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The Ever-Evolving Videoboard Game

Golden 1 Video_Board_Rendering-1000x800

This summer has been the best of times for the championship-starved city of Cleveland. Thanks to the Cavaliers, occupants of Quicken Loans Area, Cleveland is enjoying its first professional championship since 1964.

But while the city embraces one NBA title, another is about to slip through its grasp. If there is one league that appreciates the idea of bigger being better, it’s the NBA, and while championships are usually contested on the court, there’s another annual competition taking place high above it.

Since 2014, Quicken Loans Area has been known for more than just hosting Lebron James and the greatest homecoming in sports history. Two years before the Cavs hoisted the NBA championship trophy, the arena hoisted the biggest videoboard in NBA history.

Dunks, three-pointers, Kiss-Cams, if you attended a Cavaliers game in the past two seasons and if you tilted your head upwards, you saw all these highlights and so much more like no other fan in the NBA.

But now, if you want to see Lebron perform like the King on the biggest video board in the NBA, you have to catch the Cavs on the road. In the latest benchmark in the NBA’s arms race [in HD, no less], the kings are, indeed, the Sacramento Kings.

Whether it’s going to be Boogie Cousins on the floor or a fan shamelessly boogie-ing to disco music during a timeout, the images beaming down from high above courtside in Sacramento’s new Golden 1 Center, will be the most immense and intense in NBA history.

The new video board in the new arena totals over 6,100 square feet and will span over 84 feet, dwarfing the Kings’ previous video board at seven times the size. Consider, a regulation NBA court is 94 feet, so this video board literally runs foul-line to foul-line – even further, in fact.

Built by Panasonic Enterprise Solutions, the four-screen LED display, with individual boards measuring 44-feet by 24-feet, totals more than 32 million pixels, allowing for replays of Rajon Rondo’s turnovers to be seen in 4K ultra HS, four times greater than 1080 HD resolution.

In other words, this video board is MASSIVE, and is the latest in greatest in the video board revolution that began its modern era in the NBA in Houston in 2012.

Of course, everything is bigger in Texas. AT&T Stadium in Arlington was once the envy of the video board world, in 2010.  Since then, it has been surpassed NRG Stadium in Houston as the claim for largest videoboard among Texas NFL stadiums.

But when it comes to the NBA arena, Houston’s Toyota Center took the heavyweight title for video boards in 2012.  The video board, also built by Panasonic, set the modern standard at the time with main boards that measured 25-feet high by 58-feet wide. The side boards were a tidy 25-by-25. It was an improvement over the original 2003 boards by 600 percent.

“This is an exciting day for Toyota Center and the more than 1.3 million patrons who attend events here each year,” Rockets Chief Executive Officer Tad Brown said in 2012. “These improvements, along with many others, will provide Toyota Center patrons with an unmatched in-arena experience for many years to come.”

Well, make that one year.

Progress comes quickly in the NBA, be it by ping-pong ball or by light bulb. No sooner had Houston settled into its seat as video board champion, only for the Denver Nuggets to make a run at the title, installing a video board at the Pepsi Center in 2013 that measured 27-feet high by 48-feet wide.

But it wasn’t until Cleveland brought back Lebron in 2014 that Quicken Loan Area assumed the video board throne.

How serious were the Cavs about making Cleveland the 21st-century’s Titletown? The new video board, designed by ANC Sports, measured 31.5-feet high and 55.69 feet wide on its main sides, while the end boards measured an eye-popping 29.92 feet by 33.07 feet, for a total square footage of 5,550.

“It’s the biggest, the best and it has flaming sabers!” the arena announced.

Rendering courtesy of the Sacramento Kings

This article originally appeared in the weekly Arena Digest newsletter. Are you a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the free weekly newsletter.

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