Attending live sporting events at an arena or stadium have long been part of tradition for many sports fans. It was also a great way to bond with friends and family to have a memorable experience together. As years have passed by, less and less sports fans are interested in going to the stadium or an arena because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of high ticket prices as well as parking issues. The advancement of technology has made it easier for the sports fan to enjoy the game from the comfort of their own homes. Be it that they want to eat as much food drink as many beers as they want without going broke or wanting to keep up with their fantasy teams, and it’s easy to see why fans choose to stay home.
The stadium owners and management have finally started to notice and now are upgrading or building stadiums to be the most high tech so sports fans have a better experience than they previously had. Sports and technology have collided and major communications and technology companies such as AT&T and IBM have partnered with the stadium to take the fan experience to another level and make it worth it to leave the couch.
With so many stadiums and arenas in the world the upgrades or building of new high tech stadiums will take time. But there are already some stadiums and arenas who have upgraded their technology and have become a major hit among the local and visiting sports fans. Listed below are the top 15 high tech stadiums that are already open and use the new technology. If you love free high speed WiFi access on your smart phone or tablet (and really, who doesn’t?) then you must visit these stadiums and arenas.
This list will only include stadiums that are already built and not projects on the way, such as the Minnesota Vikings’ new home set to open in 2016 or L.A’s future football stadium.
15. University of Phoenix Stadium
The first stadium on this list is the University of Phoenix Stadium. Located in Glendale, Arizona it is home to the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. The stadium just hosted the past Super Bowl and is one of the most unique and one of a kind stadiums on this list. The grass on the field is retractable and can be moved inside and out of the stadium on 500 steel wheels. Before hosting the SuperBowl, the team as well as the stadium partnered with CDW a technology solutions company to upgrade the wireless network. High speed WiFi use is available now at the stadium. Another technology upgrades for the SuperBowl and other major future sports events included new LED video boards at each end of the stadium.
14. LP Field
LP Field has started to slowly integrate to become one of the prominent high tech stadiums in the world. Located in Nashville, Tennessee, it is the home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans and the Tennessee State Tigers. LP Field partnered with Comcast which is a major media company to bring free high speed WiFi access for fans at the stadium. The Titans also have a mobile app in which fans have the latest news, video, and have live in stadium views from multiple angles while at LP Field. They also have access to the live Red Zone Channel while at the stadium. LP Field looks to be in good shape in moving forward as a high tech stadium.
13. Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium is a worldwide sports icon. As the biggest soccer stadium in England it has hosted many major soccer events, music concerts and other major sports events. To make the stadium even better they have partnered with EE which is the UK’s most advanced digital communications company. It is part of a six-year deal which includes mobile ticketing solutions as well as free WiFi use. They have also developed an app which is now available that will include a feed of the latest news, images, video and audio clips.
The app will also include a stadium map to help people find their seats in the stadium. A national travel planner will also be in the app to help stadium visitors plan their journey to and from the stadium. EE intends to make Wembley Stadium the most connected stadium. They have also started trails of the 4G+ mobile service which will be available to the public near the end of this month.
12. Avaya Stadium
The newly built Avaya Stadium located in San Jose, California makes the list. It is home to the MLS’s San Jose Earthquakes. The team sponsor Avaya who is also the name holder of the stadium has partnered with the soccer team to be the first MLS team to use cloud technology. A mobile app will be available to download through smartphones or tablets in which fans may pay for tickets, food, parking and “fan engagement walls” that use cloud technology to display HD videos, live Twitter feeds and player statistics. The stadium includes tall video screens called “fan engagement walls” that are placed in various parts of the stadium show player videos, updated player stats and live fan tweets. Of course, there is free high speed WiFi available at the stadium.
11. MetLife Stadium
MetLife Stadium located in East Rutherford, New Jersey and holds two tenants in the New York Giants and the New York Jets. It’s been home to several high profile events, including Super Bowl XLVIII, WrestleMania XXIX and of course, Bruce Springsteen concerts.
It has become one of the high tech stadiums because of technology upgrades. There are four HD video display boards in each corner of the stadium. These are all digitally connected to concession stands’ registers. That leads to quicker ticket scanning, faster trips to concessions and quick HD video highlights throughout the building. There are also over 2,100 HD monitors throughout the stadium. Each screen can receive over 70 channels of cable and broadcast TV programming along with in stadium channels. If that’s not enough, free WiFi is available in the stadium. An stadium app is also being created and when that is completed, Met Life Stadium will become even more high tech.
10. Twickenham Stadium
Twickenham Stadium is the second European stadium on this list and it is located in Twickenham, London, England. The stadium is the home of English rugby. The stadium has signed a partnership with Sports Revolution to make Twickenham stadium among the most digitally advanced stadiums in Europe. A LED fan engagement and advertising system stretches one kilometer around the stadium at pitch side and middle tier levels. The stadium has an app which allows fans to pre order food, drinks and merchandise through their smart phones. Fans can than pick up food at special express lines located in six bars around the stadium and West Fan Village. Twickenham Stadium is the stadium to go to while visiting the UK.
9. Stanford Stadium
Stanford Stadium is a popular and well known college stadium. It is also known for being one of the high tech college stadiums. Located in Stanford, California and on the Stanford University Campus, it is home to the Cardinal and is the former home of the San Jose Earthquakes. In 2011, Stanford University became the first college ever to offer free WiFi access with partnership from AT&T at Stanford Stadium. Fans with smart phones can connect to watch replays and get real time stats. They can also use their smart phones at the ticket gate where tickets are sent to fans’ smart phones in a PDF format. They can also be added to Apple’s Passbook application for scanning. With Silicon Valley nearby, it will be interesting to see how Stanford University will continue to upgrade the stadium in the future for its students and other fans to enjoy.
