Guess what IBM is cooking up with Sun Life Stadium in south Florida, home to the Miami Dolphins? A Smart Stadium. The first of it’s kind, the high-tech stadium will incorporate IBM’s analytics capabilites and technology into the stadium. (Itself? Itself.)
The stadium hosts concerts and other events besides the games and will be the most advanced venue of it’s kind in North America.
What does that mean exactly?
Well, the venues is almost it’s own little city already hosting 75,000 seats, 24,000 parking spots, 1.5 million square feet of space and the world’s largest point-of-sale vending system under one roof.
A match, it would seem, made in heaven, IBM’s technology originally developed and intended for the “Smarter Cities” initiative will be incorporated into the stadium like they have already in Berlin, Malta and London.
Various sytems monitoring inputs and outputs like traffic patterns, crowd flow, social media chatter, etc. will take all that data, and show the correlations of that data relevent for officials and administrators. This is cloud-based computing, basically a central command center which analyzes event-day data and then figures out how to leverage that to enhance the fan experience.
For example, text messages to mobile phones that tell fans when their usual parking lot is full and where to park instead. Automated alerts that avoid dangerous overcrowding by directing masses of spectators to specific gates to enter and exit. Inclement weather warnings that prepare people in the stands for a storm.
Tery Howard, Dolphis CTO offers some great insight especially applicable after this years Super Bowl that witnessed the rise and implementation of the “second screen” experience, that since home entertainment is becoming more and more advanced, live event venues have to follow suit.
Now venues for sporting events are competing with folks who are in the comfort of their own homes with HD television at their disposal. He’s right, in my humble opinion. They have to do something different. I wouldn’t have thought of this innovative idea, and I think it’s ingenous.
I know I’ve felt that way for a long time about concerts. I’m a huge music fan and am one of those who really would stand in the ran for 2 days to get tickets to someone I really want to see. I’ve driven as far as 3 states away to see someone I dig.
But concerts today aren’t like they were when I was younger. You can stand in line for two days and have some twit online buy the tickets right out from under you from home having rolled out of bed 5 minutes ago.
I resorted to buying music DVD’s a long time ago. The price is so much more econmical and the experience much more satisfactory. With venues charging me to use the restroom with so-called “convenience fees” and today’s, well, less than fan-ish fans who think it’s okay to talk on the throne throughout a James Taylor concert or who make me get up and for them to make their 12th visit to the concession stand for beer at an Eric Clapton concert, those who aren’t their to be amazed by the amazing artists like I am can waste their money talking on the phone or getting more beer while I enjoy the sex face of my favorite artist while he bends a string or catch the look on his face when he begins to sing the song that always brings me to tears.
If venues want to compete with today’s technology they are going to have to offer a better experience. For now, Sun Life Stadium will only begin to initiate the Smart Stadium, but they are on track.
What do you think of the idea?