Melbourne Cricket Ground to boost stadium technology

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Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) has unveiled plans to transform Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) into one of Australia’s most technically advanced and connected stadiums.

In conjunction with Cockram, IBM and Cisco, the MCC will deliver a range of technology infrastructure during 2015. The solution includes: a super-fast, secure, high-density Wi-Fi network in and around the stadium; a state-of-the-art exterior LED lighting system that will allow teams to personalize and theme the stadium for their fans; a best-of-breed Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) system to deliver digital content to high-definition displays throughout the MCG, displaying information as it happens; and best-in-class facilities for media and broadcasters that will enable faster supply of event content.

The works are the next phase in a US$35m (AUS$45m) investment by the MCC, which has already delivered the two largest, high-definition scoreboards in Australia and the next generation of high-definition television production facilities.

The high-density Wi-Fi network will allow patrons access to the internet on any device at the stadium, while the IPTV solution will see installation of 800 high-definition screens with fans able to watch replays and keep track of the action as it unfolds. Coupled with existing screens, a total of 2,800 televisions will be located around the stadium.

Approximately 240 LED lamps will light the underside of the upper area of Level 4 seating, enabling the exterior of the stadium to be lit up in team colours, allowing AFL and cricket tenants to differentiate their home matches. LED strip lighting will also be installed on the exterior façade to highlight the stadium, including gate entrances. Improved external digital way finding signage will be provided in Yarra Park.

According to MCC, the improvements to the MCG are based on solutions already deployed at a number of the world’s leading stadia, including Dallas Stadium, Metlife Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Citifield, AT&T Park, Levi’s Stadium, Emirates Stadium, Staples Center and Barcelona’s Camp Nou and Wembley Stadium.

“I am delighted that the MCG will soon be one of the most connected stadiums in the country,” said MCC CEO Stephen Gough. “This is a significant investment to improve and personalise the MCG customer experience and also operate a more efficient stadium.

“This will take the fan experience to another level with significant improvements to the MCG’s connectivity. This increased capacity will be great news for the four million people who visit the MCG each year.”

Cockram Construction has been engaged as head contractor of the project, while IBM will be head technical contractor to design, evaluate technology options and implement the selected solution to further enable the delivery of fan engagement innovations.

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