Virtual Consol is shooting for 'wow' factor
Consol Energy Center is loaded with interactive and other high-tech features for visitors, from its three entry gates — American Eagle, Trib Total Media and Verizon — to the center scoreboard.
The All-Time Team display inside the Trib Total Media Gate at the northwest entry will look like a lineup of 20 giant player trading cards. Visitors can use touch screens on each card to look up details of All Time Team members, chosen by readers and Penguins fans.
"It's almost like going to a Penguins hall of fame, but it's all electronic," said Ralph Martin, president and CEO of Trib Total Media.
Virtual images of the Stanley Cup will appear in a nearby kiosk, where visitors can spin the cup around and view the names of champions. Hockey plays of the week, team standings and other tidbits also will be at the kiosk.
Three hockey puck-shaped rings with light-emitting diode, or LED, technology will hang from the ceiling inside the American Eagle Outfitters gate at the southwest corner. They'll display the retailer's logo and other messages, but when the Pens score, the 40-foot-wide rings will turn into flashing red sirens that passersby on Fifth Avenue can see.
Inside Verizon's gate on the northeast end, messages fans send via cellphone text or social media will flash on a giant screen and form a backdrop for Pens broadcasts from a studio there.
But the building's high-tech focal point will be its high-definition, ultra-high-contrast Mitsubishi Diamond Vision scoreboard, the first of its kind in a North American arena.
Crisp replays of that seconds-ago goal can be shown on each of its four sides, measuring 25 feet wide by 15 feet tall. Upper boards on each side will show scores and statistics.
Video rings at the top and bottom of the scoreboard — plus two sweeping stripes of video board that surround the arena's upper concourse and suite levels — will flash messages and graphics to add to the action. The video boards, rings and some other components were manufactured at Mitsubishi's plant in Marshall.
"We think people are going to be blown away," said Travis Williams, Penguins senior vice president.
Anywhere in the stands, fans can use YinzCam features on the Pens' mobile device application, or "app," presented by Verizon, to view alternate camera angles, replays and real-time stats on their own. YinzCam access was limited at the Civic Arena.
And at ice level, two LED dasher boards will show advertisements, switching every couple of minutes as play stops, said David Peart, the Pens' vice president of business partnerships.
There's more: Access to the building's 66 luxury suites will be controlled by bar code ticket scanners. "No longer will a suite holder have to rap on the door if it's locked," Peart said.
Dotting the concourses are 800 video screens that will show messages and the ongoing game, captured with HD cameras, Williams said. Even menus will appear on video boards, allowing concessions staff to mark down surplus hot dogs late in a game.
The gadgetry is meant to improve fans' experiences, not to be technology for technology's sake, Peart said. For hockey fans, "Your takeaway, whether the Pens win or lose, will be dramatically improved."
Consol Center vs. Civic Arena
Consol Energy Center — Category — Civic Arena
18,087 — Seats/hockey — 16,940
19,100 — Seats/basketball — 17,537
20,000 — Seats/center-stage concert — 18,039
14,500 — Seats/end-stage concert — 12,800
Aug. 2010 — Opening date — Sept. 17, 1961
Paul McCartney — First concert — Judy Garland
Aug. 14, 2008 — Groundbreaking — April 26, 1958
$321 million — Cost — $22 million
Populous (formerly HOK Sport) — Architect — Mitchell & Ritchey (now DRS Architects)
12 — Escalators — 2
Consol Energy Center
Due to Copyright, not all Consol Energy Center photos are available.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Crosby understands rule prohibiting him from playing, stresses he is hurt
- Crosby banned from Jets game because he missed All-Star Game
- Penguins recall 4 players
- Flyers’ Rinaldo suspended 8 games for hit on Letang
- Rossi: Crosby’s debt to NHL paid in full
- Penguins notebook: Letang’s status vs. Jets uncertain
- Crosby, Malkin dazzle fellow All-Stars
- Penguins’ Fleury surrenders 7 goals in 1 period of NHL All-Star Game loss
- Fleury’s relay team struggles in NHL skills competition
- Penguins’ Crosby receives injection for lower-body injury
- Fleury’s All-Star play has coincided with joy of being a father