The best location for watching Super Bowl XXXIX on TV this year may have been the same place the game was played: ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville, FL. The home of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars recently underwent a $60 million renovation, with AV playing a major role in an upgrade for all 90 private suites, the Bud-Zone bar, and two 65,000-square-foot East and West Crown Royal Touchdown Clubs.
Florida Sound Engineering has been the audio and video contractor for the 76,000-seat ALLTEL Stadium since its 1995 inception, helping to constantly refine an important component of the facility ever since. "AV is very important for the fan experience," remarked Robert Cole, president and owner of Florida Sound Engineering. "The Jaguars want to improve the experience for the fan as much as possible, and AV systems, multimedia displays and the ability to watch any football game on Sunday from multiple locations across the stadium is something significant they've accomplished towards that goal."
Hearing the game won't be a problem either. Atlas Sound Strategy Series speakers line the ceilings of the Terrace Suites, and outside on the patio, Atlas SM82T speakers are clustered in groups of three onto custom brackets.
A comprehensive two-phase project that spanned two football seasons, the ALLTEL renovation put a heavy emphasis on providing fans with complete video coverage. A total of 294 high-contrast Panasonic plasma displays are now onsite, including Panasonic 42-inch widescreen HD plasma televisions in each private suite, plus 24 50-inch 16:9 professional HD plasma displays in the Touchdown Clubs, located above the new East and West Club Central Bars.
"One of the biggest decisions that owners and stadium operators face these days is whether to implement HDTV or use standard definition," pointed out Ron Baker, principal of Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams, the AV design firm on the ALLTEL project. "Some stadiums are doing selective HD in particular areas-they look to maximize the investment, so it tends to be in areas where fans tend to congregate more, so you do see a blend or hybrid of conventional type video as well as some specific areas where they're doing HD."
The recently completed Phase Two forced Florida Sound to execute a job in two months that normally would have taken six months. Throughout the process, Cole and his group made sure that the Extron signal routing and AMX control for the large number of additional video destinations could be managed by the stadium's personnel.