IBM Cloud technology will allow Atlanta Falcons fans to receive a tailored fan experience at the team's new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, scheduled to open Aug. 26, according to an IBM announcement.
The stadium will include a fully integrated IT system, Internet of Things (IoT) technology and an immersive suite of interactive applications built by IBM Services, delivered and hosted on the IBM Cloud, according to IBM. Making it happen required nearly 4,000 miles of fiber optics, 90 miles of audio cabling and nearly two thousand wireless access points to ensure WiFi connectivity.
Visitors to the stadium will be able to access team news, find parking, check out concession menus and sell unused tickets.
In the sports arena, why not fight tech with tech?
Enhancing the fan experience at an NFL game instantly raises the stakes in a ripe market. The NFL has seen several new stadiums built in the last 10 years; the Falcons come online this season and the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers are set to debut in 2020. With 32 teams in the league, some franchise is always discussing relocation or renovating.
How did the country's most popular sport get here? Technology helped home entertainment systems offer experiences that mimic the real venue, minus the long lines for food and restrooms. Couple that with the skyrocketing price of admission and live sports events saw a dent in ticket sales, which led to a drop in concessions.
IBM has a storied Sports and Entertainment Solutions division which has been helping leagues, teams and annual events entice fans to visit a venue. Partnerships run the gamut from from golf to tennis to Broadway's Tony Awards.
The sports industry realizes that technology can deliver the kind of customized experiences that build loyalty. IBM, a legacy company reinventing itself, has placed itself at the forefront of the coverage and buzz emanating from the stadium's opening.