Super Bowl LVI pays tribute to big game’s past with AR

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Super Bowl LVI marked the seventh time the Los Angeles County area has hosted the big game — a run that included the very first big game — and the milestone was celebrated with a massive augmented reality segment from The Famous Group.

To pay tribute to the city’s status as the first city to host a Super Bowl (as in Super Bowl I) in 1967, a large “curtain” that appeared to be suspended from a circular track suspended from the roof of SoFi Stadium, was digitally inserted.

The curtain was “printed” with photography of the interior of the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the host of both the 1967 and 1973 Super Bowls.

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The curtain then opened to reveal a 3D recreation of the historic columned peristyle of the Coliseum, complete with a digitally recreated flame shooting out from the torch in the center.

The 3D model also included two virtual video boards on either side of the flame as well as a recreation of the 1967 era scoreboard. 

The stadium did not feature giant video screens here back in 1967, but rather added them in a later renovation.

When they were added, the boards were notably single sided — with LED present only on the side facing the inside of the stadium, while the exterior facade was clad in paneling that could also be covered with giant billboard-style graphics.

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During a more recent round of renovations, these two video panels were removed as part of an effort to restore the original look of the peristyle. 

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After showcasing two special guests IRL — hall of famers from the 1967 matchup — a side view of the AR coliseum was shown, with the two players’ images fed to the virtual screens.

The view then cut to a wide view of the AR scene as a giant Super Bowl trophy was flown in and landed on the field by two jet pack propelled aircraft — one designated “NFL” and the other “AFL” — complete with virtual cables to “hold” the trophy.

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Meanwhile, the stadium model “sunk” into the 3D virtual riser and was replaced with a virtual version of the large “LVI” logo.

The real-time production was created by The Famous Group using Pixotope with rendering from the Unreal Engine. Other vendors on the project included Quince Imaging, SMT, LiveYard, Firebird Sound, TruePoint Laser Scanning and NEP.

With now seven games to its name, Los Angeles is actually in third place in the rankings of cities to host the most Super Bowls. New Orleans is second with 10 and Miami leads with 11.

The Coliseum hosted two Super Bowl matchups, the other in 1973, before the 1977, 1980, 1983, 1987 and 1993 games were played at the Rose Bowl.

Both the SoFi Stadium and Los Angeles Coliseum will play roles when the 2028 Summer Olympics returns to tinsel town in roughly six years, though, unlike before, the Coliseum is not hosting the opening ceremony this time around. Instead, SoFi Stadium will temporary shed its name and host the event along with soccer and archery competitions. 

The Coliseum has hosted several pro sports teams over the years, including Super Bowl LVI champs the Rams, and is now mainly used for the University of Souther California Trojans football games and other events, both connected to the university and not.

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