Exploring the innovative tech plans for the Falcons' new stadium

From 2 360-degree, 63,000-square-foot HD halo video board to a field-level production studio, the stadium will feature some stunning technology.
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The Atlanta Falcons are building Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a state-of-the-art venue scheduled to open in 2017 and bring a multitude of new technologies that the sporting world has yet to see.

The crown jewel of the new stadium will come from the Falcons partnership with Daktronics, an industry leader in creating scoreboards and display systems. The Falcons have commissioned the company to create a 360-degree, 63,000-square-foot HD Halo video board that will be positioned at the center of the venue giving every fan a perfect view of the action. The stadium will also feature more than 2,000 video displays that will encompass everything from menu boards to televisions for fans to watch the game. Every display throughout the stadium will be connected through an IPTV system that will allow stadium operators to control what is being played on every display throughout the venue.

The goal in creating a venue like Mercedes-Benz Stadium is to allow fans to enjoy all of the technology that it has to offer without having to worry about what goes on behind the scenes. Jared Miller, CTO for AMB Sports & Entertainment, was tasked with bringing all of this technology into fruition. “We’re at the point now with the technology plan where we’re moving from the paper-based design and entering the implementation stage,” Miller said in a statement.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium has partnered with IBM to be the official systems integrator for the venue and their goal is to make sure that every piece of technology can perform in sync. “No one piece of software can work in a vacuum and that’s why integrations are so important,” Miller said.

IBM is also helping create a “smarter stadium”, which will feature a Passive Optical Network (PON), an advanced fiber-based optical network to ensure connectivity for fast, reliable Wi-Fi, video displays and digital signage all while consuming less power. The PON will be the first of its kind to ever be used in an NFL stadium. The network will require more than 1,800 wireless access points and more than 4,000 miles of fiber to accommodate 75,000 people. The PON drastically reduces the amount of power and cooling required for technology throughout the stadium and will help contribute of the overall sustainability aspect of the building.

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The venue will also feature a field-level technology suite with a data center. The suite will also include a network operations center where every system will converge to ensure that all systems are up and running. Finally, the technology suite will be the first of its kind in featuring a production control room on the field level. “The world of production is going through a major technology transformation and we believe that it was most appropriate for them to converge with the rest of the IT infrastructure,” Miller said.

“I’m very proud of what we’re deploying and I’m also very excited to see it all come to life,” Miller continued.

The ultimate goal for the venue is to create the best possible fan experience, and with an allotment of new technology, the Falcons are hoping that Mercedes-Benz Stadium will do just that.