Since Charlotte’s NBA franchise was rebranded as the Hornets two years ago, team officials have renovated and updated the features at Time Warner Cable Arena.
With the arena set to host next year’s NBA All-Star Game, the next upgrade will be the biggest and most noticeable.
Team officials said Wednesday that work will begin this summer on installation of a new center-hung scoreboard at Time Warner Cable Arena that will be one of the biggest and most unique in the NBA.
“We didn’t want to just hang a big scoreboard up there that looked like a box and just be the run-of-the-mill scoreboard,” Hornets Sports and Entertainment president and chief operating officer Fred Whitfield said.
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“We really wanted to be different and have it really feel like it had the DNA of what we’ve tried to create throughout Time Warner Cable Arena. We really wanted it to feel like it was Hornets-centric.”
Work on the $7 million scoreboard project will begin in mid-July, with the arena shut down for about six weeks. Team officials said work should be completed in early September, in time for the start of the 2016-2017 NBA season.
The new scoreboard is part of the second phase of renovations at Time Warner Cable Arena, where two new 360-degree LED ribbon displays and four auxiliary boards will be installed and where upgrades to suites, the visitor’s locker room and talent dressing rooms are planned.
The scoreboard will consist of LED panels on all four sides – two sideline boards measuring 25.2 feet by 42.8 feet and two end-zone boards of 18-by-31.3 feet. It also will have two 9.8-by-16.5-foot underbelly boards viewable to fans sitting courtside.
Team officials said the sideline displays will be 180 percent larger and the end-zone displays 50 percent larger than the current center-hung scoreboard displays, which measure 16-by-24 feet.
The new displays also will feature 1080p-level high-definition resolution – a first for an NBA arena, according to HSE executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer Pete Guelli.
“It’s a massive, massive increase from where we are now,” Guelli said. “When you walk in and are looking at an HD screen of this quality and this size, no matter if you’re in the lower level or the upper level, you’re going to have an incredible experience.”
But what will make the Hornets’ new scoreboard stand out from the rest of the NBA is its design, Guelli said.
The open-faced structure will feature elements comprised of a cell-patterned center element that resembled a hive, with the scoreboard displays connected to it by wing-patterned stanchions. The center elements also will have color-changing lighting.
“When you go to other buildings, there’s some incredible boards with great resolution, some massive boards throughout the league,” Guelli said. “But you could drop them in any building in the NBA, and you wouldn’t be able to tell a difference. This truly reflects the Hornets’ DNA.
“It’s the size, it’s the resolution, and it’s the design. It’s a combination of those three attributes that’s going to make this the premiere scoreboard in the NBA.”