Everything is Bigger in Houston


Dec 16, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans fans cheer against the Indianapolis Colts during the second quarter at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

It is very hard to believe, but it has been ten years since Reliant Stadium was built. Technology has come a long way since 2002, and the monumental arena that is Cowboys Stadium, or the circus tent Jerry Jones built, is a testament to how far arena technology has come. Cowboys Stadium currently boasts the biggest video board in the NFL, it was the largest in the world until Charlotte Motor Speedway built one larger, but the NFL record will not so easily be taken away.

Harris County Sports and the Convection Corporation voted approve the replacement of the Reliant Stadium video boards, aiming to make them the widest in professional sports, and more importantly, the biggest in Texas. This is a rather unknown yet nagging issue for Reliant Stadium as it was the only NFL stadium without digital scoreboards. However, it will now be resolved with these drastic improvements. Whether or not this is a move to one-up the Palace in Dallas (Arlington, but still close enough), what it means is that the Texans will not only feature a better team on the field, but they will now have even bigger video screens!

The specifications of the boards are as follows:

  • Image area of 52.49′ x 277.17′ (H x W)
  • 14,529 Sq footage of display surface
  • Display resolution of 1,000 x 5,280 pixels
  • 4.4 trillion colors
  • 960 Hz refresh rate for jitter free HD images
  • Each display will weigh more than 100 tons

The project will be undertaken by Mitsubishi Electric’s Diamond Vision Systems Division, the same group who have worked with the Dallas Cowboys (Cowboy Stadium), New York Yankees (Yankee Stadium), Green Bay Packers (Lambeau Field), Boston Red Sox (Fenway Park), and Seattle Seahawks (Century Link Field).

The project is slated for completion on August 1, 2o13, and on that date, Reliant will officially unseat Seattle’s Century Link Field in width, being larger than Seattle’s by about 40%. It will dethrone Dallas’ in total size by 25%, and will take Tennessee’s spot with the largest end-zone video display by over 70%. This improvement will place Reliant Stadium back atop the list of state of the art stadiums and will undoubtedly bolster Houston’s chances for hosting the 2017 Super Bowl.

Houston and Reliant Stadium have already been announced as a finalist for the bid. Reliant Stadium very successfully hosted the 2004 Super Bowl, and is now shooting for a second. Houston will be competing for the hosting bid with the runner-up of the 2016 Super Bowl (Super Bowl L) with either Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida or Santa Clara Stadium (The new stadium for the 49’ers scheduled to open in 2014) in Santa Clara, California. The winner of Super Bowl L bid is expected to be announced Spring of 2013.

– Richard Perez