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Gamer's Delight

It's considered ESPN's top sports bar on the east coast. And no wonder. The latest Chickie's & Pete's at Parx Casino offers the total experience, plus a unique video gaming environment.

Customized for the Home Team

In each entertainment pod, video game consoles and other gear sit in custom Middle Atlantic racks that are easy to service.

In each entertainment pod, video game consoles and other gear sit in custom Middle Atlantic racks that are easy to service.

Outside the APECs, in the main seating area, Crestron systems also handle the paging, lighting, and gameday effects. Management uses a 16GB Apple iPad loaded with the Crestron Mobile Pro G control app. With additional pro­gramming from ICD and creative input from PTC Group, the interface is simple to use, Powell says. Staff members can call up the app and touch the logo for whichever Philadelphia team is playing that day, whether it's the Phillies, 76ers, Eagles, or Flyers. During the game, theatrical lighting employs the chosen team's colors and logo to set the mood for fans.

"Management likes using the iPad to control each individual screen and zoned audio volume throughout the venue," Powell says. "ICD's Mark Kuhlman programmed the Crestron system so that Pete or any one of the managers can walk around the complex with the iPad and change the input to a particular screen while they're talking to a customer at their table. It makes for happy customers to watch a particular sport."

Intelligent lighting and AV events also kick in every time the home team scores. Management just hits the "score" button on the iPad to trigger special lighting and sound effects. "The restaurant explodes with sound, team colors, and strobes," Powell says.

To accommodate the plethora of back-end components needed to run the main room's sound, lighting, and video, PTC Group selected four Middle Atlantic MRK-4436 equipment racks–but with a special request. The standard racks feature a 36-inch depth to accommodate system distribution and control equipment, while also saving some premium space in the equipment room thanks to their 22-inch width.

But PTC Group also requested custom 30-amp plugs for the MRK-4436 power strips in order to accommodate the power consumption needs of Crown MA-5000i and MA-9000i amplifiers. Middle Atlantic was happy to oblige the custom request and has since offered 30-amp plugs as part of its regular product options.

With all the systems in place, the hometown effect is so great that the owners knew they'd want to accommodate the hometown sports media, too. Therefore Chickie's & Pete's also has its own broadcast booth for hosting local radio shows and network TV broadcasts. The booth and several locations throughout the complex are pre-wired to accommodate visiting production teams. That way no additional wires need to be run inside the venue that might potentially disrupt or interfere with patrons' enjoyment. The cables run back to an external truck dock where broadcasters can simply drive up, connect to an external panel, then unload their cameras and begin production.

At the end of the night, management powers down all the AV and lighting with one button on a master Crestron control panel. The systems automatically powers down in sequence. But they don't get much rest. Chickie's & Pete's is open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

The original Play2 system was installed at a previously opened Chickie's & Pete's in South Philadelphia. The Parx Casino location enjoyed the advantage of integrating its APECs during the venue's construction. Powell says the Parx Casino Chickie's & Pete's has been so successful that the company now intends to use it as a template for future locations that feature the Play2 experience. Several locations are in development.

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