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Levi’s Stadium Bids to Connect Fans to the Game Like Never Before
Presented by Levi’s:
Football is a sport built on legacy and tradition. From the players who’ve lined up against one another over the decades, to the stadiums that have hosted them, football’s rich history has been permanently vetted into American culture, and has thus provided a platform for some of the greatest moments of our lives. While many of those memorable moments have played out on television screens, the ones that ultimately proved to be the most special were the ones witnessed in person, at one of the numerous professional football stadiums across the country.
While classic football institutions—places like Soldier Field and Lambeau—will forever hold their places in the football archives, a newer, more modern breed of stadiums attempting (and successfully, might we add) to integrate the rich heritage of the sport with the advancements of today’s connected, tech-driven world are currently being built. Leading the pack is the newly christened home of the San Francisco 49ers, Levi’s® Stadium.
Before the 49ers even got a chance to play at their new home, the very first event hosted at Levi’s Stadium was a MLS game between the San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders on August 2, which was then followed by an international soccer match between Mexico and Chile on September 6. While it was a different kind of football being played on those days, it cast a message that was received loud and clear by the entire sporting community—that there’s a new, state-of-the-art stadium in town (figuratively speaking, of course) that will forever change the entire sports viewing experience, and simultaneously, help bridge the generation gap between football and other sports fans young and old via the use of technology.
There were many potential suitors when the 49ers first opened the bidding wars for the exclusive naming rights to their new stadium a few years back. Aside from the financial considerations, the team opted to go with Levi’s due in large part to the clothing brand’s deep-rooted cultural impact in, not just San Francisco, but throughout the greater Bay Area. The deal was truly a perfect match, with two iconic San Francisco companies who share similar values and a rich heritage joining forces on one of the biggest stages. The same company that clothed the original 49ers that came over to California during the gold rush is now backing the modern-day 49ers—talk about going full circle.
What makes the 1.85 million square-foot, 68,500-capacity Levi’s Stadium special is its dedication to three main principles: technology, sustainability, and overall fan experience. Drawing inspiration from its Silicon Valley surroundings, the venue is integrated with the latest in tech advancements to keep fans connected with the game, both on and off the field.
It is the first professional football stadium in the country to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certified, which showcases its dedication to minimizing environmental impact, and using only sustainable methods of operation. For complete transparency, all of the stadium’s energy measurements, water and air monitors, and other “green” features are conveniently displayed for visitors to see on a live dashboard located on the premises.
So how high tech is Levi’s Stadium really? To break it down by the numbers, the stadium features 400 miles of cabling (70 of which are reserved for WiFI), as well as 1,200 data access points (1 for every 100 seats). The venue is the first of its kind to carry 40 Gb/s of Internet capacity, and it even has an accompanying mobile app that gives the 49ers faithful exclusive access to everything from ticketing to food and beverage service, and more. Best of all, the stadium features an army of “Ninerds,” a team of 60-plus local tech professionals that roam the venue on the day of a game to answer fan questions related to WiFI usage and the mobile app.
To make things clear, all of the tech integrated into Levi’s Stadium is there to supplement the action on the field, rather than provide a distraction from it. There are larger-than-life HD video boards measuring 13,000 square feet in size so visitors don’t miss any of the action. If someone does happen to miss a key play or two, not to worry because that mobile app we touched on earlier is also capable of providing live video replays from the day’s action, so fans can rest assured that they are getting the most comprehensive viewing experience available.
In the months ahead, there are countless football-related events scheduled to take place at Levi’s Stadium. Aside from 49ers home games, the stadium will play host to a PAC-12 matchup between Cal and Oregon on October 5th, as well as the PAC-12 Championship game and the San Francisco Bowl later on in the year. Levi’s Stadium, though, is much more than just about football—it’s about connecting with fans on a cultural level, and about keeping the pioneering spirit that the Bay Area was built on alive.