The completion of the steel frame that will support the world’s largest high-definition video board was marked today with a topping out ceremony featuring special guest Ed “Too Tall” Jones, former Dallas Cowboy All-Pro defensive end. Construction continues on the massive screen created by Panasonic that will debut during Charlotte Motor Speedway’s 2011 May race events.

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“We opened the new stadium in Dallas two years ago that had the largest TV in the world up until today, so I wanted to see it,” said Jones. “The one in Dallas was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen in my life, but this one just kind of tops it all.” 

Jones placed an American flag on the final girder, which was hoisted more than 110 feet in the air and secured atop the 500,000-pound steel frame that will hold the 165,000-pound HD video board. The girder, measuring 40 feet wide with a 10 foot depth of bracing steel, was signed by dignitaries taking part in the ceremony, including Jones; Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway; and Richard Ballard, vice president of sales, Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company, as well as construction workers who have been part of the project.

“We are so excited for all the fans to come here for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600 and see just how big this TV is,” said Smith. “Our fans are going to love it. They’re going to have a great time and they just will not believe how exciting the racing will be when they can watch it both in front of them on the track and catch all the action on the television screen. It’s literally the biggest Fans First initiative in our history.”

The HD video board construction is being completed by crews from Granite Contracting and Parker Crane Service of Concord, N.C.; Mid-Atlantic Construction of Charlotte, N.C.; and Eastern Sign Tech of Burlington, N.J. The approximately 200-foot-wide, 80-foot-tall screen will eventually rise 110 feet above the track on the steel support structure.

“This is a very exciting time for us. This is the world’s largest high-definition video screen and we will be getting that certified by the Guinness Book of World Records,” said Ballard. “Panasonic is very pleased to be a part of this as we bring the fan experience closer and the fans closer to the races. And by doing that we hope to increase that fan experience, making it better not only at the races but all throughout the rest of the year here at Charlotte Motor Speedway.”

The next construction phase on the world’s largest HD video board will start the first week of April and will include the installation of the 158 panels that make up the 16,000 square foot screen. Thirteen sub-electric panels will also be installed, each of which will power a “panel riser,” or a column of panels. Once construction is completed, more than nine million LED lamps will illuminate the Panasonic video board during each NASCAR race event at Charlotte Motor Speedway this spring, including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29.

The screen will be centered along the backstretch between Turns 2 and 3, across from the start/finish line. Fans seated throughout the frontstretch from Turn 4 to Turn 1 will have clear viewing angles of instant replays, leaderboard updates and interactive entertainment displayed in 720P high-definition visuals.

For continuous updates on the Panasonic HD video board, watch the construction webcam on www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.

Frontstretch tickets with the best views of the new HD video board and pit road start at just $49 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.  Fans can also purchase two frontstretch tickets for just $99 to the Coca-Cola 600 by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.

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