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A first look at 'technology rich' Mercedes-Benz Stadium

The lines are painted on the field, the food and beverage is arriving and the locker rooms and starting to look and smell like locker rooms.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is set to open. The media received their tours on Tuesday.

It will officially open on Aug. 26 with a Falcons preseason game.

The 70,000-plus seat stadium is already scheduled to host a number of massive events, including the 2018 college football national championship game and Super Bowl LIII in 2019.

Thought went into every angle and part of this stadium which will eventually feature a retractable roof. Upon entering, the first thing fans will notice is the 360-degree halo board that is 60 feet tall and unlike any video board built for a stadium in the world.

A founding partner, IBM, plans to deliver an immersive fan experience as one of the most technologically advanced stadiums in the world. Fans will experience contextually relevant information at every second of the game, according to IBM. Positioned on the IBM Cloud, the stadium is powered by IoT technology and integrated with three unique mobile apps designed by IBM iX to provide personalized fan experiences with near real-time updates.

A fan-friendly wi-fi system with enough broadband to enable the 71,000 fans to simultaneously surf the web, send selfies and never be out of touch with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram while downloading fantasy sports news. AT&T is the partner of note here as about 4,000 miles of fiber optics and 90 miles of audio cabling — enough to go from Atlanta across the pond to Ireland— are sitting with nearly 2,000 wireless access points.

Additionally, AT&T will provide monitoring and maintenance for the stadium’s Wi-Fi systems. AT&T’s DIRECTV will connect to Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s IPTV system, delivering rich HD video content to more than 2,000 displays in the stadium.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to have AT&T in Mercedes-Benz Stadium,” says Jared Miller, senior vice president, analytics and technology and chief digital officer, AMB Sports and Entertainment. “AT&T offers outstanding communications capabilities and is a natural fit for the progressive technology throughout the stadium.”

The AT&T Perch is a permanent interactive gathering spot located on the 200 concourse above the west end zone. The AT&T Perch will feature a digital media column with multiple screens where fans can come watch NFL Sunday Ticket, NFL Redzone, AT&T delivered content and more.

“When fans head into the new stadium to cheer on their team, we want them to have a great time. To us, that means making sure they’re able to make a call, check email, share on social media or enjoy DIRECTV on their mobile devices and in The AT&T Perch,” said Mark Wright, VP Media Services and Sponsorships at AT&T. “We want to give fans a unique and unparalled gameday experience, and we feel The AT&T Perch will deliver just that.”

There are even "Tech Loge" open air suites that offer the ability to charge your smart devices wirelessly while not missing a bit of action. The IBM Fan Experience application will connect fans to their team and contextually adapts to the needs of each individual user, adjusting to feature the most relevant information for them, such as their favorite players. The app offers a range of game day services from mobile (100% paperless) ticketing and stadium concessions to helping fans find a parking place or find their way around the stadium. During games, fans can follow the action live from anywhere with play-by-play updates, near real-time highlights, and timely notifications on score updates, injuries and other game related information. IBM is listed on screens as a founding partner, along with other companies including SunTrust, Coca-Cola, Novelis, Equifax, NCR, Home Depot, AT&T, American Family Insurance, Georgia Power and Scana Energy. There is also IBM branding at the Data Center.

One your first visit to this tech haven, just walk around and experience all you can. There are free activation areas where you can try a product, get a bite and still feel like you are in your seats.

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