SBJ: Mavericks, Stars unveil largest capital upgrades to American Airlines Center
September 26, 2023
The Stars and Mavericks yesterday unveiled $20M worth of upgrades to American Airlines Center, the “largest round of capital improvements in AAC history,” according to Brad Townsend of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. The “most striking” upgrade is the 30% larger LED center videoboard, which alone cost $10M. Complemented by “new end-bowl videoboards and the replacement of all 19,134 seats with more ergonomic cushion and darker fabric,” the 22-year-old AAC’s interior “looks at least several years newer.” The Mavericks and Stars, by "most appearances, have been conscientious co-tenants and amicable 50-50 partners throughout” the $420M arena’s life, “sharing improvement and upkeep expenses” totaling $100M. Though both franchises “agree on many things," on one major issue they are "a house divided.” The Stars said that they would “like to make more extensive upgrades to AAC” and “remain there for the foreseeable future, beyond both franchises’ lease expiration of July 28, 2031.” But the Mavericks, specifically owner Mark Cuban, wants to “build a new arena as the centerpiece of a destination resort-casino.” Townsend wrote it is a “flash point” that tenants of many of the 17 NBA and 21 NHL arenas built between 1993 and 2002 "have or are confronting.” Townsend: "Make no mistake, though: Cuban is thrilled about the current AAC enhancements and how they will improve the fan experience and thus, he hopes, the Mavericks’ homecourt advantage" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/25).
EVERYTHING'S BIGGER IN TEXAS: Townsend in a separate piece wrote the Dallas-Ft. Worth sports market is “well-known for its audacious Lone Star State-sized videoboards, specifically Texas Motor Speedway’s ‘Big Hoss’ and AT&T Stadium’s ‘JerryTron,’” both of which formerly held spots in the Guinness Book of World Records.
AAC’s $10M center display Samsung videoboard does not yet “have a nickname” and is not “as gargantuan as its North Texas brethren, but it’s 30% larger than its AAC predecessor.” ANC& C10 Media CEO Jerry Cifarelli Jr., the person behind the construction of AAC’s new videoboard, said, “It’s a better resolution than Jerry World’s, I’ll tell you that.”
Townsend noted AAC’s videoboard is 44 feet long, 31 feet wide, 26 feet tall and has “super-high resolution: 3.9mm.” The “biggest difference-maker,” however, are the videoboard’s “four 10-foot high underbelly screens.” The center hung videoboard is part of $20M in AAC upgrades, which “includes a new $3.5 million roof, a $1.5 million sound-system upgrade and new videoboards in both ends of the arena oval as well as the AAC’s outside wall facing south” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/25).
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Cuban said that his reasons for wanting to construct a new arena “mostly are about his desire to build an arena as the centerpiece of a resort-casino and make Dallas ‘a true tourist destination.’” Townsend in a separate piece wrote a “lesser but still tangible reason is that years of encroaching development gradually swallowed AAC-neighboring surface-parking lots.” The Stars and AAC COO Dave Brown agree that “urban density has made it more difficult for fans on game and concert nights.” But they said that the problem “has nothing to do with the number of parking spaces.” When asked if the idea involves adding pedestrian or sky bridges between parking garages and the arena, Stars President & CEO Brad Alberts said, “Yes, that’s something that we would look at.” Townsend noted such structures “certainly wouldn’t come cheaply,” and at the moment, of AAC’s two tenants, “only the Stars are publicly declaring a desire to remain in the venue beyond both franchises’ lease expiration date of July 28, 2031” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/25).
Today, the American Airlines Center unveils a new $10 million video board. The upgrade is part of a $20 million facelift to the home of the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars.
SBJ: Seven stadiums roll out ANC digital signs, tech for college football season
The college football season kicked off last weekend with four football stadiums sporting new digital signs and tech from ANC -- SMU’s Gerald Ford Stadium, Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium, Rutgers’ SHI Stadium and Marshall’s Joan C. Edwards Stadium