Space & Innovation

Super Bowl 50's Super-Techy Stadium

The stadium is a technological marvel, from the high-speed Internet and dedicated phone app to the use of recycled materials and solar power.

Today, the Carolina Panthers meet the Denver Broncos for Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The stadium, which opened in 2014, is a technological marvel, from its high-speed Internet and dedicated phone app to the use of recycled materials and solar power. In fact, this year's Super Bowl promises to be the first-ever net-zero energy game. For this week's Tasty Tech Eye Candy, we'll take a look at the different kinds of technology surrounding the game.

Fast Internet:

Thanks to an enormous new installation of 400 miles of cabling, the stadium is the first-ever to carry 40 gigabits of Internet capacity -- that's 40 times more bandwidth than any known stadium in the United States.


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Seventy miles of that cabling feed more than 1,200 Wi-Fi access points spread evenly throughout the stadium so that every 100 fans -- of the 70,000 possible -- get their own antenna.


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Fans at the game can use the Wi-Fi to download the

Levi's Stadium

app, which is designed to help people get to the stadium, find parking, enjoy the game while they're there and leave in an efficient manner. For example, fans can access their tickets using the app and find a parking space closest to their seats. During they game, they can order food and have it delivered to their seats, see instant replays, and find a bathroom.


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The stadium is chock-full of screens so that fans never miss a play. A giant LED display dominates each end zone, more than 2,000 TVs are distributed throughout the interior and 70 Ultra HD screens can be found in the luxury suites.


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Lately, the NFL has been experimenting with using GoPro cameras. A handful were used during several games that took place in London in 2015. For the Super Bowl, three GoPro cameras will be scattered around Levi's Stadium to capture fan reactions.


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To keep greenhouse emissions low, the stadium was built within walking distance to a bus line, the VTA light rail, ACE trains and Amtrak, making public transportation to and from the facility easy and inexpensive. There's even a bike trail nearby and bicycle parking available on site.


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More than 1,150 solar panels have been installed on foot-bridge roofs, a terrace and on top of the stadium itself. The 20,000 square feet of photovoltaic panels generate 375 kilowatts (kW) of peak power and create enough energy throughout the year to meet electricity demand during every of the 49's home game.


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A green roof measuring 27,000 square feet is home to native species that help keep stadium temperatures cooler and manage stormwater runoff.


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Eighty percent of the water used at the stadium comes from Santa Clara’s water plant, which recycles water.


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About 40 percent of the materials used to build the stadium were recycled. In the Citrix Owners Suites, 100 percent of the wood was reclaimed from an airplane hangar at Moffett Field in Mountain View. Fast-growing bamboo, a renewable building material, was widely used as part of the facility's design aesthetic.


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