Ottawa, Canada, Feb 4th 2021 – The team at Van Wagner Productions has been at the production helm of the NFL’s showcase weekend for more than three decades, running the in-game production and giving fans a memorable entertainment experience to complement the action on the field. The Super Bowl LV edition will be no different, although the global COVID pandemic has obviously changed the nature of the event. A reduced capacity of 24,000 fans will be watching the game inside the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, and 7,500 of these will be vaccinated health workers who have been given free tickets by the NFL as a thank you for their work throughout the pandemic. It is also a historical event as the Bucs will be the first team in the league’s history to play in a championship game at their home stadium.
Raymond James Stadium is the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, long-time Ross Video customers. The venue’s production team, BucsVision, have grown with the Ross Unified Venue Control Solution over the years and, together with VAN WAGNER and Ross, have added even more production horsepower for the championship game this weekend. The venue’s control room features the flagship Acuity production switcher, as well as several XPression Studio engines, which will be used for insert graphics. On the LED control side, XPression Tessera will drive the main and corner displays, and the DashBoard control system will sync all elements of the production together for jaw-dropping takeover elements. In addition to the already powerful production system, PIERO Broadcast and PIERO Live have been added for replay analysis as well as virtual Down & Distance lines. The Voyager graphics rendering solution (powered by the Unreal engine from Epic Games) along with ACID cameras, Furio robotic camera heads, and the LUCID Studio control system are ready to deliver Augmented Reality (AR) graphics displaying scoring drives and other Next Gen stats content for fans in attendance. The stadium will also be adding LED screens that will cover the first ten rows of seats around the stadium. The 360-degree seat cover displays will be fed by additional XPression Tessera engines that tie seamlessly into the existing system. A comprehensive lineup to say the least!
"Through these very tough times in the world, it is always nice to be able to rely on a partner who not only shares your vision to put on a world class event every year, but also shares the creativity, work ethic and passion for what we do and how we want to entertain this very special crowd this year," notes Bob Becker, Van Wagner’s Executive Vice President. Ryan Kehn, Creative Director at Van Wagner, agrees. "Each year at this event we try to push the envelope and show the crowd something they’ve never seen before, and this year is no different. We know that we can trust the Ross team to help us execute our vision and provide a unique experience befitting of the biggest game on earth. The crowd may be smaller this year, but our show has only gotten bigger, and there isn’t another partner we’d rather work with to help bring it to life".
Kevin Cottam, Vice President of Sports & Live Events at Ross, is again delighted to be involved in this prestigious event. "It’s been a tough year for everyone in the sports and live events industry, and I hope this year’s game in Tampa can be a celebration of our resilience and the first tentative step towards some normality. We’re very proud and humbled to be working with Van Wagner Productions, who are the ‘go to’ production partners for some of the world’s most prestigious sporting events. Our relationship with them is first class and together with the BucsVision production staff, are going to give fans a show to remember during a difficult time we all want to forget!"