IT & Network Infrastructure : Road to the Super Bowl: Inside Dallas Cowboys Stadium
This is the house that Jerry built. Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, created a state-of-the-art football arena like no other. Cowboys Stadium will be the home of Super Bowl XLV, this year's version of the NFL's annual celebration of all things professional football, and eWEEK recently got a look inside the stadium, thanks to Hewlett-Packard. This year's game pits the Green Bay Packers against the Pittsburgh Steelerstwo teams with physical defenses, mobile and accurate quarterbacks, and a corps of wide receivers that can get to the ball. This year's game will be played in the most technologically advanced stadium ever to host a Super Bowl, courtesy of the likes of Cisco Systems and HP. HP has a contract to provide the bulk of the IT that drives the stadium operations. Jones and the Cowboys selected HP because they needed an IT provider that could ensure scalability to support not only the biggest events at the 82,000-seat venue, but also the day-to-day work of the Cowboys and the Jones' family of more than 35 other business operations. The $1.2 billion-plus, 3.2-million-square-foot facility is the largest domed stadium in the NFL. The centerpieces of the stadium are the Mitsubishi-built video screens facing the sidelines, which are 70 feet tall and 60 yards in length, spanning the field from one 20-yard line to the other. The $40 million JumboTronor video board configurationhas 30 million light bulbs and 25,000 square feet of video displays. Meanwhile, two 48-foot wide boards face fans sitting at both ends of the stadium, enhancing their game-day experience. There are also more than 3,100 TV monitors throughout the stadium for attendees to see the action on the field or anything else the Cowboys organization wants to pump into various sections and clubs in the building. As part of a recent ProLiant Day event, HP hosted eWEEK and a group of other journalists and bloggers on a tour of Cowboys Stadium.