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After year one of the AT&T Virtual Stadium being in operation, the Atlanta-based College Football Hall of Fame decided it needed to upgrade heading into the 2016 season.
The new interactive exhibit leveraged virtual reality technology and Samsung Gear VR headsets to give fans an immersive viewing experience of 20-plus college football stadiums and cities. It officially opened on Aug. 10.
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“Using cutting-edge technology to fully immerse visitors into the game of college football is the cornerstone of our attraction,” CEO Dennis Adamovich said in a statement. “This new virtual reality exhibit is an amazing addition made possible by one of our founding partners, AT&T, and provides an incredible experience to kick off the college football season.”
Mike Bilbow, VP of content and development, explained that the Hall of Fame leveraged its unique video access and reworked some new software to allow for Samsung smartphone and headset integration. Through virtual reality, fans can experience schools’ traditions, see different campuses and watch game footage, ultimately giving individuals new meaning for what it means to be a fan of college football.
“We installed some gaming chairs that have speakers in them and subwoofers,” Bilbow added. “When the marching band is there, you can really feel the base and the drums. We sit people down, let them swivel in the chair and it gives them a chance to look around. The goggles isolate everyone and really allow people to get into the game they’re looking at.”
The AT&T Virtual Stadium will be updated annually as the Hall of Fame continues to travel the country and capture new virtual reality footage throughout the season. The sports organization declined giving attendance numbers for the entire Hall of Fame and the AT&T exhibit but did say that Saturdays and Sundays are typically its busiest days.