Earlier this month, officials in Harris County, Texas, approved a plan to expand the video screens at Reliant Stadium, home of the Houston Texans. Their super-huge new displays, slated for completion this fall, will be the widest not only in the NFL but in all of pro sports. But just how much more jumbo will they be than the league’s existing Jumbotrons? This graphic by designer Daniel Beaton shows us.
The reigning champs in the massive-display contest were the Dallas Cowboys, whose 72-foot tall, 160-foot-wide LED monstrosity, completed in 2009, hovers ominously over center field. As Beaton’s graphic shows, while the Texans’ new screens are a bit shorter than the Cowboys’, they’ll be a good deal wider, at 277 feet. Plus, they’ll be located on the rim of the stadium, so unlike the Cowboys’ center-mounted behemoth, they only stand to crush a bunch of fans when they collapse, not the players.
Beaton, a graphic designer based in New York, first posted the image about a month ago on Reddit’s NFL subreddit. "I rarely, if ever, get to do design infographics," he explains. "This is a huge reason why I made this scoreboard graphic. It gave me a chance to really design something I’m truly interested in, it’s sort of design therapy in a way." Plus, he says, it was a way of giving back to the r/NFL community.
Beaton says he couldn’t find anything else that compared the screen sizes, visually, and he spent five hours researching the league’s screens, from the new ones in Texas down to the Minnesota Vikings’ comparatively puny offering. A few outcasts in the bunch include the Kansas City Chief’s oval display and the Seattle Seahawks’ odd, portrait-orientation screen.
In photographs of the Cowboys’ stadium, the screen almost looks Photoshopped in it’s so big, and it’s hard to imagine that the Texans’ twin boards won’t also seem overwhelmingly large. But as teams try to replicate the ultra-high-production at-home experience with data overlays and replays--and as they vie for that sweet Superbowl host moolah--there’s no doubt that someone will try to out-screen the Texans in years to come. But as a fan, Beaton’s ready. "There’s no doubt, though, that there will be a point when big is too big," he says. "I don’t think we’re there quite yet."