As Chase Center Hosts First Regular-Season Golden State Warriors Game, First Season Promises To Be a ‘Year of Discovery’
NBA's largest videoboard powered by a control room loaded with gear from Ross, Evertz, Yamaha, Riedel, and more
Thursday marks a momentous night for the Golden State Warriors and the city of San Francisco. It’s a night that is both an ending and a beginning. Chase Center, the newest professional sports facility in the U.S., hosts the first regular-season game of its primary tenant, the reigning Western Conference Champion Golden State Warriors of the NBA.
With it comes the end of a long journey to build this structure into one of the crown jewels of modern live entertainment. It’s also the first of what the team hopes is many thrilling nights in Mission Bay for years to come.
“This day has been circled on our calendar for years,” says Paul Hawkins, executive producer, Warriors Studio, Golden State Warriors. “Now that we’re finally here seeing all of these pieces come together as one whole after the years of work, it has been a really rewarding experience for everybody involved.”
The spotlight is certainly on the video-production and operations team of the Warriors and the Chase Center. Although there are delicious food options to indulge in and gorgeous clubs and suites to relax in, it’s no secret that, outside of the team itself, video is the superstar of this arena. When fans enter the building this evening for the Warriors matchup with the high-flying Los Angeles Clippers, their eyes will be immediately drawn to what is now the largest centerhung videoboard in the NBA. Developed by Samsung, the 1080p structure boats 9,699 sq. ft. of LED space and measures 82 ft. 9 in. wide by 52 ft. 8 in. tall.
In addition, numerous other prominent LED displays are scattered throughout of the arena, including smaller screens in each of the upper reaches of the corners, four narrow “gantry boards” facing away from and above the primary centerhung videoboard to ensure that fans in the upper bowl have an unobstructed view of the centerhung, and even a 74-ft.-wide by 42-ft.-tall LED board on the exterior of the building that itself boasts 3,108 sq. ft. of LED space.
To meet the demands of both the building and the growing digital/social-video economy, the Warriors’ in-house content-creation and technology team has exploded from 13 to 21 full-timers during the time of the arena’s construction. And that doesn’t include 15 part-timers who help support everything on event nights. With all of this new staff, fresh canvases, and latest facilities to work in, a lot of learning will be going on these first few months by the Bay.
“We’re calling this season the Year of Discovery,” says Hawkins, who has worked in video for numerous iconic venues, including the Boston’s Fenway Park and Los Angeles’s Dodger Stadium. “With this move came a lot of unknowns. It was a big move for us to get into the city and opening up a brand here that we own and operate. As with any team, there’s a lot of unknown areas that you’re kind of walking into.”
Fortunately, there have been plenty of tune-up events for the building, including a pair of concerts by the band Metallica and a couple of preseason Warriors games. That has helped Hawkins and his team settle in. According to Hawkins, though, numerous partners and vendors made the project possible. The operations team partnered with Diversified and WJHW to design a flashy new control room, which is loaded with top-of-the-line gear.
The control room is primarily built around a Ross Acuity switcher and the Ross Ultrix router. Graphics are naturally a huge part of any in-venue videoboard show. For that, the Warriors entrusted the Ross Xpression Tessera (which is used only in a few facilities, including Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta) and Dashboard. They also worked with Ross’s Rocket Surgery company to develop a comprehensive graphics package for Year 1. Elsewhere, Evertz DreamCatchers power replay, and Sony cameras fill the bowl for acquisition (four hard cameras and two wireless, one of which is on a Steadicam). Wave Central supports the wireless camera network. Riedel Communications’ Bolero powers the wireless intercom system. Imagine Communications’ solution is behind internal IP routing. Image Video TSI-4000 Control system layers in for multiviewer and tally. A Yamaha CL5 digital mixer controls all of the audio in the building. VITEC delivers the entire IPTV network.
Now that all the pieces are in place for a dynamite opening on Thursday night, Hawkins knows it’s time for him and his team to deliver.
“The challenge for us is using all of these canvases available to the fullest extent for the fans to enjoy,” he says. “We hope that they do, and we think that they will.”