SBD/Issue 237/Facilities & Venues

Large Technology Buildout Unveiled At New Meadowlands Stadium

Cisco CEO John Chambers Unveils Company's
StadiumVision Buildout For New Meadowlands

The Giants, Jets, Cisco and Verizon yesterday unveiled key elements of a more than $100M technology buildout at New Meadowlands Stadium, part of what Giants President & CEO John Mara called "our effort to have the most plugged-in, high-def, technologically advanced sports and entertainment venue in the world." Many of the technology elements replicate what Cisco has done recently in other pro venues such as Cowboys Stadium and Yankee Stadium, including its Internet Protocol-powered StadiumVision technology that enables live game footage, statistics, news, traffic and weather information, wayfinding, security and other data to be shown using more than 2,200 HD video displays, as well as a heavy use of mobile technology through a set of Verizon-powered facility- and team-specific applications. There are also several newer elements at the $1.6B stadium. The StadiumVision buildout at the facility uses an updated version of the technology designed in part to power the rapid shifting of digital signage, branding and other elements at New Meadowlands Stadium from Jets colors and marks to those of the Giants and back again, depending on who is playing. That shifting back and forth will not only allow for a marked degree of team personalization compared to the now-demolished Giants Stadium, but also enable each team to offer their own individualized concessions using the digital signage. The technology buildout is also designed to support the use of 3D video technology as that continues to develop and become more common.

FIRST-CLASS TREATMENT: The Jets disclosed they have accepted the offer from Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross, who owns mobile technology unit FanVision, for 5,000 free FanVision units, which the team will primarily use for its club and suite holders. FanVision, using its own dedicated band of wireless spectrum, enables users to access the NFL's RedZone channel, a variety of replays and statistics, other NFL games and fantasy football content. Twelve NFL teams are currently slated to use FanVision this fall, including the Cardinals, Bears and Seahawks. After the 5,000 free FanVision units offered to each NFL team, many of the participating clubs will sell additional units to fans at $200 each. In addition, the Jets have aligned with digital design outfit Roundarch to power a real-time online dashboard that will monitor concession sales, parking, ticketing and other stadium functions in real time and show various trends in those metrics. The dashboard will be strictly for internal use, as opposed to the business-to-consumer elements of most of the other technology in the building. Like many other newer NFL stadiums, the technology buildout was designed in great degree to compete with the in-home NFL fan experience, which has seen numerous upgrades in recent years and in some markets has begun to siphon fans away from stadiums (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).

ON THE CUTTING EDGE: Jets Owner Woody Johnson said, "We've made the New Meadowlands Stadium more information-rich than any sporting venue has ever been, and we've made it as comfortable and well-stocked as your dream kitchen and living room." Mara: "When fans enter New Meadowlands, they are going to feel like they're stepping into the future" (NEWSDAY, 8/24). Verizon Chair & CEO Ivan Seidenberg added the technology "raises the bar for everybody in terms of creating the best consumer experience whether you're in the stadium or you're not in the stadium" ("Squawk on the Street," CNBC, 8/23).



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