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View Full Version : GETTING `IN THE GAME'



Captcoolhand
03-04-2007, 08:18 AM
When it comes to the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium, now under construction in Arlington, Texas, there's no lack of superlatives. When the stadium opens in 2009, it will be the largest NFL venue ever built. It will be the nation's first $1 billion stadium. It will be crowned by the world's biggest single-span roof, large enough to contain the Statue of Liberty if she were standing on the 50-yard line.
But perhaps the most stunning feature of the Cowboys' new stadium will be video boards -- again, the world's largest -- that will hang 110 feet above the playing field. When the architects sat down to design the stadium, they didn't just think first about the visual interaction between people in the stands and players on the field. They considered how fans would interact with the big screens.
``We really started with a person in their home watching the Dallas Cowboys on a 50-inch high-definition plasma TV, and we wanted to try to re-create that scenario in the new venue,'' says Mark Williams, a principal with HKS Architects, the Dallas firm designing the new stadium. ``I think we went above and beyond that, so that when you're inside the stadium, you're going to have a better perspective of the game from these video boards. That's the competition for these teams, with the sophistication of home electronics.''
The 180-by-50-foot video boards are an admission that the virtual world of video games like EA Sports' ``Madden NFL 07'' -- which with its use of 3-D shots and real players proclaims, ``If it's in the (real) game, it's in the (video) game!'' -- is a competitor for the attention and the pocketbooks of fans. The NFL knows it. When fans come to the new Cowboys stadium, they will be able to watch beads of sweat roll down the players' faces, along with the close-up views of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, on the high-def video boards. They will clearly feel they are ``in the game.''
The Cowboys are hardly the only sports franchise planning to use new entertainment technology to bring in a new generation of fans. Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff's partnership with Cisco Systems will make technology the centerpiece of the fan experience at the A's proposed new ballpark in Fremont. And the 49ers have indicated that video and other new technology will be part of the new stadium they are proposing for Santa Clara.
The goal is not only to sell fans new forms of entertainment technology, such as handheld video devices they can use at games to call up their own instant replays, but also to make the stadiums more marketable as year-round convention and meeting centers. Mark Fabiani, special counsel to the San Diego Chargers, who is heading the team's efforts to replace 40-year-old Qualcomm Field, says the new technology will be crucial to the private financing of a new stadium the Chargers are planning.
``We sell everything out; there's nothing we have left to sell. We sell out our season tickets; we sell out our luxury boxes,'' he said, noting that the team sees new entertainment technology as an essential, largely untapped, revenue source. ``We've got to do it. It's not a matter of wanting to do it.''
An earlier vintage of stadiums, the utilitarian concrete and steel bowls of the 1960s and '70s like San Francisco's Candlestick Park or Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, were built as no-frills enclosures for the entertainment playing out on the gridirons and diamonds below.
Starting in the 1990s, stadiums such as the Carolina Panthers facility in Charlotte, N.C., incorporated club seats and luxury suites, providing a vast new revenue stream for teams and exacerbating a growing wealth rift that NFL owners are haggling over in private this spring.
But the newest sports venues are something more: Increasingly, these buildings aren't just built to contain entertainment. They ARE the entertainment. They have to be, if individual teams are to take on the colossal construction costs, in an era when taxpayers -- including those in Fremont and Santa Clara -- are increasingly reluctant to help with the financing.
Yet amid all the individual entertainment that will be crowding into the new NFL stadiums -- from high-def video boards to handheld devices that combine television and the Internet -- will the simple shared entertainment of rooting for the players on the field with 70,000 other fans be crowded out by a Babel of electronic images competing for your attention?
``It's a much deeper cultural phenomenon. It's not just a sports thing,'' said Fred Turner, a Stanford University communications professor who studies new media. ``Media spaces and physical spaces are merging all over the place. . . . It's not a question of being home with the TV, or being out in the world. TV and the world are becoming more or less the same place.''
Wow!
If you can't get seats close to the field, they will bring the field to you, That's a Big *** TV:yesnod:

kgreen
03-04-2007, 08:35 AM
Wow!
If you can't get seats close to the field, they will bring the field to you, That's a Big *** TV:yesnod:

Yeah


that



is



nuts. :popcorn:

BlitzburghRockCity
03-04-2007, 09:29 AM
You have to hand it to Jerry Jones, the dude is going to make a stadium that will have absolutely everything and anything a fan could want and then some. I'd love to go see a game at this stadium just for the fact of being able to say I was there and saw the place first hand.

Captcoolhand
03-04-2007, 09:45 AM
You have to hand it to Jerry Jones, the dude is going to make a stadium that will have absolutely everything and anything a fan could want and then some. I'd love to go see a game at this stadium just for the fact of being able to say I was there and saw the place first hand.
I was thinking the same thing:yesnod: