On September 18th, the Minnesota Vikings kicked off their first home game of the 2016 NFL season at their newly constructed home field, the U.S. Bank Stadium, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. To honor the groundbreaking season opener, a special Minnesota themed halftime event was orchestrated to invigorate fans and bolster hometown pride. The plan was to pay tribute to late hometown popstar and lifelong Vikings fan, Prince. The halftime show tribute would include a visual montage of Prince’s career highlights projected digitally across the stadium field as the Minnesota Orchestra and gospel group, The Steeles performed Prince’s iconic hit, Purple Rain. As a pioneer in the new wave of experiential sports entertainment, Quince Imaging was naturally selected to provide the in-stadium projections.
As the first in the lighting and staging industry to design a 3D projection system for sports arenas, Quince has designed and installed more permanent sports projection systems than any other organization in North America. Venues such as Philips Arena, Prudential Center, Quicken Loans Arena, Wells Fargo Center and the United Center in Chicago top the list. When approached by longtime partner, The Famous Group, the production company in charge of designing digital content for the Prince tribute at the Vikings halftime show, Quince welcomed the opportunity to cross boundaries, going beyond the world of NBA and NHL sports arena projections and venturing into the world of NFL stadium projections for the first time.
The task at hand was to engineer a high-quality, broadcast-ready projection mapping solution to display images that would span the height of the stadium field. In order to pull it all off, Quince Imaging was challenged with creating a foolproof projection system capable of integrating projection mapping, media server technology, multi-channel audio playback and high-resolution graphics that could be installed in a single day at stadium height- an astounding 200 feet. Additionally, the display would have to be captivating enough to encapsulate the opening-night enthusiasm of more than 66,000 fans and carry it through to the second half of the game.
Once the objectives were clearly defined, engineers and display designers at Quince Imaging launched into a rigorous planning and testing phase to ensure optimal performance of the customized projection system. Special attention to detail was required to guarantee smooth delivery and brightness of the projected images, considering the daunting 200-foot height component. The end result? A projection solution that brought the stadium to life with vibrant, high resolution images.
Quince team experts harnessed projection mapping technology in conjunction with state-of-the-art media servers, high resolution graphics and playback to deliver remarkable in-stadium projections and an immersive, opening night experience that delighted a record breaking home game audience of Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers fans alike. The headline making Prince-tribute halftime show was also referred to in an online article by Rolling Stone as “the most memorable moment of the night.” It’s safe to say, the opening night of the U.S. Bank Stadium, which ushered in a win for the currently undefeated Vikings, was a resounding success from start to finish.