Murrayfield goes big screen

Sport Business News

Murrayfield stadium, the home of rugby in Scotland, has not only been home to a brace of fantastic test matches recently, but also to a new partnership between Scottish Rugby and stadium broadcast specialist ADI.

A partnership between Scottish Rugby and ADI has helped to provide a vastly enhanced matchday experience for fans, centred around the installation of two giant LED screens and accompanying scoreboards, and making Murrayfield one of the most technologically advanced stadia in the UK. As well as the hardware installation, ADI also works closely with Scottish Rugby to produce content for the matchday broadcast, ensuring the rights owner harnesses maximum value from its investment. The new installation focuses on providing a complete entertainment package for fans on matchdays. As well as showing live coverage of every minute of the match, the screens broadcast a feature–packed programme for the crowds to enjoy from the moment they arrive. The launch day match against the mighty All Blacks in November 2008 was a fine example of a number of ADI departments working together to deliver an integrated solution. Whilst the Installation team had been busy with the hardware in the weeks leading up to launch, ADI's production department had been working with Scottish Rugby to create and compile the matchday programming for the giant 60m▓ screens. Key to this was the 90 minute pre–match programme, to entertain the crowd and build up excitement prior to kick–off, which featured highlights of recent matches, interviews, programming promoting the Scotland team and Scottish Rugby's 'We Are Scotland' campaign and promotions for future Scottish Rugby events. ADI compiled the programme from a number of sources, as well as producing dedicated content itself, to create programming that was exciting, informative and promotional for Scottish Rugby. Shortly before kick–off, the screens switched to live match coverage, showing content from the BBC's cameras, as well as from a pitch–side cameraman provided by ADI, giving additional close–up shots of the pre–match pipe band and interviews, including one with Scotland's greatest ever Olympian guest Chris Hoy. As the players' names were read out by the stadium announcer, both the screens and digiSCORE scoreboards broadcast ADI–produced animated teamsheets to great approval from the 60, 000 crowd. As the match kicked off, the screens broadcast live coverage of every minute of the match and replays of the main decisions. With a 60m▓ screen at either end of Murrayfield, everyone was guaranteed a great view of all the action, whilst the two huge 26m▓ digiSCORE scoreboards kept the crowds up to date. The scoreboards bring the impact and flexibility of LED technology to the scoreboard environment. They are powered by an intuitive, custom–built software package, which allows the scoreboards to play out full video and picture content, greatly enhancing the value of the platform. Murrayfield is the largest stadium in Scotland and with a capacity of 67, 000 and is the largest stadium to take ADI screens. Murrayfield now boasts the largest LED screens in Scotland and also has the largest screen area per stadium seat, bigger than Twickenham, Wembley or The Millennium Stadium. Having previously hired smaller LED screens for major occasions, The SRU decided the time was right to invest in permanent screens for one of the UK's largest and most iconic stadia. Scottish Rugby's chief executive, Gordon McKie, said: "We decided to go for permanent screens, to improve the match day experience for supporters at Murrayfield, and also to enhance the world–class facilities that we have at Murrayfield, facilities that play a key part in attracting major events to Edinburgh. Big screens are now an absolutely integral part of modern professional sport, especially when you consider in a rugby context the drama of a referral to the video referee. "

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