TMS Media Relations | Mar 19, 2014
FORT WORTH, Texas (March 19, 2014) – A&E’s popular reality show “Duck Dynasty” has never been bigger than it was on Wednesday evening at Texas Motor Speedway – literally – as the show aired on the world’s largest High-Definition LED video board as part of the official unveiling of “Big Hoss TV.”
With more than 8,000 fans in Texas Motor Speedway’s infield for the free public event and a large contingent of VIP guests and dignitaries, “Big Hoss TV” built by Panasonic – which stretches 218 feet wide by 94.6 feet tall – lit up the North Texas sky as the behemoth HD video board finally came to life after more than four months of construction.
The official unveiling was part of a star-studded evening that included appearances by Duck Commander CEO and star of “Duck Dynasty” Willie Robertson and wife, Korie, along with the dynamic racing duo of NASCAR’s Kyle Busch and INDYCAR’s Helio Castroneves. Also in attendance were dignitaries such as NASCAR President Mike Helton, Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles, Panasonic Eco Solutions North America Vice President Richard Ballard, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Chairman Bruton Smith, SMI President and COO Marcus Smith and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.
“I always love coming to Texas,” Busch said. “This is the biggest crowd think I’ve ever seen for a TV debut. It’s pretty awesome. That’s why they say ‘everything is bigger in Texas.’”
“Big Hoss TV” was turned on in grand fashion as Marcus Smith and Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage “powered up” the video board with an oversized Panasonic TV remote prop that set off a pyrotechnic display and dynamic video on screen much to the delight of the crowd. The fans enjoyed Q&A sessions with Busch, Castroneves and the Robertsons during the evening that was dubbed “Go Big or Go Home” as well as some impromptu dancing lessons by Castroneves, a former Dancing with the Stars champion.
Prior to the Q&A with the Robertsons, Gossage presented Willie and Korie with a custom-designed helmet by Canadian sports artist David Arrigo. The helmet featured Willie’s signature red-white-and-blue bandana, the faces of Phil, Willie, Jase and Si Robertson along with the Duck Commander 500 logo, ducks calls and shotgun shells in a leather look. The helmet was presented by Gossage in appreciation for the three-year sponsorship Duck Commander and Texas Motor Speedway recently signed confirming the new title sponsor of the annual April NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, inaugurating with the upcoming Sunday, April 6 race.
Willie and Korie later shared their insights on the wildly popular reality show during a special Q&A session and prefaced the latest 30-minute episode of “Duck Dynasty” that was premiered to fans on the enormous HD video board that towered 12 stories above the crowd.
“Only in my mind,” Willie said when asked if he ever pictured himself that big as seen on “Big Hoss TV.” “We’ve got some cool things happening here and with that big TV screen I can’t wait to see what we look like that big.”
Positioned in the middle of the backstretch perched above “Burnout Alley,” “Big Hoss TV” features 20,633.64 square feet of HD LED display that consists of 4.8 million pixels and 281 trillion colors. The state-of-the-art video board is the largest ever built by Panasonic and will surpass fellow Speedway Motorsports, Inc. facility Charlotte Motor Speedway (16,000 square feet) as Guinness World Record holder for the world’s largest HD LED video board. The size of “Big Hoss TV” is staggering as it is 79 percent larger than the video board at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, which stands at 11,520 square feet.
Gossage announced that “Big Hoss TV” will officially go into the Guinness World Record books prior to the Duck Commander 500 on Sunday, April 6. An official Guinness World Record adjudicator will be on site to verify Texas Motor Speedway’s attempt to claim the record for the world’s largest high-definition LED video board. With the addition of “Big Hoss TV,” it will completely change the fan experience.
“Everybody is competing in sports with the ever improving-technology that we all put into our houses with home theater,” Gossage said. “This is a big place and you could be watching somebody race down into Turn 1 and 2 and something occurs up in Turn 3 and you completely missed it. You could miss a moment on pit road. Now with the big screen you are not going to miss a thing.
“You are going to see the replays. You are going to see the up close, tight shots. The fans won’t miss a thing. It is the ultimate fan amenity. To have the biggest one in the world, that’s just one of those “Everything is Bigger in Texas” stories that we are really proud to be a part of.”
The addition of “Big Hoss TV” is the largest and most current of the fan amenities Texas Motor Speedway has included since the facility opened in 1997. “Big Hoss TV” will change the way fans view a live race as will the producers of the video board with a selection of 19 different video cameras spread across the 1.5-mile speedway, captivating fans with instant replays, latest driver and race stats, interactive entertainment, and more.
“Big Hoss TV” features a 140-degree horizontal viewing radius, which translates into a crystal-clear picture from any of the 128,655 seats along the frontstretch seats.
For Panasonic, “Big Hoss TV” is yet another accomplishment in a long list of technological solutions the company has engineered in enhancing the fan experience at sporting and entertainment venues.
“When you are here tonight but also the Duck Commander 500 weekend, you will see a visual racing once you come to Texas Motor Speedway that you will have to have this every time you go to a NASCAR race track,” Ballard said. “Not only will you see the size of this screen, but it’s one of the most powerful broadcast screens you will see in all of sports.”
Busch, who will look to complete the weekend sweep of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 and Duck Commander 500 for the second consecutive season, will be the first competitor to see “Big Hoss TV” from the track come April. The excitement for the video board hasn’t been relegated to the fans as drivers also are excited about the addition of “Big Hoss TV.”
“My living room TV is 75 inches, so it’s not a 2,844-inch TV, that’s for sure,” Busch said. “That’s quite interesting to put into perspective with what you have in your house.”
For Castroneves, who will get to see “Big Hoss TV” glow at night during the Firestone 600 Verizon IndyCar Series race on Saturday, June 7, the addition only adds to the excitement of “America’s Original Nighttime IndyCar Race.”
“We’re going so fast down the backstretch that I don’t know if I’ll have time to look up, but I’m going to try to look at myself and see if my hair is in place,” Castroneves joked.
Catch all of the NASCAR and INDYCAR action as well as “Big Hoss TV” by purchasing season tickets beginning as low as $270 through the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com. Individual tickets also are available through the ticket office and website.
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