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Hard Rock Stadium (formerly Sun Life Stadium), a 65,326-seat stadium in the heart of Miami, Florida, is the home of the Miami Dolphins, University of Miami football team, Orange Bowl and Super Bowl LIV. It also features international soccer and a host of world-class events. What many people might not realize about Hard Rock Stadium, apart from their beautiful colors of aqua and orange, is that they are also a technology giant in the arena of sports.
Over the last decade, Hard Rock Stadium, IBM Business Partner Flagship Solutions Group and IBM have been on a drive to roll-out new technology features that are a true game changer for fans. “Venues today are competing with at-home technology (4K TVs, for example), so enhancing the at-venue experience using technology is a key differentiator,” shares Mark Wyllie, CEO, Flagship Solutions Group.
Mobile app delivers on-the-go fan experience throughout stadium
Most recently, the Dolphins introduced a new mobile app that engages fans on a year-round basis. This app is the first in the NFL to integrate Beacon technology. With Beacon technology fans can receive notifications based on where they are in the stadium to enhance their game-day experience. The app also includes a membership platform and provides unique analysis of the Miami Dolphins with video, audio and articles. Software company Venuetize developed the app in partnership with Flagship Solutions Group, which performed the systems integration, while IBM provides the cloud services for it to run.
The most significant aspect of this mobile app is the ability to alert fans about game-day experiences. For example, using Beacon technology, the app shows a fan how to best find their seat, directs them to the closest food and beverage options, and alerts them to shorter concession lines.
Real-time data enhances fan experience
This wasn’t the first time that Hard Rock Stadium forged new ground with technology. In 2012, with Flagship and IBM, the stadium rolled out the Intelligent Operations Center. The solution gives real-time information about weather, parking, turnstiles and the status of public safety activities. With this wealth of information available, the staff can be free to make more tactical decisions.
“As a fan, I’ve noticed a big difference in the stadium experience,” said Lisa Wright, a longtime Miami Dolphins fan and season ticket holder. “In years prior to this solution, they would occasionally run out of food at certain concession stands. Now they stay well stocked throughout the game. There has also been a big improvement with parking. I am very impressed with how much traffic they manage in an orderly way and how quickly you get parked. Stadium staffers then guide you to where the least number of people are lined up to get into the stadium. So, you get in quickly. It’s a well-oiled machine.”
More to cheer about
I think you’ll see that using technology at an NFL game is a “first and 10” in anybody’s book. Truly, Hard Rock Stadium, Flagship Solutions Group and IBM is a winning combination.
“Flagship will continue to push the technology envelope through the Internet of Things revolution that is in process now,” says Mark Wyllie, CEO, Flagship Solutions Group.