First Look: Brooklyn Nets Implement New Virtual Seating Technology
by Katie Linendoll March 22, 2012 at 10:00AM | Views: 58
Hey! Katie Linendoll here for All Access Weekly, guys. Come September, the Brooklyn Nets will be the first major sports team to call the borough home since the Dodgers left for LA in 1957. And they'll be quite comfy in their new home arena, the Barclay Center.
Located in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, the Barclay Center is an 18,000-seat multi-purpose stadium with a modern aesthetic and a bunch of unprecedented amenities. Among the perks: 100 luxury suites for season ticket holders. Even though the stadium is only about 70% complete, we got an exclusive first look at the suites by visiting the Barclay Center's high-tech "mock suite" in the New York Times Building in Manhattan. Designed to closely simulate the experience of being at the game, the mock suite is decked out with everything the real suite will have: leather couches, a full kitchen, 10 seats that overlook the court, a Cisco access point, even a bottle of champagne on ice. The most novel feature of the mock suite is a panoramic theater-style screen that displays a 180-degree view of the court, presenting the exact perspective that'll be had at the games.
On-camera, Dan Lefton, VP of Suite Sales and Premium Seating and Chip Foley, Director of Building Technology, walked us through the game-like virtual environment of the court, toggling through the 90 available views via iPad, each of which corresponded with one of 90 different seat locations. The experience is highly immersive; even small details of the arena are depicted on the model, creating a strong sense of being courtside. One of the most hi-tech seating systems of its kind, it was created mainly to give season ticket holders a better sense of what they're getting before they buy.
To create the mock suite experience, the Barclay Center tapped Ballena Technologies, who are known for creating the "Seats3D" visualization. Ballena provides a number of unique 3D seating technologies, some of which have been implemented by teams like the Atlanta Falcons and the University of North Texas.
The Barclay Center also plans to make a version of their virtual seating technology available online and on mobile devices for general ticket holders. This will be a huge improvement over the confusingly basic seating charts that most venues use, and could set a new benchmark for seating technologies in general.
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