The Melbourne Cricket Ground has unveiled plans for a major refurbishment geared at sports fans and tech fans alike, with the rollout of Wi-Fi in and around the stadium, as well as a new LED lighting system that will put team colours on show.
The redevelopment will take place throughout 2015, with the goal of turning the MCG into "one of Australia's most technically advanced and connected stadiums".
In a big win for those heading along to games at the MCG, the Melbourne Cricket Club is installing a high-density Wi-Fi network that will allow up to 25,000 simultaneous connections. Sports fans will be able to access the "super-fast, secure" network through one of 700 hotspots around the venue, and access will be free. The rollout is due to be completed by the end of the year in time for one of the biggest events in the cricket calendar -- the Boxing Day Test.
In addition to free Wi-Fi, the MCG will also feature 800 new HD screens around the grounds, in areas such as food outlets, walkways and bathrooms, bringing the total number of screens in the venue up to 2,800.
And because no sporting experience is complete without wild devotion brought on by your team's colours, the development will include a massive fit out of LED lighting allowing the stadium to be colour themed for different events.
Roughly 240 LED lamps will go up around the inside of the stadium, installed on the underside of the upper area of Level 4 seating, while further LED strip lights will be installed on the exterior facade of the stadium as well as on the gate entrances. All up, the coloured lighting should be finished by April 2015.
Cisco and IBM are on board for the latest phase in the MCG's development, which is set to cost roughly AU$45 million by the time it's completed.