March is a big month for sports, from basketball to golf to tennis, and they all have unique AV needs. Stadiums and arenas need screens and sound, outdoor sports need speakers, and new opportunities ‘spring’ up everyday. And in the growing world of Esports, AV is crucial. 

Let’s take a look at how AV and sports are coming together:

AV and Arenas

Back in the day, if you wanted to see what was going on down on the field, you had to bring your own binoculars to the game. Fans these days expect a lot more. Sports enthusiasts demand a real-time experience with stats, graphics, video, instant-replays, and chances to be a part of the game, so systems must incorporate cameras, screens, audio, streaming and more.   

Even to someone who doesn’t know much about AV, the first thing that comes to mind is massive video walls, and smaller screens all around. Tight lines and intricate plays demand high definition replay capabilities. Guests want to be able to see all of the action, and advertisers want to get their content on big screen. Making sure that screens can be seen from anywhere, even in the concession areas, keeps game-goers engaged and advertisers happy. 

outdoor stadium lights at nightStadium sound can’t be overlooked either. Both open-air stadiums and enclosed arenas present challenges when it comes to sound design. In the open air, sound disappears, but in a stadium, it bounces back and can become distorted.  This presents a challenge for integrators, with notoriously loud stadium noise and notoriously bad acoustics. Systems have to adapt to the varying needs of crowd noise, dead spots, weather and elements. A solid design with these thoughtful details requires a unique skill with experienced professionals.

Esports AV 

Esports is growing rapidly, and so is their need for advanced AV. With more than $1 billion in Esports revenue coming in last year, the future of gaming tournaments is bright. On the AV side, Esports installations are vastly different from traditional sports.

In Esports, video walls and projectors are the key to giving fans a life-size view of the games and the gamers. Unlike traditional sports, it’s almost impossible for fans to see what players are doing on their personal monitors, but like any sport, the audience wants to be a part of the action, so being able to project what’s on the computer screens on to the big screen in real time is crucial. Rather than focusing a camera on the field, Epsorts install have to focus on streaming what’s happening on screen for the audience to see.  

Additionally, most games are being streamed live online, making the connection and bandwidth very important. Esports format is varied, from full sized arenas to conference halls. Because of this, AV installs have to adapt to meet the needs of individual tournaments. The in-house production is also a huge factor not often included in traditional sports venues. While a football game needs cameras filming from several angles to keep up with the players, Esports broadcasts combine live streaming from the games themselves, close ups of each player and their audio, and often include some dramatic mood lighting and smoke machines. 

With so much technology already involved in an Esports set up, with computers and headsets for the players, and high speed internet connections for gameplay, it’s important that AV not get in the way. AV should enhance the experience, but a system with so many moving parts can be complicated. Keeping things as streamlined and simple as possible will ensure that everything keeps running smoothly.

All sports have their own unique AV needs, from big screens to live streams. Next time you go to see your favorite team or turn on an Esports tournament, think about the amount of AV involved in every play.