Baseball fans in the New York City area now have even more reason to begin jonesing for the start of Spring Training during the infuriating MLB lockout — Samsung Electronics America and the New York Mets have announced big plans for big screens at Citi Field.

The two parties revealed Sunday that Samsung Electronics America has been named the ballpark’s official display and technology solutions partner after entering a multi-year deal to completely transform the Queens-based venue’s numerous video display screens with the intention of creating “an interactive fan experience like never before.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Samsung Electronics USA, which has U.S. headquarters a few miles outside of Manhattan, in nearby Ridgefield Park, N.J., will leverage its expertise in Digital Signage innovation to outfit Citi Field from its “unique portfolio of displays, content management platforms and services.”

The display transformation is expected to match the team’s transformation in recent weeks following the high-ticket additions All-Stars like intense pitching ace Max Scherzer who now joins the face of the Mets — the legendary former Cy Young Award winning starter Jacob DeGrom in new manager Buck Showalter’s growing arsenal of arms.

“Baseball is one of America’s great historical pastimes and thanks to cutting-edge display- and data-driven innovation, we are ushering in a new, exciting era that transforms the ballpark experience and brings fans into the game like never before,” stated Harry Patz Jr., Samsung Electronics America Display Division senior VP and GM. “Technology is central to the way fans enjoy sports, and we are thrilled to bring Samsung’s full display portfolio, solutions and expertise to this new era of fandom.”

The ballpark upgrade is billed as one of the “largest single projects in all professional sports” and will take place over the next two years, after which Citi Field is expected to be one the most technologically advanced ballparks in the major leagues, Samsung and the team said.

Samsung said it will deploy the full breadth of its display portfolio and technology solutions throughout the ballpark “to create the first connected venue in Major League Baseball.” In the first phase of the project in the year ahead, Samsung is slated to deploy new ribbon boards and more than 1,300 LCDs and touch screens throughout the ballpark. These screens are intended to help lead fans to the shortest lines and ensure they don’t miss a single pitch, the team said.

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Then, in time for the 2023 season, Samsung will install a new larger and enhanced centerfield LED scoreboard.

“Samsung has a rich tradition of innovation and purpose-built technology. Over a two-year period, we’ll transform a once static signage environment to an all-digital experience,” said Mark Quiroz, Vice President Product Marketing, Display Division, Samsung Electronics America. “By seamlessly weaving display technology and sensors into the existing environment, Samsung will create a gateway for connectivity at Citi Field for both the operators and the fans.”

The scope of plans involves the following:

Installing more than 1,300 LCD screens and 4,000 square feet of direct view LED screens in public spaces, enhancing the fan experience at every touch point and providing alerts for when their team merchandise is ready for pick up.

Installing a ballpark-wide IPTV system that with acces to nearly 100 channels of sports and entertainment content.

Double the number of slow-motion replay systems and three times as many cameras for increased game coverage.

Installing an enhanced and fully upgraded 4K scoreboard based on Samsung’s latest LED technology.

“Our partnership with Samsung is a significant investment from our owner Steve Cohen to bring the most state-of-the-art technology to the ballpark and provide our fans an even better experience at Citi Field,” said Mets Chief Technology Officer Mark Brubaker. “The quality of these upgrades and integration into the daily experience for our fans make Citi Field an industry leader when it comes to the most innovative technological displays.”

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By Greg Tarr

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