It seems that every new arena and stadium opening these days is built with the sports fan in mind, but quite possibly no new arena is upping the fan experience like the new Chase Center in Downtown San Francisco.
A big part is due to Samsung,and how they put themselves in the role of fans to create an experience that makes a trip to the arena and buying a ticket worth the time, effort and money it takes these days.
In just a matter of days, since the arena's opening the fans are voicing their approval.
I marveled that we could actually walk around and explore the arena from all angles. Although many of the restaurants and bars outside are still not constructed or open, it already had a great vibe.
The arena itself looked simultaneously bigger and smaller than Oracle. From the lower level, the seats were definitely closer and more intimate, but the upper deck seemed farther away (even if it isn’t, technically). The jumbotron was beyond massive, but placed in a way that it wasn’t a major distraction.
Unreal walls of LEDs — including the largest center-hung scoreboard in the NBA — the Chase Center smelled more of new carpet and upholstery than the beer and hot dogs.
The experience starts even before you enter the arena with Thrive City, the outdoor fan plaza that will keep expanding and growing over the next two years.
Samsung and the Warriors ventured outside the arena to install the first-ever full outdoor LED display in San Francisco. Fastened to the outer wall of Chase Center’s west entrance, the eye-catching display provides a preview of the technology that is located inside. The superior image quality of Samsung’s 10mm LED video display is clear and vibrant. The displays are built to withstand any weather or environmental elements.
Although I was in attendance for just a preseason Warriors/Lakers pre-season game, it was easy in and out of the arena. I anticipate the same for all the other events as there are plenty of entrance doors and the security team is well trained on getting fans to their seats.
Once inside any section of the arena, there are over 1100 video displays giving directions, information or offering entertainment content.
Chase Center Digital Signage:
Seating Bowl, West Vomitorium, Club Displays (5) – 10mm – 4ft-3in wide x 2ft-2in high Lower Bowl, East and West Vomitorium, Courtside Lounge Bulkhead Displays (4) – 10mm – 3ft-11in wide x 2ft-3in high Lower Bowl, West Vomitorium, Courtside Club Displays (4) – 10mm – 9ft-9-3in wide x 2ft-3in high Floor Vomitorium, Corner Tunnel Displays (1) – 10mm – 5ft-6in wide x 2ft-2ft high Floor Vomitorium, Corner Tunnel Displays (1) – 10mm – 16ft-4in wide x 2ft-2ft high Floor Vomitorium, Corner Tunnel Displays (1) – 10mm – 16ft-4in wide x 2ft-2in high Floor Vomitorium, Corner Tunnel Displays (1) – 10mm – 5ft-5in wide x 2ft-2in high Main Concourse, North Vomitorium, Lower Extension Bulkhead Center Display (1) – 10mm – 15ft-2in wide x 2ft-2in high Main Concourse, North Vomitorium, Lower Extension Bulkhead Side Displays (2) – 10mm – 15ft-2in wide x 2ft-2in high Seating Bowl, End Bowl Sponsor Displays (2) – 10mm – 31ft-5in wide x 2ft-2in high Seating Bowl, Upper Wall Corner Displays (4) – 10mm – 10ft-10in wide x 2ft-2in high Suite Level, Fascia Display (1) – 10mm – 711ft wide x 2ft-6in high Upper Suite – 400 Level, Fascia Display (1) – 10mm – 631ft-11in wide x 2ft-6in high Upper Concourse, Bridge Display (1) – 10mm – 128ft-11in wide x 4ft in high Scorer’s Table Displays (4) – 24ft wide x 4ft high Basketball Goal, Stanchion Displays (4) – 46in wide x 12in high Theatre, North Facing Displays (2) – 10mm – 30ft wide x 7ft-10in high Theatre, South Facing Displays (2) – 10mm – 30ft wide x 7ft-10in high Theatre, Halo East Facing Display (1) – 10mm – 80ft wide x 7ft-10in high Theatre, Halo East Facing Display (1) – 10mm – 80ft wide x 7ft-10in high Post-Game Interview Room Display (1) – 22ft wide x 8ft-10in high Main Concourse, Lobby Display (1) – 33ft wide x 7ft-1in high Plaza Entrance Display (1) – 10mm – 74ft wide x 42ft high Theatre Entrance Display (1) – 10mm – 141ft wide x 2.7ft high Gatehouse, Ribbon Display (1) – 10mm – 100ft wide x 3ft high Ticket Window Displays (1) – 5mm – 20in wide x 5in high Locker Room Game Clocks (38) – 20in wide x 8in high Fixed Digit Scoreboards (4) – 6ft wide x 3ft-6in high Samsung SMART Signage Professional Displays (1,100)
Then there is the impressive centerhung scoreboard/display, which is or parts of are visible from any seat. It is made up of 15 different displays.
Chase Center Centerhung:
Centerhung Outside, Side Displays (2) – 6.7mm – 57ft-4.5in wide x 34ft-9in high Centerhung Outside, End Displays (2) – 6.7mm – 27ft-4.5in wide x 34ft-9in high Centerhung Outside, Corner Displays (4) – 6.7mm – 9ft-3in to 3ft-8in wide x 34ft-7.5in high Centerhung Inside, Side Displays (2) – 4mm – 24ft-6in wide x 13ft-10.75in high Centerhung Inside, Wing Displays (2) – 4mm – 10-7.75in wide x 6ft-1.25in high Centerhung Inside, End Displays (2) – 4mm – 20ft-2.125in wide x 7ft high Centerhung Outside, Upper Ring Halo Display (1) – 6.7mm – 236ft-8in wide x 8ft-6.25in high Centerhung Outside, Chase Center Channel Letter Signage
Rick Welts, president/COO of the Golden State Warriors joined me and our media group on a walking tour.
In addition showing us some of the hidden features built into the arena, he gave us information on the buildings artwork, layout and design that had the fan's interests in mind. The displays and screens were the highlight of the tour, and the theme here is this a modern-day arena that can change with technology and still be fan-friendly.
Smiling, Welts stated the obvious, but it shows he and his arena team understand the average sports fan.
“We’re big on LED here,” Welts said. “Linear TV is not doing so good. So how do we engage viewers?”
Welts also said they did solicit the players, to see what tech they might find useful as they go about their business in the arena.
Another thing astute fans will notice is not every display is the same size.
“Not everything is 16 by 9,” offered Kirk Kessler, sales manager for live events and entertainment at Samsung. “A lot of organic shapes went into this.”
Adds Don Szczepaniak, CEO of PRISMVIEW, A Samsung Electronics Company.
“From the stunning outdoor LED Video Displays in the Plaza, to the massive centerhung the Chase Center is a world-class venue. It was an exciting challenge for us. Proud and grateful to be a part of this cutting-edge new venue.”
Fans will also have access to robust Wi-Fi throughout the Chase Center as they download the Chase Center app that is informative, interactive and event specific.
Sports and concert fans in San Francisco are among the luckiest in the U.S. at this moment. The Chase Center isn't what I would call "state of the art" it's "state of the future."