The New England Patriots Hall of Fame and Museum

Foxborough, MA

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The Hall at Patriot Place, the New England Patriots Hall of Fame and Museum, is designed to bring the Patriot legacy and great moments in the history of the team to life through dynamic exhibits and spatial experiences. Electrosonic was the principal AV systems integrator for the project.

The Hall at Patriot Place, a $22million investment by the Kraft family, is located right next to the spectacular Gillette Stadium in Foxborough MA, home to the famous New England Patriots NFL team. The Hall is a combined Museum and Hall of Fame. It opened in late 2008, and its interior architecture and exhibits were designed by Cambridge Seven Associates. It makes extensive use of audio, video and interactive media. Cortina Productions produced all the program content, and Electrosonic was the principal AV systems integrator.

Visitors to The Hall enter the exhibition area on the third floor and work their way down to the sports shop on the first floor. The entry is through the “Tunnel” with all the sounds associated with the start of a match. It leads to the “Grand Hall” which is dominated by giant ceiling and floor projection screens. These show images of Patriots, past and present – but every 20 minutes the shades come down and one of three “shows” is presented; “Heart”, “Unity” and “Champions”. Projection is by 3-chip DLP™ projectors of 16,000 and 8,500 lumen light output to deal with the large screen size and relatively high ambient light.

 


One floor and three overhead giant-screens dominate the Grand Hall space.

The Grand Hall features several impressive interactive exhibits. “In the numbers” has three 32inch LCD touchscreens in front of an overall game screen, allowing three participants to compete to score a touchdown based on their  knowledge of  football related numbers. The game is sponsored by Raytheon as part of their mathematics education programme.


The “In the Numbers” exhibit lets visitors compete with their friends.
Scoring a “touchdown” requires a knowledge of football related numbers.
Both entertaining and educational, the exhibit is part of Raytheon’s
MathMovesU programme.


The “New England Football” exhibit features the jerseys of the
local high school teams. An interactive database is accessed
by three large touchscreens.

The exhibit on “New England Football” emphasizes the fact that American Football was invented in New England. It features a 10 minute film on the game’s origins, and a database on all the local high school championship teams. This is kept up on-line by the teams themselves, and is accessed by another three 32inch touchscreens.

The Raytheon Theater presents The Hall’s signature film called “Patriots Way”. The 150 seat auditorium features a 45ft (13.7m) panoramic screen.


An image from “Patriots Way” showing how the team is part of New England.

The 15 minute show connects the fans to the Patriots. It shows how the loyal fan base was built up, and how ingrained the team is with New England. Of course, it also shows all the great moments. Three 3-chip DLP™ projectors with 6,500 lumen light output are used to create the image, with the images being soft-edgeblended to achieve an overall seamless image.

The show makes much use of multiple image techniques, for example by using a New England background with inset footage of team activities, and a superimposed “talking head” long term fan of the Patriots.

The Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame can be viewed from the third floor, but is accessed on the second floor. It is devoted to the all time greats of the Patriots team and currently there are 13 players so honoured. Four elegant touchscreen units allow visitors to select player statistics, biographical details and video clips.

The area is dominated by four giant “video pylons”, each 30ft (9.1m) high and 5ft (1.5m) wide that show the selected action images. The images are “back to back” so they are seen both from the outside of the building and within the Hall of Fame itself.

The pylon displays were supplied under a separate contract by Magink. They use a novel reflective cholesteric LCD technology. This means that the display is illuminated either by daylight, or by conventional lighting – it does not use power to generate light itself. Further, they use negligible power when showing a still image, power is needed only for changing images. Thus even with some moving video content, the pylons at Patriot Place use minimal power.

The display is a “tiled” display, with each tile 17 × 17cm (6.7 × 6.7 inches). Pixel pitch is 9mm. The overall effect is pleasing, since the image brightness relates directly to the ambient light. The effect is that of a dynamic poster and is far removed from that of an LED screen.


The elegant touchscreens in the Hall of Fame (left) and the video pylons (right) that use a novel reflective technology requiring minimum power.

There is much else to delight the fans at The Hall. The “Building Blocks” exhibit is based on artifacts and archive media that cover the up-and-down history of the Patriots franchise from their founding in 1959 to the present. The exhibit features five display cases and models representing different eras in the team’s history. In addition, there are three interactive touch screen kiosks that present comprehensive information on every Patriots team in history, including hundreds of rare photos and video clips.

The “Fan Zone” is self explanatory, a splendid clutter of memorabilia. The “Hall of Champions” celebrates the three times that the Patriots won the NFL Superbowl (XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX). As each trophy lights up, highlights from the corresponding game are shown.


Part of the “Building blocks” exhibit. In the background a facsimile of the cheque paid by Robert Kraft to secure the team.


In the Hall of Champions the Vince Lombardi trophies are displayed.
As each one lights up, highlights of the game are shown on twin plasma displays.

System control

All source and control equipment is rack mounted and installed in a central control room. Primary control of the exhibits, projectors and interactive equipment is by Crestron control systems, but overall supervisory, monitoring and schedule control is by Electrosonic ESCAN. All main equipment is linked using standard Ethernet networks.