IndyCar to add more video screens and leader boardsUPDATE The IndyCar Series this year will add four LED leaderboards at street courses, reduce the minimum age for garage access to nine, and build a small-portable stage that crew members can use to explain what fans see in the garage. The moves, expected to be disclosed today at 4:00pm ET during the organization's State of The Series address in Indianapolis, are part of a series of steps designed to improve the at-track experience for fans and raise awareness of drivers, said IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard.
"We want to give our fans value,” Bernard said. “We want to say, 'We've had a tough eight years but give us a chance and let us show you our sport again.'" He said that leaderboards were not visible at street courses, so the series is adding four this year to showcase driver standings, individual drivers and sponsors. He said he wanted to lower the minimum age required for garage access from 18- to 9-years old, so that kids could "see and smell and hear the amazing cars."
Bernard came up with the idea of building a portable stage that would go from garage-to-garage because as he walked around the garage last year, he wanted to know more about what crews were doing. The stage will have a 50-inch monitor and a sound system so that crew chiefs and crew members can stand on it and explain the work being done on a car. In addition to those enhancements, Bernard said the series will offer more elaborate driver introductions before each race. He added, "We want to get these drivers up more and make them bigger than life." SportsBusiness Journal
12/27/10 Randy Bernard, in a SPEEDTV.com interview said, "One thing I'm going to do this year, is when you go to a speedway and you want to see who's in what position, you look at the leader pole. It's right there in front of everybody to see and it's great. But if you go to road or street course, there’s not always one around. You just have video boards to go from and those can show a million different things throughout the day. I'm making four leader poles that will be 14 feet high, that we’ll be able to put primarily at road and street courses that we’ll be able to put where the crowds are, so fans will be able to see who is winning and what's going on at all given times.
"I'm also putting two more jumbo video screens at every event. We're putting in $750,000 worth of enhancements to sound at events. I’m working on a driver intro stage that’s 16 feet high so that it's overwhelming. I want a big video screen behind it so you can develop the stars and develop the feeling of the show. This goes back to creating the feel of being at an event, not just a race. At the intros for PBR events, we used to drop riders from the ceiling. I'm talking just unbelievable stuff. We dropped an F-16 from the ceiling one time for an Air Force tribute. We did some pretty radical stuff."
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