Levi's Stadium uses IoT to enhance 49ers' fan experience

VenueNext's IoT platform and mobile app help San Francisco 49ers fans find parking spaces, find their seats, purchase refreshments and report security issues

Levi's Stadium uses IoT to enhance 49ers' fan experience
Jim Bahn (CC BY 2.0)

The San Francisco 49ers are my home football team. They aren't doing too well in the NFC West standings these days. On the plus side, though, they do have a great stadium.

Levi's Stadium is about 40 miles south of San Francisco in Santa Clara, California. It seats more than 65,000 spectators in two bowl-like structures. The logistics are daunting for a stadium that big. Consider the issues involved with getting thousands of fans to their seats quickly and securely in time to enjoy the game.

  • Parking—Purchasing parking passes digitally and providing turn-by-turn directions to the visitor's assigned lot
  • Navigation—Helping fans quickly and easily find their seats
  • Security—Mitigating risks and enabling fans to be the eyes and ears of the stadium and report any security issues that may occur.
  • Refreshments—Ensuring fans get the food and beverages they want, when they want them.

Beacons, IoT sensors and sophisticated mobile apps have elevated the experience for 49ers fans and changed the game for venue operators.

Designing the stadium's IoT solution

The San Francisco 49ers chose VenueNext for their stadium technology platform at Levi's Stadium. It enables the stadium's management to make real-time, data-driven decisions to improve customer service and maximize profits. Fans maximize their experience with the VenueNext-powered Levi’s Stadium App. The solution includes:

1. Beacons
Over 2,000 battery-powered Aruba beacons are installed at 100-feet intervals across the stadium. These beacons are configured to signal location or proximity using Meridian Mapping software.

2. Data-powered decision making
Data collected by the mobile app monitors all of the systems at once and provides real-time data dashboards to make game-time decisions, such as identifying unused parking spots to send push notifications to guests or redirecting guests to a different concession stand if one is running low on hot dogs.

3. Mobile application
The app is integrated with Aruba Mobile Engagement and provides guests with internal navigation to their seats. Guests can also use the app to view on-demand team and player videos and instant replays with multi-angle replays of sports action.

The app also allows guest to pre-order food, beverages and merchandise during an event, allowing them to skip long lines. Or they can place an order and track its delivery to their seats. 

4. Safety communication system
LiveSafe, a mobile safety platform, allows fans to discreetly report security and safety issues. This could include reporting a suspicious package, drunk person or slippery floor. Fans anonymously share information, including audio recordings, photos and videos. The message is tagged with the sender’s location using beacons. 

'The Catch'

No mention of the San Francisco 49ers is complete without paying homage to "The Catch" that Joe Montana made. That's when a scrambling Montana, with three Dallas Cowboys closing in for the kill, lofted the ball in the end zone to Dwight Clark. The six-yard touchdown pass, with 51 seconds left, gave the 49ers a 28-27 victory over Dallas for the 1981 NFC championship.

You may not see a play as dramatic as "The Catch" when you visit Levi's Stadium, but you’ll still have a great experience with all the high-tech VenueNext features.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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