Frigid temperatures, snow and ice in North Texas have not slowed construction workers from continued progress on the world’s largest HD video board created by Panasonic at Texas Motor Speedway.
On Friday, Dallas/Fort Worth media members were led by Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage on a sneak preview of “Big Hoss TV,” which is scheduled to be completed by March 1 and officially dedicated during pre-race ceremonies for the Duck Commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, April 6.
Towering 12 stories high over the backstretch is the completed steel framework that will serve as the foundation for “Big Hoss TV.” Workers have installed 28 of the 40 LED modules -- each measuring 54.5 feet by 9.5 feet -- that will be placed in 10 rows of four that will serve as the HD display area that measures a record 218 feet (width) by 94.6 feet (height).
Once completed, “Big Hoss TV” will provide fans with 20,633.34 square feet of HD imagery and will be 79 percent larger than the video board at AT&T Stadium (11,520 sf), home of the Dallas Cowboys. It also will surpass current record-holder Charlotte Motor Speedway (16,000 square feet), the Speedway Motorsports, Inc. sister track of Texas Motor Speedway, for the world’s largest HD video board at a sporting venue.
“This is the largest fan amenity we have ever undertaken in the history of Texas Motor Speedway and it truly should be a game changer in the industry,” Gossage said. “Panasonic has done a tremendous job in keeping the project on schedule and have their crews working around the clock seven days a week on this enormous undertaking. Given the target completion date of March 1, we’re working on a “Big Hoss TV” sneak preview event with a dynamic entertainment element that will be open to the public in mid-March that will be announced soon.”
“Big Hoss TV” also requires a state-of-the-art control room that is being built and housed adjacent to the timing and scoring booth atop the start/finish line on suite level. The control room houses five servers and two switchers that control the video feed to “Big Hoss TV.”
The control room operator will have the luxury of choosing from 19 different cameras, 16 of which are operated by two production trucks. Ultimately, the video is broken up into 16 different sections on the video board. The equipment will be manned by a minimum of five individuals which will include producer, director and technical directors.
Construction on “Big Hoss TV” began after November’s AAA Texas 500 as workers began digging 16 anchor holes 42 feet deep and four feet in diameter for the massive 108-ton structure. “Big Hoss TV” is anchored with 42 feet of steel rebar reinforced in the ground by 20 yards of concrete filled in each of the holes. The strength of the foundation allows for “Big Hoss TV” to sustain winds of 140 miles per hour.
Initial construction plans also required workers to install 4,200 feet of 96-strand fiber optic cable that runs from the location of “Big Hoss TV” on the backstretch to the control room in the frontstretch suites.
Workers have moved to a seven-day work week the past month to put the finishing touches on the project by the end of the month. The final phase of the project includes completion of the electrical infrastructure inside of the video board, where workers will install electricity and fiber optic connections to each of the 40 LED modules. Workers also will install the final wiring in the control room before they begin to test the lower section of the LED modules early next week.