Case Study

Mercedes-Benz Stadium



Inspired by the Roman Pantheon, Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MBS) in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, is a multi-purpose sports venue featuring a signature 360-degree Halo videoboard.

As the defining feature of the $1.6 billion venue, the grandeur of the Halo board leaves fans with the feeling that MBS is one of the preeminent cathedrals of sports around the world.

Opened in 2017, the 75,000-seat venue is home to the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL) and Atlanta United FC of Major League Soccer (MLS). In its short history, MBS has played host to several marquee events, including Super Bowl LII, the MLS Cup, the SEC Championship Game, the College Football National Championship, and a variety of major concerts.

Section 2

The Challenge

Having opened its doors in 1992, the Georgia Dome in Atlanta was home to the Falcons football team for close to two decades before team owner Arthur M. Blank decided that the team needed to construct a new home to remain competitive on the field and as a business.

More specifically, Blank’s goal of building a new venue stemmed from his desire to attract major sporting events to his hometown, such as the Super Bowl, the NCAA Final Four and the FIFA World Cup.

To get the project off the ground, a call for an architect went out in late 2012, and when the Arthur M. Blank Sports & Entertainment Group (AMBSE) settled on the now-iconic design, shovels went into the ground in the spring of 2014. The design of the entire venue emanates from the innovative retractable roof, which opens and closes like the aperture of a camera. This includes the circular Halo videoboard, which measures out at 58 feet high by 1,100 feet around and contains close to 25 million pixels.

Like all other aspects of the stadium, the concept of the Halo board pushed the boundaries from an engineering and technology standpoint, challenging the AMBSE Group to bring the board to life. At the time, the Halo board was the largest in professional sports, and the AMBSE Group had to figure out a way to drive a display of this size and complexity with pixel-accurate content. In addition to the Halo display, the MBS design included a 100-foot tall 4-sided LED column known as the Mega Column.

Section 3

The Solution

To solve the challenge of driving pixel-accurate content to the Halo board and the Mega Column, Ross Video created XPression Tessera – a multi-display real-time graphics designer and controller.

Built specifically for this unique project and meticulously tested at an offsite lab in the years leading up to the venue’s opening, Tessera enables content producers at MBS to scale video across multiple XPression outputs in real-time and synchronizes these outputs to populate the massive video walls.

While Tessera is at the heart of the MBS in-venue production solution, the Ross Sports team worked with Diversified, a leading technology integrator, to develop a Unified Venue Control System that ties all aspects of a game-day production together. Through the power of the RossTalk protocol, the LED Control System and Production Control Room become one unified solution that DashBoard can control.

Within the unified display system, 14 outputs of XPression Tessera drive the Halo board and the Mega Column display. The control room contains a second Tessera system that can be used as a redundant or secondary unit to build out a show. Two DashBoard operator workstations control the entire stadium, and DashBoard custom panels control LED Ribbons, IPTV systems, routers and trigger lighting control around the stadium.

Full Ross solution includes:

Section 4

The Impact

After years of technology innovation, MBS hosted its first regular-season NFL game on September 17th, 2017. Since this inaugural game, the venue has attracted some of the largest sports and entertainment events on the planet.

The Ross Unified Venue Control System has been at the heart of every one of these events and has successfully delivered captivating real-time graphic displays throughout the venue.

With such a powerful solution at their fingertips, the AMBSE Group has taken full advantage of the Ross technology at their disposal. For example, the production team has taken a “fans first model” with all aspects of their gameday presentation, including converting the Halo into a “sports bar” configuration prior to kick-off. This has encouraged fans to come to the venue early and to follow the action of multiple games on the massive videoboards before kick-off. The early starts have heightened the in-venue experience while also increasing concession sales and providing new sponsorship opportunities for the team. This new “fan-first” model will leave its mark on the industry for years to come.

Explore our Sports Venue Solutions

To learn more about how Ross Video is creating unforgettable game-day experiences for sports fans, while streamlining operations for in-house production teams, explore our Sports Venue Solutions page.

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