8. McLane Stadium
McLane Stadium is starting to create buzz as it’s becoming the most high tech college football stadium. It is located in Waco, Texas and is home to the Baylor Bears. The stadium has brought the NFL experience to Baylor students and fans. Partnership with Extreme Networks and AT&T offers students and fans free WiFi service. A stadium app was also developed that allows fans live and on demand streaming action video as well as the latest news, photos, stats and other team information. There are also maps that help direct fans to parking areas. The app also has information on specialty concession stands.
7. Sporting Park
Sporting Park stadium located in Kansas City, and is turning heads in Major League Soccer. It is home to Sporting Kansas City. The stadium has a very popular app which fans can stream live video of the game on their smartphones and tablets from seven different camera angles and replay the action they may have missed. Free high speed WiFi is also available. Sporting Park became one of the leaders in high tech stadiums and many owners and executives of other stadiums followed their example. In a crowded market with the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals, it was important for Sporting Park to stand out and it does.
6. Sun Life Stadium
Sun Life is home to the Miami Dolphins and the Miami Hurricanes. The stadium has gone through massive changes, having been open since 1987. It is quickly becoming one of the best football stadiums in the world thanks to smart technology. IBM has partnered with the stadium to help make fans experience easier and smoother. The IBM Intelligent Operations Center allows the stadium staff to respond to parking changes, the weather forecast and also alerts the staff on shortages of beer or food at any concession stand within the stadium. Smart technology isn’t the only upgrade for Sun Life Stadium as there are other major renovations taking place for the 2016 NFL season.
5. Gillette Stadium
Gillette Stadium located in Foxborough, Massachusetts is a very busy stadium because of the defending Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots. Gillette Stadium became one of the very first NFL stadiums to offer free WiFi access to fans. A stadium app was created that gives fans various in stadium camera angles, live stats and the NFL Red Zone channel. Other cool features of the app include an alarm clock on Patriots home games that has voices of the players and coaches telling fans to wake up and get ready for game day. Fans can also figure out how long the wait time for the restaurants are in their section. They can also pre order food through the app and will let fans know where to pick up the food. Just by adding some new technology upgrades, Gillete Stadium just became even cooler as a high tech stadium.
4. AT&T Stadium
AT&T Stadium is among one of the most famous and well known stadiums in the world. It’s also affectionately known as “Jerry World” as it’s Jerry Jones’s playhouse where his Dallas Cowboys grace the field. To continue raising the stadium’s profile, they have partnered with AT&T to make several major technology upgrades. They have doubled cellular and WiFi capacity in the stadium so fans can use their smartphones with ease even with a capacity crowd of 100,000 people. A new 130-foot long video board over on the east end zone has been installed which can also rotate 360 degrees. New smart interactive touchscreen columns have been installed that display the Cowboys and their history. A new app will also be developed that will allow fans to upload photos directly to the big screen during games. With all of these new upgrades, AT&T Stadium continues to be one of the must visit stadiums in the world.
3. Barclays Center
While it is not a stadium, the revolutionary Barclays Center still merits a spot here. It’s home to the Brooklyn Nets and soon to be the home of the New York Islanders. The arena also just recently hosted some events from the NBA All Star weekend. Barclays Center partnered with Cisco Connected Sports and Entertainment Solutions company to make it happen. Free WiFi is available in the stadium as well as HD WiFi. The stadium app allows fans to see views from the bench, behind the basket as well as quick replays for fans in the upper levels. The app also provides other content as well including a guide for visiting Brooklyn. Barclays Center also has fixed digital screens throughout outside and inside of the building in which they will be able to change and update information. It also uses the screens to display train schedules and help fans better information on planning their departures from the arena.
2. AT&T Park
AT&T Park was one of the early leaders in upgrading technology in stadiums. It’s no surprise San Francisco would set the pace for technology. The Giants sure are proud to call this home. The team partnered with name holder AT&T to offer free WiFi service as well as good LTE service. The stadium has an app in which fans can buy game tickets or upgrade to better seats. Behind the scoreboard of the stadium, there is a social media hub in which fans can visit and check out a live feed of all social media related posts about the Giants. Get this, you can also charge your phone at one of 10 charging stations and there are 16 chargers for various devices. If you need serious charging, there is an AT&T Digital Device in which you can drop off the device to charge. AT&T Park hit a home run when it comes to high tech stadiums.
1. Levi’s Stadium
The distinction of being the most high tech stadium in the world belongs to Levi’s Stadium. Located in Santa Clara, California, it became the new home of the San Francisco 49ers last season and is set to host WrestleMania this year and Super Bowl 50 next year. The stadium has truly embraced the concept of smart technology and is a hit to the local and visiting fans after opening this past NFL season.
Sony, Intel, SAP and Yahoo! have partnered with the stadium to help deliver free high speed WiFi as well as the best stadium smart phone app available now. The app helps guides people to their seats either from the parking lot or in the stadium, guides people to the shortest bathroom lines and fans can stream up to four replays and watch the game live as well. That’s not all. The best part of the app is that fans can directly order food and drinks from their seats which will be delivered directly to their seats! Fans will no longer have to worry about missing the action. With so many added incentives it is worth every penny to visit Levi’s Stadium at least once.
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