Levi’s Stadium, the San Francisco 49ers’ new home, just had its ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 17, 2014. It is the NFL’s newest stadium, and, as befits its location in one of the most vibrant parts of Silicon Valley, it is also one of the most high-tech.
For starters, the stadium is one gigantic WiFi hotspot. Levi’s boasts more than a thousand access points spread strategically throughout the premises. Moreover, the stadium will be capable 40Gbps of connectivity, or about forty times the capacity of any other sports stadium currently in existence.
But wait. There’s more.
Fans in attendance will also have use of an in-stadium app that allows them to instantly watch replays on their mobile devices. The app will even allow feeds from a variety of different camera angles. This same app will give fans the capability of ordering food and beverages directly from their seats, as well as allow paperless ticketing. Clearly, this part of the Levi’s Stadium experience will go some way to mixing the live experience with some of the best comforts of watching the game at home.
Then there are the twin giant screens on each end of the stadium, which have a combined viewing area of 19,200 square feet. It makes me wonder if these screens are sharp enough to allow fans to have a clear look at the tattoos on 49ers starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s arms.
Then there are the countless HDTVs (provided by tech partner Sony) spread throughout the stadium. This means fans would probably never miss a moment, even as they go visit the restrooms or go to the team store to buy some merchandise.
As impressive as these amenities are, however, I’m even more impressed with other aspects of Levi’s Stadium’s design. Specifically, despite its obvious high technology, it’s said that the facility has a near-zero impact on the power grid. This is made possible by multiple arrays of solar panels that harvest the power of the sun built into bridges and other surfaces throughout the stadium. Much of the water used is also reclaimed.
It’s clear that a lot of brainpower went into building Levi’s Stadium.
And since I’ll be there for the San Francisco 49ers’ regular season home opener (Week 2, a Sunday Night Football contest vs the Chicago Bears), it’s plenty obvious that the team worked with and thought of geeks like me in the design and build of its new home.