Levi’s Stadium is the new ‘smart home’ of the San Francisco 49ers


For the love of the game, football fans will go anywhere. The Levi’s Stadium and the 49ers make it worth everyone’s while with the help of technology.
(Photo : John Martinez Pavliga)

The 49ers have a new home. Costing $1.2 billion, it’s smarter than the average stadium in the U.S. and, possibly, the most high tech in the world. Meet the all-new Levi’s Stadium.

With a capacity for more than 70,000 people, the Levi’s Stadium is big. And it takes advantage of every bit of space it has to deliver a high-tech experience for every football fan in attendance. It’s located in the heart of Silicon Valley so it makes perfect sense for the stadium to showcase the best of the best in technology.

For starters, the Levi’s Stadium features strong-enough Wi-Fi and 4G connections to ensure that each person in the stadium will be able to access the Internet to make use of personalized services aimed at making every football game a truly enjoyable experience.

Given the size of the stadium, it required 400 miles of cables, 70 miles of which were dedicated for connecting 1,200 distributed antenna systems that link Wi-Fi routers strategically placed every 100 seats. This is just right to serve the 40 gigabits per second of bandwidth in the Levi’s Stadium which is easily 40 times more than what any other stadium in the U.S. has and still four times greater than the standard bandwidth mandated by the NFL for league stadiums by 2015.

The problem with football games is that all of the action only totals 15 minutes. What’s a fan supposed to do then during downtime? Do something still related to the game like checking stats and watching replays. “The 49ers wanted to transform the in-stadium fan experience and make it possible to see the action live but still have the similar features that a fan has at home while watching the game on TV,” explains 49ers COO Al Guido. And Internet access is just the beginning.

The stadium also features around 1,700 high-tech beacons, which rely on the Bluetooth Low Energy standard to show patrons to their seats and direct them to other spots in the stadium. The real star, however, is the Levi’s Stadium app for smartphones and tablets.

Aside from showing replays, the app offers access to game-related information, shows people the nearest parking entrances to their seats, highlights the closest bathrooms with the shortest lines, and allows food and drink orders. Essentially, the Levi’s Stadium app ties together all services that a fan would ever need while watching the game.

Major sponsors for the Levi’s Stadium include Sony, Yahoo, Intel, SAP and Brocade.

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