on the Range, Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean. In 2008 the venue added a permanent stage in the North End, allowing for up to 35,000 fans to take in concerts and other marquee events.

ABOUT DAKTRONICS
Daktronics is recognized as the world’s leading provider of full-color LED video displays. Daktronics began manufacturing large screen, full-color, LED video displays in 1997. Since then, thousands of large screen video displays have been sold and installed around the world. Since 2001, independent market research conducted by iSuppli Corp. lists Daktronics as the world’s leading provider of large screen LED video displays. Daktronics has strong leadership positions in, and is the world’s largest supplier of, large screen video displays, electronic scoreboards, computer-programmable displays, digital billboards, and control systems. The company excels in the control of large display systems, including those that require integration of multiple complex displays showing real-time information, graphics, animation and video. Daktronics designs, manufactures, markets and services display systems for customers around the world, in sport, business and transportation applications. For more information, visit the company’s World Wide Web site at: http://www.daktronics.com, e-mail the company at sales@daktronics.com, call (605) 692-0200 or toll-free (800) 325-8766 in the United States or write to the company at 331 32nd Ave. PO Box 5135 Brookings, S.D. 57006-5135.

ABOUT iVIDEO TECHNOLOGIES
iVideo Technologies is a niche information technology firm focused on engineering, installing and supporting advanced audio, video and broadcast systems. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio with additional offices in Columbus and Cincinnati, iVideo Technologies (www.ivideo.com) is the largest audio, video and broadcast company headquartered in Ohio and one of the largest in the country. iVideo Technologies’ clients are located from Alabama to California and include some of the leading sports organizations in the world.

ABOUT GRASS VALLEY
Grass Valley is changing the way live television is made and delivered. Recognized with 18 Emmy® Awards for technology innovation, Grass Valley’s product portfolio—from image acquisition to playout—offers a complete end-to-end workflow of flexible, forward thinking solutions which enable broadcasters and content owners to build multiscreen, multiplatform futures. By simplifying and enhancing the way content is produced and distributed, Grass Valley gives customers the freedom they need to be creative in the studio, the field, and the newsroom. Merging optimizations of IT technologies with best-in-breed media systems, Grass Valley’s next generation solutions deliver higher quality and greater efficiencies. Customers include world-leading broadcasters, teleproduction facilities, service providers, government, religious, educational, corporate, and independent video professionals. Grass Valley is headquartered in Hillsboro, OR, and maintains local presence across the globe with offices throughout North and Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific regions.