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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams' home joins NFL tech race

    By Art Voellinger
    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    The recent announcement of a $29 million upgrade for the Edward Jones Dome at the request of the St. Louis Rams caught my fancy.

    Among the improvements is a bright paint job (with colors considerably lighter than the current blue), a way for sunlight - outside light to enter the interior, and video boards, including two hung from the dome ceiling.

    The upgrade comes from money available in a capital fund account that received money from the city, county and state and is in accordance with a section of the Rams' occupancy lease that requires improvements to the dome every 10 years.

    The latter was expected to keep the dome in the top 25 percent of stadiums in the 32-team National Football League, but that agreement was waived to make the current improvements.

    However, as improvements are made to the Rams' home for the 2009 season, I know of a stadium in Indianapolis scheduled to open in 2008 that will be far superior to any of the current NFL sites. In St. Louis, the 66,000-seat St. Louis dome was opened on Nov. 12, 1995, at a cost of $301 million and is part of a downtown convention complex. In Indy, as a result of some amazing technological amenities, the cost for Lucas Oil Stadium (future home of the 2006 Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts) is expected to reach $700 million.

    According to John Klipsch, executive director of the Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority, plans are underway to make the new retractable roof Indy stadium a free (WiFi) wireless venue. Doing such will allow fans to access the Internet using laptops, iPhones and other wireless devices and to play games and compete against other fans on interactive devices such as the Sony PlayStation Portable.

    Also under consideration is Kangaroo TV that allows fans to rent hand-held devices for watching other NFL games live on DirecTV and their home team's action as it is happening. Viewers also will have access to fantasy football statistics, score updates and other features. The current cost for KTV at other NFL sites (Houston, Seattle, Miami and Washington) is $24.95 per game.

    In addition to two, 96-foot wide and 27-foot high video boards, the Lucas Oil Stadium and its miles of fiber optics will feature a 1,500-foot long "ribbon board" which will hang from the club level and ring the stadium, allowing the Colts to post messages, entertain and light up the arena.

    A total of 1,100 flat-screen TVs and monitors are expected to dot the building in concourse areas and in the 140-150 planned suites.

    Of no surprise is that both the Edward Jones Dome and LOS will have credit card devices installed at concession stands. Neither venue will offer in-seat service that allows fans to order, pay for and have food delivered to their seats.

    Meanwhile, my low-tech mind thinks winning football games is the best way for a franchise to insure "in-seating."

    OVERTIME: The Edward Jones Dome features 120 luxury suites. Improved lighting in the dome will result from opening two end zone clubs to allow natural outdoor light through the concourses.

    Video boards and scoreboards in the end zones will be replaced with dual-purpose video boards called light-emitting diode (or LED) boards designed to provide clearer pictures and brighter colors.

    While many fans consider the dome too dark, I've found myself complaining more about poor acoustics and a high level of noise...

    In Indy, the (Field Turf) surface of the new stadium will be 25 feet beneath street level...Lucas Oil has a $120 million/20-year naming rights agreement on the stadium.


  2. #2
    blood85's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' home joins NFL tech race

    Nice, now if only we could get some wins.

  3. #3
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' home joins NFL tech race

    Poor acoustics is really my only complaint. Unless you've been to other stadiums like Buffalo and New Jersey i'm sure it's hard to appreciate the Dome.

  4. #4
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    Re: Rams' home joins NFL tech race

    This article would be alot better if they didn't randomly talk about Indiana for about 75% of it.

  5. #5
    helorm341 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams' home joins NFL tech race

    I understand INDY is trying to make money by offering the wireless TVs and wifi internet access, but shouldn't fans be watching the game? If you want to get on the internet, play video games or watch another game on TV you probably should be at home

  6. #6
    Ram Dragoon's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' home joins NFL tech race

    Economics dictate....Give the Fans a reason to come and spend $$$.

    Winning would be nice; people are not willing to part with their $$$ watching one disaster after another.

    Give them a spectical of SHOCK AND AWH. Visual and sound to add to the excitement. Now wouldn't a lasar holograph projection system beamed on the dome--NOW that would be unique. Yet unless the Rams are exciting to watch and are WINNING it doesn't matter what other enhancements the doom has, because no one would come to see it.

  7. #7
    Keenum's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' home joins NFL tech race

    Quote Originally Posted by helorm341 View Post
    I understand INDY is trying to make money by offering the wireless TVs and wifi internet access, but shouldn't fans be watching the game? If you want to get on the internet, play video games or watch another game on TV you probably should be at home
    lol. Kinda what I was thinking. I guess that is for the fans who arrive early and stay late. Not sure how early they open/late they close, though.

  8. #8
    GameTime is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams' home joins NFL tech race

    I LOVE IT.

    My only suggestion: why wait till 2009?

    I can volunteer my time right now to improve the dome. Free of charge.

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