Vikings fans who have dreamed of making a key play at U.S. Bank Stadium will have enhanced visuals this season, thanks to innovative technology from Intel and the National Football League.
Intel and the NFL on Thursday announced that the venue will be one of 11 facilities in the league to offer Intel® freeD™ technology, a system that uses 38 5K ultrahigh-definition cameras to create enhanced 360-degree highlights.
The system will be used beginning in Monday night's season opener between the Vikings and Saints, through Super Bowl LII in February and beyond.
U.S. Bank Stadium was one of eight venues to be equipped with the freeD system this season, along with the homes of the Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots and Washington Redskins.
The freeD system was already in use in the homes of the Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers.
Games at freeD technology-enabled stadiums will allow fans to access and share highlights via NFL.com, the NFL Mobile app, the NFL YouTube* channel and across NFL team digital offerings. Fans will also experience the enhanced replays in-stadium for closer views of the action on the field.
"By expanding freeD to more teams across the NFL, we're empowering fans to see every side of the play and relive the excitement of game-changing moments," said James Carwana, general manager of Intel Sports in a press release. "During Super Bowl LI, fans experienced a pivotal play from the quarterback's point of view. Seeing key plays up close and from new perspectives is redefining what it means to watch the game."
The goal of the system is to deliver a more immersive experience for fans.
In addition to the 38 5K cameras, the venues have servers that process up to 1 terabyte of data per 15- to 30-second clip.
Volumetric video is fed through miles of fiber-optic cables into a special control room, where the Intel production team virtually recreates the selected clip in 3D from an ideal vantage point or player's perspective to take fans directly into the game from angles traditional cameras can't reach.
"We're thrilled to bring this innovative content to NFL fans both in stadium and at home with freeD technology," said Vishal Shah, SVP, Digital Media at the NFL. "Partnering with Intel has enabled a new way for fans to experience the excitement of our game. The vision of this technology to place the viewer anywhere on the field has the potential to be impactful across multiple areas of the League."