SVG Hosts Venue Technology Event in Kansas City

By Ken Kerschbaumer

The Sports Video Group hosted the first-annual Sports Venue Technology Summit earlier this week in Kansas City, MO. Architects from such firms as 360 Architecture, HOK Sport, Ellerbe Becket, and HNTB Architecture had an opportunity to learn about next-generation venue technology — scoreboards, HD acquisition gear, fiber infrastructure — while also learning how to make new venues more broadcast-friendly.

The highlight of the event, held at the Intercontinental Hotel and sponsored by Harris, Panasonic, Riedel, and Sony, was a two-hour presentation by the event’s three co-chairs of the event: Robert D. Jordan, VP, design and construction, New Meadowlands Stadium; Al Fong, senior technical manager, ESPN Event Operations; and Chris Williams, VP, WJHW.

Led by Jordan, the presentation went point by point through the on-going Venue Truck Bay design project being managed by the Sports Video Group. Attendees from the architectural firms, system integrators, sports networks, truck companies, venues, and manufacturers in the audience were encouraged to comment on the project before it is completed and converted into CAD drawings and specifications that can be deployed in future builds.

Among the issues discussed were electrical power for a compound, location of the compound, how much space is needed to ensure adequate room for production-unit stairwells and ease of movement, and even location of TV-production-crew parking spaces.

Following the presentation, a number of technology providers laid out the case for fiber infrastructure, how scoreboard technology is advancing and impacting venue design and architecture, and the importance of feeding HD-quality images to scoreboards in an effort to keep fans entertained.

Stay tuned to www.sportsvideo.org for complete downloadable recordings and the Power Point presentations in the coming days.