Racing fans tagging Kentucky Derby photos can see themselves on big screen
Churchill Downs is now home of the world's largest outdoor video display, and anyone with a cell phone camera account can become an instant star.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Churchill Downs is now home to the world's largest outdoor video displays of its kind, and anyone with a cell phone camera can become an instant star.
Although the horses are always the stars during the Kentucky Oaks and Derby, there's another attraction this year's that's grabbing a lot of attention: the newly installed video board that boasts the world's largest outdoor HD video screen.
"It looks awesome," said one impressed Oaks fan.
At 90-feet tall and 170-feet wide, it looms over Churchill Downs.
"I think it's pretty cool," said one veteran race fan.
Fans can see the Big Board from almost anywhere at the track, allowing some to actually see a race.
But some traditionalists, like Kim Kannappel, are not convinced just yet.
"I like the old-school Churchill Downs. The new stuff is kind of different. I'm still getting used to it," she said.
But even in the new Grandstand Terrace, with its party atmosphere and great view of the track, the Big Board is a big hit.
"You definitely can't miss it. It helps out a lot with the races, so you can tell what's going on," said one woman.
Andrew Isaacson and Brad Grabowski have a special interest in the giant screen. They've developed software that allows anyone with a cell phone camera to get their photo on the Big Board.
Grabowski says anyone tagged in a photo with the #KYDERBY could show up on the big screen.
"It (the picture) will come to us," Grabowski said. "We'll moderate it and make sure it's good and that it is appropriate for the board, and then it will be pushed out to the board for the fan to see."
Grabowski and Isaacson work for a company called The Famous Group. The two Californians are part of the historic track's effort to keep up with the times.
"It's a great way for their fans to really experience this and share their experience with everyone else," said Grabowski.
The software -- called Vixi -- has been used at sporting events all over the world, but never on this scale.
"It's great seeing the reaction from the fans around here to be able to have that experience where they can actually be participating with the event and feel like they're really involved with the whole experience and this giant, brand new board," Grabowski said.
One woman was pleasantly surprised when she found out about it.
"Oh my gosh, I didn't know we could be on the big board!" she said.
So whether you're at the track or in your living room, just tag your photo with #KYDERBY and you could end up on the big board.
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