Downtown buildings get a splash of Super Bowl color

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 11:31 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 26 at 2:05 PM

DALLAS — Starting Friday, the stars at night (and downtown lights) will be big and bright, deep in the heart of North Texas.

Buildings in the Dallas and Fort Worth business districts will be dressing up in blue and red to honor the two Super Bowl teams.

The striking vistas will be seen by thousands of Super Bowl visitors in person, and millions watching worldwide.

As unique and alluring as the Dallas and Fort Worth skylines are, the North Texas Super Bowl Host Committee wanted something more. But what?

”We pretty much left no stone unturned," said Host Committee spokesman Charley Wilson. "We looked at everything — ranging from putting big graphics on buildings to wrapping buildings in banners.”

Super graphics, like the ones hung from Dallas buildings for the NBA All-Star game, are great. But they're expensive.

Then, Wilson described how a light bulb went on.

“What you can do though in a less expensive way is perhaps demonstrate your support just by lighting up your town,” he said.

So, on Friday night in Dallas several downtown buildings will go blue because it is the official host city for the NFC. Many buildings in Fort Worth will shine red because it is the AFC host city. The colors match the respective conference's logos.

Leading the way in Fort Worth is Sundance Square. It flipped to red for an exclusive News 8 preview.

“The great thing about lighting, particularly this accent lighting we're talking about, we can change it," said Sundance Square president and CEO Johnny Campbell. "It's on the building. The architecture is still going to be shown very well, and I think it sort of adds to the excitement, and a little bit of change is fun.”

In Dallas, Granite Properties' 1717 McKinney building uses a computer program to quickly change color from ground to roof to turn its 22-story "light lantern" blue.

“We see the economic benefit that it is bringing to Dallas, and we really like that we're able to participate in that,” said Jessica Warrior.

LED technology now lets buildings like 1717 change lighting colors and patterns quickly. There are 86,000 LED lights in the building.

Dallas' Hotel Joule used fewer lights to bathe in blue and Lincoln Plaza wrapped 45 sidewalk oaks in lights.

In Fort Worth, the Tower tops off in red, with others to follow Friday. All shining examples of what can happen with a bright idea.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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