Electrosonic Supports Interactive AV at NASCAR Hall of Fame

PLSN Staff • Projection Connection News • November 8, 2010

CHARLOTTE, NC – The NASCAR Hall of Fame is using Electrosonic-provided AV gear for the Belk High Octane Theater and more than 100 exhibits, along with video displays and sound systems inside and outside the building. The 150,000 square-foot NASCAR Hall of Fame opened earlier this year to honor the history and heritage of NASCAR.  Designed to educate and entertain, it features numerous interactive exhibits, artifacts, a Hall of Honor, the 278-seat Belk High Octane Theater and NASCAR Media Group-operated broadcast studio.


Electrosonic supplied imaging technology for over 100 media and interactive displays and features, including LCD and plasma displays, single and triple DLP projection, MicroTiles and the exterior LED board.  Electrosonic also deployed RFID technology to customize each visitor's experience.


"Our entire team consisted of race fans so the AV systems were built for race fans by race fans," said Electrosonic senior sales consultant Bryan Abelowitz.  "We deployed almost every kind of video and speaker technology imaginable."


Electrosonic's contributions to the NASCAR Hall of Fame begin when visitors approach the entrance and see a 28-foot wide Panasonic LED board with a sound system mounted to the façade.  Designed to engage the Ceremonial Plaza space, the LED board can display live video or pre-produced elements.


Upon entry, visitors are issued hard-card tickets to the attraction.  Electrosonic tapped RFID technology to customize the experience for each person as they insert their cards into numerous check-in stations throughout the exhibits.


At the Belk High Octane Theater, visitors get a 12-minute history of NASCAR via triple projection featuring Christie DLP projectors onto the curved 64-foot-wide screen and more than 10,000 watts of sound.


The cars rumble across the screen from one end to the other, giving the audience the feel of being there. Another  display awaits as they exit to The Great Hall, the main level's huge open area, where a 14-by-18-foot Fan Billboard is composed of 252 Christie MicroTiles and driven by a Christie Vista Spyder X20. Supported by another sound system, the Fan Billboard displays live video, including races, and pre-produced media. It also has an interactive game component.


Electrosonic has peppered Glory Road, a banked ramp that simulates the banking (up to 33 degrees) at a number of tracks, with an array of video monitors. The road leads to the second floor, with additional monitors.  They complement exhibits of 18 historic cars and information about the 46 current and historic tracks on the NASCAR circuit. 


Glory Road terminates in the Hall of Honor where the Hall of Fame inductees are introduced.  There, Electrosonic has configured a 16-channel Watchout-blended oval projection system with Panasonic projectors.  "It was a real challenge blending 16 projectors into a massive 150-foot oval," Abelowitz noted.


Exiting the Hall of Honor visitors move on to Race Week Experience, a behind-the-scenes look at how a NASCAR team prepares for race day.  "They begin to use their customized hard cards at this point," says Abelowitz. The cards are inserted into touchscreen kiosks throughout the exhibit and in the fourth-floor Heritage Speedway galleries and small break-out theaters. 


In all, there are 75 interactive exhibits in the space, 20 projected linear exhibits and 20 linear displays. 


"With so many exhibits we had to control audio feeds with directional audio speakers small and large," Abelowitz said. Interactive exhibits include the Media Broadcast Area, where guests learn what it takes to broadcast races live through touch screens, headsets, monitors and consoles; Period Milestones, which allows guests to experience a bit of NASCAR history by answering trivia questions; and an interactive map of North America highlighting the current race tracks and race shops allowing visitors to learn about those venues. 


The bulk of exhibits are fed from a central control room on the fourth floor of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.  The large-venue spaces, such as the Belk High Octane Theater, are fed from an additional control room on the first floor.


Electrosonic also provided the NASCAR Hall of Fame's fiber optic backbone and developed a centralized control system. Throughout the project, Electrosonic partnered with local AV contractors, and the company is  providing, at no additional cost to the client, an onsite service technician for one year to guarantee smooth systems operation.


"Electrosonic provided excellent service from the initiation of their involvement in the project.  Their management team was highly responsive to the owner's needs," said Kathleen Drake, project manager at the City of Charlotte.


"The Electrosonic team was a critical partner in the successful completion, opening and early months of operations of the NASCAR Hall of Fame," added Winston Kelly, executive director, NASCAR Hall of Fame.  "The NASCAR Hall of Fame is one of the most complex endeavors undertaken by all parties involved.  We had some very challenging deadlines that were critical to meet in order for us to open on schedule and within budget.  All this required exceptional coordination, cooperation and communication.  Regardless of the circumstances, the Electrosonic team met those challenges to ensure we are providing a quality product and experience for our guests."


Gary Barnes was Electrosonic's project manager for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Tony Peugh and Jim Funke were the commissioning engineers and Vince Conquilla the site supervisor.  The NASCAR Media Group provided the linear media for the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Unified Field produced the interactive content.


The NASCAR Hall of Fame is owned by the City of Charlotte, licensed by NASCAR and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.


For more information, please visit www.electrosonic.com.


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