The Philadelphia Phillies have started the process of dismantling Phanavision at Citizens Bank Park, ahead of installing a much larger 4k wide-screen display for the 2023 season.
Today we saw that one of the first items to come down is the large Phillies logo which sat at the top of the signage.
As of this morning only the “ies” remained!
The plan for a new Phanavision display screen was announced over the summer of this amazing 2022 season. 42Freeway noticed today the Phillies logo that sits atop the screen was coming down.
The new screen will be 152 feet wide and 86 feet tall… which is 77 percent larger than the current Phillies display.
The Phillies state the new screen would be able to fit 516 life-size Phillie Phanatics!
The enhanced display technology will deliver richer colors and clarity. Fans will experience better viewing angles.. more of the ballpark seats will have better view of the display!
Clocking in at 116,000 pounds, the display will then need 190 tons of structural steel to hold it up!
They are also constructing a new control room in the ballpark to manage the screen and video camera operators.
As another comparison of the size, if you’ve seen the amazing wall display at the suburban Dave & Busters in Gloucester Twp, NJ… the new Phillies display is 34 times the size of that massive screen!
The replays of Schwarber-bombs in 2023 are going to look amazing!
It’s funny how distance can distort how we view size. Have you ever seen a traffic signal light up close? Huge! So doing some rough “eye-balling” I think the P in the Phil;ies sign is more than 20 feet tall!
Two key reasons for the upgrade to a new display are:
- Widescreen (16:9) format fully supporting 4k quality video
- The static signage on the right edge (i.e. WB Mason) will be removed to accommodate the wider display width. But, those advertising spaces can optionally be recreated digitally within the screen!
The Phillies say they expect the full project to be completed before the start of the 2023 season.
The Phillies have not said what will become of current display, if it will be used elsewhere in the Ballpark or Clearwater. For the 2011 upgrade in Philadelphia, the original Citizens Bank Park screen was installed in the Spring Training facility in Clearwater.
Keep scrolling for more information on why they would do this upgrade… and yeah I probably get too geeky with this.
Didn’t They Just Replace it? Why Again?
Many fans will remember that it didn’t seem too long ago that Phillies put the current screen in! This is actually the third screen to be installed since the park opened in 2004.
So why are they replacing it already?!
In summary new display technology has made wider-screen displays the norm today.
Additionally that extra surface area will allow for significant flexibility on how information is presented to the fans.. as well as advertisements.
Widescreen High Definition Displays Are The Norm
The current display at Citizens Bank Park was unveiled in 2011. At the time it was the second largest HDR based screen in baseball.
And it still looks amazing!
The timing of that 2011 upgrade though coincided with the advent of high-definition television becoming common place in America’s homes.
If you remember… before HD television our TV screens where more square.
When HD televisions took over our TVs became wider. Widescreen.
The old school televisions were 4:3 aspect ratio. Meaning for every 4 units high, they were 3 units wide. This meant almost a square display.
The new HD format is 16:9 aspect ratio. Which simply means it is much wider than it is tall.
Not only are HD displays more individual colored dots (pixels) in an area, the total screen area is wider.
So with HD Television still becoming mainstream in the late 2000s, when the Phillies made plans for their 2011 Phanavision upgrade they ended up using the older 4:3 aspect ratio.
It’s likely that in 2009/2010 when they were working on the plans for that upgrade, their only choice was the 4:3 “more square” screen.
And almost as soon as the 2011 screen was installed… wider screen HD televisions took over.
It seems that Citizen Bank Park engineers back then were well aware that eventually they would be upgrading to a wider screen display, as the steel structure was created much wider. Wide enough to support the static advertising signs on the right.
I wonder if they thought back then they could simply take the digital and static signs down and just reuse the steel structure with a new and wider display!
But for 2023 it does seem the weight of this new screen is significantly greater, and the support structure will be replaced… but at least the engineers allocated the wider space for future planning!
4k Is Becoming the Norm
While it seems the engineers and architects in 2011 were thinking ahead to support a wider screen sitting above the Harry The K’s balcony seating area… I bet they didn’t expect that screens in 2022 are almost exclusively 4k resolution!
To explain, original HD was based on 1,080 pixel rows. Counting from top-to-bottom. This totaled more than 2 million dots (pixels) on the screen.
4k televisions have more pixel dots in the same area. The same sized television in 4k will have over 8 million pixels.
Four times the resolution in a 4k television. This makes for a sharper image, and is even more important in massive stadium sized displays.
An interesting plot twist for the new Phanavision is it will have 11.6 million pixels which is more than 4k resolution!
So the new Phillies Phanavision will support BOTH the wide-screen display size AND the 4k resolution!
(Note:There is an anomaly in the USA regarding 4k televisions in our living rooms. While most televisions sold today are 4k capable, almost all television channels are still broadcasting in standard 1080 HD. Some of streaming services like Amazon Prime and Netflix will offer content in 4k “Ultra” HD)
Display and Advertising Flexibility
The Phillies press release from July states that with the new display they will not need the static signage on the display supports. I imagine this would include the removal of the right edge static advertising signs (WB Mason, Toyota).
It will simply be one massive and wider display screen, which gives the creative team of the Phillies infinite options to configure the display.
They can use the full size as one massive 4k video screen, or break it up into smaller regions…. live video stream, stats… and even advertising!
The Phillies could actually digitally recreate the existing HD Screen AND static signage with the new screen.
While that configuration would be cool to see at least once.. I’d imagine they’ll be much more creative in fully utilizing the new space.
Not this is about advertising revenue (the Phillies never mention it), but the extra screen space will give them more options to present the best video feeds, statistics, fun things for the fans… AND offer dynamically changing advertising spots.
Look, something has to pay for this investment which is probably several 10s of millions!
As mentioned they expect to have the new display ready for the start of the 2023 season.
The Phillies 2023 schedule was announced a few months ago and it seems the construction and creative teams will have some extra time to get the new Phanavision screen worked out.
The Phillies start the season on the road and their home opener is not until April 6th, versus the Reds.
Links and Location
Citizens Bank Park – Home of the National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies
1 Citizens Bank Way
Philadelphia, PA 19148