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Posted on September 2nd, 2014

Our Changing Landscape – Levi’s Stadium

In this monthly feature, we span the globe to examine Our Changing Landscape with time series of medium resolution RapidEye satellite imagery. The RapidEye archive dates back to late 2008 and already contains more than 5 billion square kilometers of data. This month, we look at the construction of the San Francisco 49ers’ new home, Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

The RapidEye Constellation

RapidEye is a constellation of five 5-meter medium resolution satellites each offering five spectral bands of information. The RapidEye constellation offers daily revisits to every location on the planet with a huge footprint that is 77-km wide. The data is priced competitively with a starting cost of $1.28 per square kilometer for all five spectral bands – academics do receive discounts. RapidEye adds a fifth band, the red edge, to the ‘traditional’ multispectral set of blue, green, red and near-infrared (NIR). The additional spectral data in the red edge band allows users to extract more useful land ‘information’ than can be from traditional 4-band imagery sources. When RapidEye imagery is ordered as a Level 3A Orthorectified product, images from multiple dates are extremely well registered, making it the ideal data source for Our Changing Landscape.

Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California

The future home of the 49ers, Levi’s Stadium, is located across the street from the team’s headquarters in Santa Clara, California, which is about an hour’s drive from San Francisco. Construction on the 68,500 seat stadium started shortly after an April 19, 2012 ground breaking ceremony with the first steel beams set in place on July 30th. Built in the former overflow parking lot of nearby Great America, the 1.85-million square foot (sq ft) stadium was constructed from ground up by more than 7,780 workers. The first seats were installed in the $1.2 billion dollar facility on October 1, 2013; and just 819 days after construction started, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held on July 17, 2014. Perhaps the biggest news story about Levi’s Stadium in recent years was the death of a worker on June 11, 2013 which halted construction for 2 days.

Levi’s Stadium is touted as one of the most technologically advanced and environmentally sustainable venues ever built. What exactly sets the stadium apart then? Well, here is a list of the features that make Levi’s stand out to me:

Click on the image above to see an animation of 5-meter natural color RapidEye imagery collected over Levi’s Stadium on June 29, 2012, November 22, 2012, April 30, 2013, August 23, 2013 and January 16, 2014. Levi’s Stadium is located at the center of these images and in them you can see the rapid construction progress that was made on the site. (Images Courtesy: RapidEye)
  • The Structure
    • 68,500 seats (expandable to 75,000 for special events), 8,500 club seats and 165 luxury suites
    • 24,000 parking spaces
    • Two 18,000 sq ft open plazas
    • Twice as many women’s bathrooms as Candlestick Park (their former stadium)
    • Each of the 9 seating sections will have a different Bay Area theme
  • Environmental Sustainability
    • LEED Gold certification with 44 points (as of February 2014)
    • 20,000 sq ft of solar panels (located on the roof deck and pedestrian bridges from the parking lots) which will supply enough power for all 10 home games
    • Fans can travel to the site on public transportation and via a bike path
    • The stadium uses recycled materials wherever possible, such as the Citrix Owners’ Suite which is built with reclaimed wood from Moffett Field
    • A 27,000 sq ft green roof on the top of the suite tower
    • Reclaimed water is used for both potable and non-potable uses
    • Many of the concessions will be sourced from local suppliers and then recycled/composted when disposed of
    • The Bermuda Bandera field uses 50% less water than the average football field
  • Technological Advancements
    • 1,500 Wi-Fi hotspots to allow all 68,500+ fans to connect to the Internet at once
    • 30x faster Wi-Fi than any other stadium
    • Two 200-feet wide by 48-feet tall scoreboards
    • A mobile app which lets fans order food, watch high definition instant replays, find the closest bathroom, order tickets and much more

If you would like to find out more about using RapidEye for your academic studies, engineering projects or any landscape analysis, let us know at or (303) 993-3863.

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