BRISTOL, Tenn. (Oct. 7, 2015)—Welcome to a brighter, bolder Bristol, baby.

The Last Great Colosseum will soon be the home of the world's largest outdoor, permanent, center-hung digital display, officials announced Wednesday. The display, named Colossus, will plunge fans into the color, roar and rumble of events through four high-resolution screens and a thunderous sound system, making the Bristol experience more immersive than ever before.

"Combine all the energy and excitement of Bristol with the ultimate home theater system, and you've got Colossus," said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS). "The size, resolution, and sound of this display will draw our guests into every bit of action on the track and in the infield."

Each of Colossus' four custom-built screens is approximately 30 feet tall by 63 feet wide. In total, the system hosts nearly 54 million LEDs and 18 million pixels. At 6mm pitch, the pixels are grouped tighter than the large-scale outdoor displays in Times Square. The result: a glimmering visual experience capable of offering 281 trillion different color combinations, and one that's 23 times brighter and 25 percent sharper than the typical home HD TV.

The display will hang from a halo-shaped truss and features an additional circular LED display beneath the screens which measures nearly six feet in height. Between the screens and the LED ring, that's more than 8,500 square feet of high-resolution, active viewing area.

Colossus also boasts a state-of-the-art, 540,000-watt audio system powering 380 3-way loudspeakers and 48 stadium subwoofers, enough to make any rock star squirm with envy. By contrast, the current system hosts 2,400 watts of power, with only 10 2-way loudspeakers and 8 subwoofers.

The scale and quality of the project draws on the technology solutions expertise of partners such as Panasonic, a company known for creating large displays in numerous iconic sports venues across the U.S., including other Speedway Motorsports, Inc., (SMI) tracks like Charlotte and Texas Motor Speedways.

"Panasonic is honored to be chosen by Bristol Motor Speedway as their technology partner for a project that so dramatically transforms the fan experience," said Douglas Moss, senior vice president, Marketing and Sales, president of Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company.  "We worked closely with Bristol to recommend a unique, high-end technology solution that we believe is a true game-changer.  Colossus lives up to its name in every respect, creating a completely immersive fan experience with its sheer size, unparalleled resolution and imaging crispness.  Panasonic has a proud relationship with Speedway Motorsports, Inc., delivering customized technology solutions to SMI-owned and operated member race tracks, a legacy that continues to grow and now includes Bristol as the latest high-profile success story."

Once the build begins in November, the track's existing pylon and screen frame will be removed, clearing the infield for next year's NASCAR events and the Battle at Bristol, college football's biggest-ever game. Colossus will rise via four massive support towers ranging in height from 190-220 feet and weighing in at approximately 437 tons. These will be positioned outside the bowl, and the display will then be suspended over the infield by miles of cabling, the largest of which exceeds the diameter of the vertical cables supporting the Golden Gate Bridge.

Rentenbach Constructors of Knoxville, Tenn. is taking on the build of the structure. "It's a real thrill for Rentenbach to be back at BMS to help install this exciting piece of technology," said Don Freeman, chairman, Rentenbach Constructors, a Christman Company.  "Construction of the Speedway continues to be a special point of pride for everyone at our company, and the chance to do more than be on the sidelines cheering at the upcoming Battle at Bristol will make this once-in-a-lifetime game day even more special."

According to Caldwell, Colossus will be ready to dazzle guests at the Spring 2016 NASCAR race. Throughout the year, BMS will demonstrate one of Colossus' additional design elements: the ability to transfer screens around the facility for events like the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in June and the track's annual holiday celebration, Speedway in Lights.

"Colossus will transform the way we see, hear and experience events at Bristol, and provide additional opportunities for events here," said Caldwell. "We're fortunate to have entrepreneurs and owners like Bruton and Marcus Smith who care about providing fans with the best possible entertainment experience."

Colossal Facts:

Colossus is brilliant.

  • Colossus has the highest viewing quality of any permanent outdoor stadium display in the world. It features 2880 x 1350 lines of resolution, compared to the average home HDTV screen at 1920 x 1080.
  • Colossus hosts nearly 54 million LEDs and 18 million pixels, and is capable of displaying 281 trillion different color combinations.
  • The space between pixels, known as pitch, is closer on Colossus than any other large-scale outdoor installation. At 6mm pitch, the pixels are grouped tighter than the large-scale outdoor displays in Times Square.

Colossus is big.

  • It’s the largest outdoor, center-hung screen display in the world.
  • Colossus features four LED screens. Each one is 29.5 feet tall and 62.9 feet wide, and all together, equals approximately 1,145 50-inch TV’s.
  • Each screen will be at least 20 feet closer to guests and 5 times larger than current screens.
  • The unit will also have a lower viewing ring measuring 5 feet 11 inches high by almost 189 feet in circumference, for an additional 961.2 total square feet of screen space.
  • Colossus weighs nearly 700 tons. This includes:
    • 437 tons of steel among the four supporting towers, or roughly the same weight as 1,748 college football goal posts.
    • 127 tons in the supporting ring, screen frame and screens. That’s more than the combined weight of every player and coach on the UT and VT football teams—for the next five years.
  • 117 tons of cabling. The largest diameter cable weighs 63 pounds per foot, and the suspension cables are larger than the vertical cables supporting the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • The main cable suspending the screens is long enough to circle the track twice.

Colossus is bold.

  • With 540,000 watts powering 380 3-way loudspeakers and 48 stadium subwoofers, Colossus’ sound system will go boom. By comparison, the former system featured 2,400 watts, 10 2-way loudspeakers and 8 subwoofers.
  • Colossus provides a listening distance of no more than 90 feet from speakers to ears, compared to a previous listening distance of 200-400 feet.
  • The quality of the system’s speakers means there will be less than 3 decibels of difference among any seat in the grandstands.
  • The sound system hosts 40 miles of cabling and fiber optics, enough for 80 track laps.
  • All of Colossus’ electrical power is certified Green for energy efficiency.