NEWS

Supersized for football: Destin’s new jumbotron

Savannah Chastain
The jumbotron at AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar was custom built by Impact TV out of California, and boasts a concert quality sound system and high quality screen technology. “When it goes into the shadows, it will automatically adjust the brightness of the screen,” said McCraw.

It’s finally football season, and time to catch the glory of the game with good food, great friends and of course a good atmosphere. Now you can catch the action on the big screen, Destin-style while down on the harbor. AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar has just installed a 20-by-10 foot jumbotron in its outdoor dining area, just in time for America’s favorite fall past time.

“The idea is to draw people to the harbor, and once they get here to AJ’s,” said Marketing Director Tracy McCraw. “It will be a signature for AJ’s. Any big sporting event, watch it here and watch it like you’re there.”

The new screen is phase one of a building project to expand the restaurant’s current outdoor dining area. Features include a stage, a new bar area, and a future enclosed special event space.

“This has been a project in motion for awhile because of the timeframe we had to get the monitor up and running,” said McCraw. “In the future this outdoor bar will feature beer taps all along the wall and be a full service bar.”

Currently the area known as the Tiki Village can seat about 200 people, but the jumbotron can be seen from the waterside, and along the walkway of the docks.

“There are anywhere from 200 to 400 people walking through milling in and out,” said McCraw of the area which has already hosted two weeks worth of football screenings. “It’s like game day central, that’s what we’re making it,” he said.  

McCraw told The Log that the new screen and staging area will offer not only sporting events, but also a variety of opportunities for the restaurant including concerts, movie screenings, and community events.

“Any big sporting event, anything that has a final game, you can watch it here,” he said. “In between we will be showing movies, screening music events, and beyond that we will use it to show what’s going on at the harbor and here at AJ’s.”

Along with football, McCraw said the next big event to be hosted on the big screen will be the Destin Fishing Rodeo in October.

“We’ll be doing some live camera shots on the big screen and tie it very close to the rodeo of course,” he said.

But for now, the jumbotron is all geared up for football. Numerous college and NFL team flags surround the stage, and screenings of the games begin as early as 11 a.m. and run until midnight.

“Our plans are to show all the major schools in the area, with SEC and ACC as our cornerstones,” said McCraw. “And on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays to show NFL games.”

For details on what will be showing on the jumbotron visit www.ajs-destin.com or call 837-1913.