Real Madrid teams up with Daktronics for Bernabéu upgrades

Real Madrid has agreed a multi-year partnership with audiovisual systems manufacturer Daktronics, which will kit out the new-look Estadio Santiago Bernabéu as part of its ongoing redevelopment project.

Under its deal with the Spanish LaLiga football club, Daktronics will supply a 360-degree video scoreboard and an LED screen band that will run around the first level of the Bernabéu. Daktronics will design, manufacture and install a system comprising over 3,700 square metres of LED screens in the stadium, alongside Legaz Arquitectura e Ingeniería, its installation and maintenance partner.

The 360-degree video scoreboard combines 18 LED screens both inside and at the back. It’s set to become a crucial element of the matchday experience, as well as for other events held at the stadium. The interior corners will be fitted with screens that will allow curving of the image to offer a continuous, uninterrupted view of all the digital content on display.

Every one of the screens will boast 13HD pixel resolution to deliver top class image clarity and contrast from every seat in the stadium. They will allow the projection of a single large image or several areas of different content, including live video, instant replays, statistics, graphics, animations and sponsorship messages.

Daktronics will also be installing its Show Control solution as part of the package. This system provides a combination of screen control software, video processing, data integration and playback hardware as part of a production suite. 

Iván del Río, Daktronics regional manager, said: “As part of the process to decide on the design to be implemented, several different ideas and formats were assessed and considered and many existing projects were studied, until we arrived at the Halo 360 degree solution.

“This LED-screen configuration will ensure the Santiago Bernabéu is at the forefront of technology, on a level with the greatest stadiums around the world. The screens will allow Real Madrid to provide unique experiences both at their competitions and in the stadium’s various other uses going forward.”

In January, Real strengthened its ties with food, beverage, merchandise, retail and stadium operations giant Legends by reportedly agreeing a long-term deal with the US company for the commercial exploitation of the revamped Bernabéu.

Real was said to have agreed a 25-year contract with Legends through which the firm will be entitled to 20% of the profits from a new company managing the Bernabéu, subject to the delivery of certain income targets.

Real in December confirmed a second phase of financing for the redevelopment of the Bernabéu, stating the conditions it had secured represented the “best ever obtained” for a long-term arrangement in the sports industry.

The redevelopment project is expected to be completed at the beginning of 2023, with the costs having increased beyond the originally intended budget to between €800m (£673.7m/$846m) and €900m.

Rogers Centre upgrades

Meanwhile, Daktronics has detailed the upgrades it has carried out at Rogers Center, home of Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise the Toronto Blue Jays.

For the 2022 season, the Blue Jays have improved the home field advantage and game-day experience by continuing a partnership with Daktronics for 10 new LED displays at Rogers Centre. The total of 14,000-plus square feet of displays combining for more than 11 million LEDs were installed this offseason, including an HDR-capable main video display.

The new main video display is curved, HDR-capable and measures approximately 49 feet high by 110.5 feet wide. It is installed in centre field in an effort to bring an excellent viewing experience to Blue Jays fans throughout the stadium. The display features variable content zoning allowing it to show one large image or multiple zones of content.

Flanking the main display are four additional LED displays and content can be coordinated across all five displays for one main centre field viewing experience. Two displays mounted even with the bottom of the main display measure 15.5 feet high by 75.5 feet wide and two ribbon-style displays appear to extend out from the middle of the main display, measuring nearly 5 feet high by 75.5 feet wide. All centre field displays feature 10-millimeter pixel spacing.

“The new HDR-capable main video display and centre field display configuration at the Rogers Centre will deliver an amazing viewing experience for the Toronto Blue Jays, their players and fans,” said Daktronics president and CEO, Reece Kurtenbach. “We’re thrilled to continue our long-standing partnership with the team and to introduce this cutting-edge technology at their ballpark.”

Additional displays include a main ribbon display installed along the seating fascia measuring 3.5 feet high by 1,324 feet wide and featuring 16-millimeter pixel spacing. Two displays near the foul poles each measure six feet high by 32.5 feet wide and, along the outfield wall, two field-level fence displays each measure 9.5 feet high by 65 feet wide. These four displays feature 10-millimetre pixel spacing.

Earlier this month, Anthony James Partners (AJP), a subsidiary of ASM Global, announced the completion of major technology upgrades at Rogers Centre. The upgrades capped off a three-year phased audiovisual technology implementation, which AJP worked on alongside the Blue Jays and Rogers Communication, which owns the team.

Last month, the Blue Jays received approval to carry out further renovation work at Rogers Centre amid ongoing talks over a potential new stadium for the team. Rogers Centre’s clubhouse, training room and other facilities will be upgraded, while work is also set to be carried out in the 100 Level of the stadium.

Mark Shapiro, president and chief executive of the Blue Jays, said the work will provide the team with more time to assess a potential new stadium.

Images: Real Madrid & Daktronics