Every season, the Atlanta Hawks battle it out with fellow NBA teams for the championship title. This year, they’re battling for more: to have the best arena in the league. And the recent $200 million renovations to their home turf, State Farm Arena, are helping them crush the competition.
With a golf course, a barber shop and new-and-improved club experiences, the building is like an amusement park and a basketball stadium all rolled into one. But the showpiece of the renovation? The first ever continuous 360-degree center-hung screen, made possible by Prismview.
When every amenity is added up, the arena provides its audiences with an experience that is simply unmatched — at every level of viewing.
Fighting to make a mark in displays
In a day when you can watch basketball games from the palm of your hand or the comfort of your living room teams face added pressure to draw in audiences.
“If you think about it, the biggest competition we have is your living room. We have to figure out a way to get you off the couch, buy a ticket, and come watch the game in-person,” says Neil Hawley, director of project management at Prismview.
But the Hawks management doesn’t want to just sell front-row seats. They want a packed stadium from floor to rafters. They needed the best, clearest pictures.
In a competitive shootout for the project, dozens of display providers gathered in the State Farm Arena parking lot to show their stuff. It’s an unconventional preference, but Prismview is jumping at the opportunity to prove its worth. And with a refresh rate of 49,000Hz — 36,000Hz more than the closest competitor — Prismview displays are unbeatable.
“We’re rewriting the narrative when we’re asking for shootouts,” David Frost, sports sales at Prismview says. “We want to show how much better ours is compared to the competition. That’s where we win time and time again.”
Getting the job done
The substantial renovation of a pro stadium is great on paper, but when it comes to executing, there are a lot of real-world factors to consider. As a retrofit renovation, the construction had to work within the confines of the existing structure — and get done in time for the season’s opener.
“The biggest challenge of jobs like these is that as the tech people, we’re the last ones on site. We have to wait for cement guys, lighting guys, elevator guys, seating guys, everyone,” Hawley says. “If anything falls behind schedule, we still have to deliver, because no matter what, opening night is October 24.”
To meet the strict deadline, Prismview had to be flexible, especially in working around the Hawks’ practices. But it’s not as simple as just going in and plugging in the displays.
“LED displays are not like a TV. You can’t just plug in a power cord and they all work,” Hawley says. “They’re modularized, so you have to qualify the display and make sure every module works. That takes time.”
With ample experience delivering to tight schedules, the displays were all up-and-running by 10 p.m. on October 23.
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Bringing the fans together
After Prismview’s tireless work, 12,000 square feet of LED video, over 30.42 million LED pixels, and the first 6mm pixel pitch displays in the NBA, combine to offer viewers 10 times more LED than before. And the seamless 360-degree, center-hung gives every fan a crystal-clear view of the game.
But more than just flashy new amenities, these improvements bring the close-knit Atlanta community together. LED-enabled wristbands were handed out to every fan and flashed to the beat of the music. And as one Atlanta reporter pointed out, “the energy was higher than I’ve seen at a Hawks game in a long time.”
Now, looking down from the highest seats in the newly renovated State Farm Arena, you would never think you were in the nosebleeds. “You’re two stories up and you can still see the beads of sweat of the players,” Hawley says. “No matter where you are in the arena, you’re never far from the game.”
This continuity of experience is something that hasn’t existed in the past in sports. The State Farm Arena transformation is changing that, and showing other teams what is possible with new displays.
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