Sports stadiums these days aren't what they used to be. These new gleaming palaces to athletics bring enough technology to satisfy even the most connected fan (even if they are festooned with unapologetic corporate names). From cushioned seats and crazy architecture to video screens big enough to make even the most nosebleed-inducing seats passable, the cool technology to be found at sports stadiums today is often more impressive than watching Peyton Manning pick apart a Cover 2. Check out our list of cutting-edge technology at sports stadiums today, after the break.
Allianz Stadium in Munich:
Before the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the city of Munich, Germany built ultimate tribute to "the beautiful game." The Allianz Stadium boasts online purchasable smart tickets that double as electronic debit cards for buying food and drinks in the stadium, a heated playing pitch that monitors and adjusts the temperature of the grass roots, and a high fidelity sound system that's computerized to eliminate echo. Ya. [From: IT World Canada]
Gillette Field (NE Patriots)
The New England Patriots' have a "mad scientist" approach to football. The team's home stadium, Gillette Field, isn't afraid to take a technological approach to security either. It has a special number that fans can text message in the event of an emergency which will turn cameras onto that location and summon help. Just don't point them at the visiting teams' playbooks. [From: Boston.com]
Stadium Vision at Yankee Stadium
The New Yankee stadium makes use of Cisco's StadiumVision, which makes use of thousands of interconnected HD screens to stream footage and information from the game all around stadium. The system can be intelligently changed after the final out to point out exits, display traffic/subway information, and give weather updates. [From: ESPN Magazine]
Arizona Cardinals' Wireless Stadium
Back before they were NFC champions, the Arizona Cardinals could at least lay claim to the most high-tech stadium in sports. For one, their stadium offers free Wi-Fi access to enable a little gametime surfing. For two, to combat the general crappiness of astroturf, the natural grass field sits on a 12-million pound motorized tray that rolls into the stadium on game day, sparing running backs from a sidelining turf-toe injury... brilliant. [From: CIO]
Robots Patrol World Cup Stadium (Berlin's Olympic Stadium)
For the 2006 World Cup, Germany's Olympic stadium took the sci-fi approach and employed a squadron of robots to guard its perimeter. These security droids -- similar to the ones used in Iraq by U.S. military forces -- use their myriad sensors to detect radiation, toxins, viruses, and chemical weapons. They've also got thermal cameras to detect intruders and can automatically notify the command center if they detect something amiss, like a hole in the fence. [From: MSNBC]
Wimbledon Gets A new Roof For Centre Court
When you live in rain-soaked England, you're bound to get a few tennis matches rained out. No problem if it's a friendly game -- just hit the pub and grab a pint -- but if it's Wimbledon, that's a different story. The famed Centre Court at Wimbledon just got a high-tech upgrade, with a 52-foot-high retractable roof made from an advanced fabric called Tenara. The new roof is 40-percent translucent and can withstand winds up to 70-miles-per-hour. [From: Times Online]
Dallas Cowboys Stadium Get's Biggest HDTV In The World
Everything is bigger in Texas, including stadium video screens. The new Dallas Cowboys Stadium's video screen is the largest 1080p HDTV in the world, stretching from 20-yard line to 20-yard line. That means it's 60-yards -- or 2,160 inches -- wide. Hello 101-foot tall cheerleaders... in HD. When do tickets go on sale? [From: The Dallas Observer, via: Buzzfeed].