Over the last 5 weeks, it was announced that 3 U.S. pro sports venues will replace their existing scoreboards with larger, flashier entertainment systems – Capital One Arena, the Wells Fargo Center & the United Center; Oracle Park in San Francisco also just unveiled its fancy new 4K scoreboard on opening day.

Teams are investing tens of millions of dollars in LED screens and other technological enhancements to their buildings – like intricate lighting systems – because it’s become increasingly difficult to draw people to the stadium.

Psychologically speaking, fans need to be convinced that the experience of going to the game is better than what they can get at home. Most teams know they’re not clearing that bar right now – and that the bar is only going to continue to rise – which explains why you’re seeing a little bit of shiny rattle going on.

 The venues referenced are marketing the scoreboards as “the largest high definition screen in an arena”, as “the first Kinetic 4K center-hung scoreboard” or as “the first indoor sky ring”, but marketing greater resolution and the size of screen is completely missing the point.

Fans simply don’t care about the size of the platform. What matters is the messaging [on the screen] and how teams will go about using these platforms to make the game experience better. 

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