How Construction Companies Are Using Drones to Help Build Stadiums

January 21, 2020

While the Hard Rock Stadium (home to the 2020 SuperBowl) was built in 1987 following traditional construction methods, some of the more recent stadium projects have been utilizing drone software to plan construction, track progress and assets, and perform safety inspections. With the NFL playoffs in full swing this month, we’re taking a look at how drones can aid in large-scale construction projects by simplifying and expediting operations - saving both time and money.


Two NFL stadiums in the midst of construction, Allegiant Stadium and SoFi Stadium, are using drone data to compare 3D generated models against predetermined blueprints set by the contractor, ensuring projects stay on schedule and on budget. By having multiple sets of models to compare, workers can accurately adjust timelines and workflows. At Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, these models were color-coded to determine at-risk locations and improve safety on-site. Allegiant and SoFi stadiums even use its drone footage as a P.R. tool to show building progress to the public.


An added benefit of drone data is the use of ground control points, which significantly speeds up operations by providing real-time data to those in the office and on the ground. For Minnesota United Football Club’s Allianz Field, drone software was used to identify gate and equipment locations, determine material volumes, and plan material drop-off routes and storage. By using drones in these operations, jobs that would normally take 2 hours turned into 5-10 minute tasks.


Drones are also commonly deployed to perform safety inspections and conduct tests. At U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, drones captured images that served as reference points for maintenance checks. These geotagged locations made it much easier to identify and fix problems when they arose. Beyond construction, drone technology can be used for a myriad of reasons. Those assisting in the development of AT&T Stadium utilized drones to test the WiFi network in every single seat. While this task previously took about a week to manually test nearly 100,000 seats, it took drones less than a day.


In a one-of-a-kind move, the 2022 FIFA World Cup is considering using a flurry of drones to shade spectators inside Lusail Iconic Stadium in Qatar, where temperatures often reach upwards of 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. Similarly, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan stated this past April that he will also be looking into using drones to hold shade above spectators’ heads on sunny days during the regular season.

Whatever the purpose, drones technology can elevate your business by improving productivity and safety across all phases of construction. DroneDeploy makes it easy to map and share sites across teams and significantly reduces the time and money spent to build structures even as large as stadiums.

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Want to learn how DroneDeploy can help your business? Check out our piece on How to Get Part 107 certified or, cut right to the chase, and start your free trial today. Need more information? Watch our webinar on leveraging drone technology throughout the construction lifecycle.

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