The venues where Australians watch elite sport are being upgraded to create immersive digital experiences in addition to the usual game day fanfare.

LEDs are making their mark in creating new experiences, sharing statistics, adding to the event’s visual appeal, and more practically driving up takings at game day stores.

Three finalists have been named in the ‘Stadium & Venue Technology’ category of the upcoming Australia & New Zealand Sports Technology Awards (ANZSTA), which are supported by the Telstra-Cisco alliance, nextmedia and Vumero Sports.

The ANZSTA awards are being held on the 9th August at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne - the evening before the Vumero Sports Analytics in Sport conference. 

Finalist one: Multiplex

The state of Western Australia’s project brief was to provide an exceptional fan-first experience.

The sports technology for Optus Stadium in Perth has delivered that, in the form of the world’s largest LED integrated sports lighting system, integrated with LED halo roof canopy lights and 1.7km of LED lighting in the stadium’s anodised aluminium facade.

The sports lighting installation had to meet all of the major sporting codes’ lighting requirements including soccer, rugby, cricket, athletics and AFL broadcast lighting standards.

This was achieved by the specific development of the Gen 2 Philips Arena Vision DMX-controlled sports light.

Over 800 such sports lights are coordinated in the stadium roof to provide a versatile, fully dynamic, controllable lighting array.

Finalist two: Techfront Australia

NRL Grand Final attendees last year were treated to an Australian first in ‘fan engagement LED’.

Techfront double-wrapped the field of play with infield and outfield facing LED screens - 800m of screens in total.

The infield facing screens ran commercial, game-oriented content (goal, try and fifth tackle stings), while the outfield facing screens targeted fans with statistics, game day offers, and crowd enhancement content.

The screens were also used in sync with the entertainment provided by US artist Macklemore.

The displays connected the game’s 85,000 fans and assisted with the theming and atmosphere of the event.

They also led to a sizable increase in game day merchandise sales and fans said they liked the addition to the overall game day experience.

Finalist three: Convergence Technology Group

Convergence Technology Group joined forces with EPG to deliver the network cabling and CATV/IPTV work packages for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018.

The project delivered network infrastructure to support 25 venues, carrying broadcast footage as well as supporting Optus and organising committee network requirements in the area.

The network was delivered with no issues or major outages.

It involved over 500km of cabling, 500 wireless access points and 20 integrated media platforms.

The companies provided some innovative services, including combining RF and IP streams simultaneously through one media platform - which had not been done before, and by launching ‘Aircast’, an app which provided a real-time broadcast stream at the Media Centre over wireless infrastructure to supplement broadcast distribution.