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Sports Facilities Technology

Kansas City Now Sports a New State-of-the- Art Stadium

July 06, 2011


Kansas City is sporting a new state-of- the- art stadium that promises to elevate the status of sport technology and enrich the viewing experience of soccer and sports fans.

Livestrong Sporting Park is a stadium that has 146 miles of 10-gigabyte fiber optic cables, more than 300 Panasonic (News - Alert) HD TVs, two HD scoreboards, HD video boards that enclose the playing field, a touchscreen smart board in the locker room and 16-megapixel security cameras that can capture the action live in a realistic manner.

With high-speed ExacTap beer taps to cater to thirsty fans and spectators, and iPads and other devices to control the viewing experience in 37 suites, the whole setup seems just too good to be true. One apparently feels that things just can't get any better.

"The stadium is going to give us a ton of different opportunities to position Sporting Kansas City and just Kansas City broadly as a leader around sports technology and technology for soccer in general,” Sporting Kansas City president Robb Heineman said in a press release.

However, the people responsible for this impressive getup appear to feel differently. State-of-the-art means much more to them than this external display of technology and grandeur. It's all about creating a “new fan experience” using everything available and being able to plan for a more enriching future.

While one cannot deny that improved technology will bring about improved interactions, the focus will be on the smartphone device that fans bring to the stadium, for this is what the team is planning to exploit. There are more than 150 WiFi (News - Alert) access points and an on-site cellular network with AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and Clearwire antennas.

In the first phase, the team plans to make available a free Sporting Explore app for Android (News - Alert) and iPhone users. It is designed by the club and Kansas City mobile technology company Moblico.

The app allows fans to check in without any hassle, take part in pre-loaded trivia contests, earn membership points on the basis of the contest and use those earned points for getting prizes and other opportunities.

Asim Pasha, Sporting Kansas City's chief information officer and chief architect, said the goal is to "shift the way fans interact" with the game, giving the fans "the ability to connect and engage" with the team, those around them and the game on the field.

But this app appears to be only the beginning of further delights that are in store. A series of micro-function apps that can do just about everything for fans, except actually allowing them to play on the field with players, is in the offing and the impending arrival of Google (News - Alert) Fiber serves to further heighten the extent of possibilities.

Mini Swamy is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.