Mercedes-Benz Stadium

IBM has a long history of delivering next-generation digital experiences for some of the world’s most revered sports and entertainment venues. Even in the context of that history, the new Mercedes-Benz stadium in Atlanta is extraordinary. The stunning structure is home to the Atlanta Falcons,  Atlanta United and is a destination venue for major concerts and other events and  was conceived with one constituency foremost in mind: the fans.

Designed and built from the ground up to redefine the fan experience, the stadium incorporates a broad array of technologies integrated to work together as a seamless, unified system. The result is a truly personalized experience that serves fans at every moment. At home, in transit and in their seats, fans can connect to the stadium and to each other for an immersive experience like no other.

The Challenge

Arthur Blank and AMBSE had a vision for a new kind of stadium. A facility with technology at the core, not just to operate the building, but to cater to fans at every touchpoint, 365 days a year. A venue unlike any built before, ready to keep 71,000 excited fans engaged, no matter what they come to watch.

It’s going to be the finest sports entertainment facility, not only in the United States, but potentially the world.

—Arthur M. Blank, Chariman, AMB Group, Owner, Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United.

The IBM Solution

Creating the ultimate fan experience means meeting fans where they are, providing them with a platform to interact seamlessly and securely, and giving them fast, uninterrupted access to rich, analytics-driven content, personalized for their needs and optimized for the devices they carry.

AMB Sports & Entertainment partnered with IBM to make their fan experience vision a reality by implementing an IT system that is as integral to the building as the concrete, steel and glass. This holistic approach spans a huge breadth of services and technologies including mobile, analytics, infrastructure and Internet of Things. And it's all connected by the IBM Cloud and backed with world-class security, data protection and disaster recovery — a true end-to-end integration that only a partner like IBM can deliver

Integrated IT Infrastructure

For this one-of-a-kind facility, IBM devised a Unified Stadium Technology Platform. It is a single, integrated network that serves all the diverse technologies in the building — at a fraction of the cost of dedicated networks.

A passive optical network with almost 4,000 miles of fiber forms the backbone of the infrastructure. Nearly 2,000 fast wireless access points provide pervasive access throughout the facility. Enough for all 71,000 fans to stay connected to the outside world and tweet, stream and share their stadium experience.

The platform also handles all the audio and video throughout the stadium, feeding 2000+ monitors, 3,200 speakers and the largest LED video display in all of sports: a 360-degree, 63,000-square-foot HD Halo Board large enough to fly a helicopter through.

Mobile Apps

The renegades and realists from IBM iX have designed three IBM Fan Experience applications to serve Atlanta Falcons fans, Atlanta United supporters, and Mercedes-Benz Stadium event attendees.

The mobile experience, aided by the stadium infrastructure and powered by the IBM Cloud, includes features to help fans navigate transportation, park their cars, buy tickets and find their way around the facilities. They can even get answers to event and venue questions.

The apps contextually adapt based on the time, location and the relationship that the fan has with the team or event, delivering a relevant and personalized experience for every fan. In turn, this helps the organizations deliver more of the team-centric content and relevant offers that fans want.

IBM Cloud

Delivering a transformational fan experience requires next-generation technology. IBM’s enterprise-strong cloud provides the stadium with the easy-to-scale, secure and highly resilient infrastructure they need to keep up with the dynamic demands of fans.

The IBM Spectrum Protect Suite is an enterprise backup service for both local backup and offsite backup to the IBM Bluemix cloud. Both locations will store as much as 50 TB, primarily for the enormous 4K video files that are used for the Halo Board.

The IBM Cloud will also host critical operational applications for the stadium, along with the web front-end for the mobile applications that help fans navigate their game day experience.