September 21, 2010
Charlotte Motor Speedway and Panasonic announced Tuesday they are installing the world's largest HD video board along the backstretch of the track in time for next year's Coca-Cola 600.
If you're familiar with Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., the company that owns Charlotte Motor Speedway, the announcement doesn't come as much of a surprise. After all, Bruton likes extravagant things (like the party thrown at Dallas' House of Blues for the announcement of the IndyCar doubleheader at Texas Motor Speedway last month) and given the dimensions of the proposed screen, you'll probably run out of ways to say "it's freaking huge."
At an incredible length of 200 feet wide, standing 80 feet tall and weighing 165,000 pounds, the video board will cover an expansive 16,000 square feet and be located between Turns 2 and 3 along the backstretch of the legendary superspeedway. Fans seated throughout the frontstretch from Turn 4 to Turn 1 will have clear viewing angles of the gigantic board that will feature 720P high-definition visuals illuminated by more than nine million light emitting diode, or LED, lamps.
Nine million LED lamps? Heck, it's possible that Charlotte could run their night races next year without having to turn on the track lights. Plus, it proves that not everything is bigger in Texas, as the video board is bigger than the one at Cowboys Stadium, which replaced the video board at Darrell K. Royal Stadium at the University of Texas as the largest HD screen.
The board at Cowboys Stadium cost $40 million and Smith declined to publicly comment on the cost of the screen to be installed at Charlotte, but as the Charlotte Observer's Jim Utter noted, Smith jokingly asked his son Marcus -- the president of CMS -- "You didn't spend $40 million, did you?"
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