Recently an important stage in the development of Emirates Stadium was reached and proved there's a very bright future for the Club's superb new home.
At 7pm on Tuesday, April 11 all of the floodlights were officially tested for the very first time and the procedure was completed without a hitch. Local residents in the N7 and N5 region could see Emirates glow for the very first time and not only that, the brightly lit stadium provided an impressive sight on the London skyline from vantage points such as Parliament Hill, Highgate Hill and Alexandra Palace.

The main pitch floodlights consist of 196 2000 watt bulbs and just in case of electrical supply problems, there are back up generators on site that can provide power to more than 50 per-cent of the floodlights in the event of a power failure, ensuring a night match could continue. In all there are 144 sets of lights at roof level (along with the 56 speakers) and the floodlights aren't the only illumination at Emirates of course another 12,000 light fittings can be found in the Gunners' new home.

Many supporters will be able to see at first hand the inside of the new stadium, including the floodlights, when one of the Gunners most illuminating stars of all-time, Dennis Bergkamp, enjoys his testimonial match at the stadium which is scheduled for July 22, 2006.
It's a sure sign that a new stadium is on its last lap in the race towards completion when the seats are going in - and we're now past five figures as far as Emirates Stadium is concerned.

By the time you read this, more than 10,000 seats would have been installed. And they're not any old seats! As featured previously in the official Arsenal Magazine, a revolutionary 'Arsenal Seat' has been developed for Emirates Stadium. Made by Ferco Seating at their factory in Malaysia, the seat has integrally fitted pads, as well as a higher back and a larger seat area than in any other stadium in the UK, moving spectator comfort to the forefront of seat design.

The dressing room areas at the new stadium are now at an advanced stage of construction. Pictures 1 and 2 show the home dressing room areas with the lockers/benches being built, note that the dressing room is a curved open space, something Arsène Wenger has insisted upon to create an inclusive feel. Picture 3 illustrates the shower area in the home dressing room, as you can see, the water supply pipes are now in place, as is the floor tiling.

Back in the early 1990s, Highbury was one of the very first football stadiums in the UK to feature a giant video screen system. A landmark deal signed this month brings the next generation of giant video screens to Arsenal's new home and sees the Gunners once again scoring a technology first.
The new Emirates Stadium will be the first sports venue in the UK to feature permanently installed Diamond Vision screens from Mitsubishi Electric. The two new Diamond Vision systems are the very latest technology from Japan, based on super-high brightness LEDs rather than the old phosphor-screen system.

The new LED screens offer fantastically clear and colourful pictures - just like watching your own TV at home, but considerably bigger, of course! Weighing in at more than five tonnes each, the Gunners' new screens are 72 square metres, compared to 40 square metres at Highbury, and use roughly half a million high-power red, green and blue LEDs to create a high-quality video image that looks great even in bright sunlight. A fast-paced mixture of team information, statistics, match analysis and announcements beamed directly from Arsenal's brand new in-house multimedia production suite, will keep visitors entertained and informed before, during and after the match.

While probably being best known for its cars, Mitsubishi was also one of the first companies in the world to launch a giant video screen system back in the 1980s. Today, it is still at the forefront of the international giant screen business - in fact, the only one of those original companies to still be producing giant screens. The decision to buy the Mitsubishi system came after stadium manager John Beattie visited the White Sox stadium in Chicago to see a Diamond Vision in action (see picture above) . The Chicago stadium is just one of many prestigious Diamond Vision installations around the world, including the MTV screen in Times Square, Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, the Tokyo Dome and the world-famous Yankee Stadium in New York.

With High Definition functionality and networking capability at the heart of the stadium's communications network, the Club has worked with Sony Professional Services Europe and Venue Solutions to provide a range of products and solutions to ensure that Arsenal fans and visitors are entertained and informed quickly and easily.
Adrian Ford, Arsenal's Commercial Director, said: "Our vision was to create the most advanced, first HD capable stadium in Europe. With Sony on our side, we are confident that we will achieve this goal and by August 2006 we will be able to offer a fantastic entertainment experience to Arsenal's supporters".

Paul Hennessy, Director Sony Professional Solutions UK, stated: "Sony believes that HD quality should be enjoyed and experienced by everyone and we are delighted that for the first time millions of people from all around the world will watch their favourite game in the best quality ever, thanks to Arsenal's investment."

The quality of pre and post match entertainment at Arsenal's new stadium will encourage supporters to extend their Emirates Stadium experience. The Club have invested in a network of 439 Sony LCD screens, which will be spread evenly around the stadium, and feature an array of viewing opportunities for supporters. The aim is to provide a mix of football action, analysis and behind the scenes content that will build the atmosphere before the match and provide all the up to the minute news. We will also bring wider entertainment exclusives and features.

For the post match period, the Club are working with Sony and our production company to deliver a comprehensive post match review. This will feature analysis and reaction from players and pundits, as well as covering other matches in the Premiership - much of this content will not be available through any other channel. Where relevant we will also show live Premiership games and sporting events through the screen network. There will also be competitions and prize draws to win unique merchandise, memorabilia and prizes. And with the Club's caterer and brewing partners, there will also value added promotions that will make it attractive to stay at Emirates Stadium rather than go anywhere else.

Our TV show will be promoted in advance, just as pubs are accustomed to doing, so you'll know exactly what you can look forward to post-match at forthcoming fixtures. Ultimately the Club hope to build a culture where fans expect to extend their match experience and spend more time at the stadium.
Emirates Stadium has an infrastructure designed to meet the needs of existing fans used to Highbury and for those supporters who only now will have the chance to see their beloved Gunners play. And the stadium not only provides for 60,000 people to enjoy the passion of first-class football, it will also cater for fans to be entertained both before and after the final whistle.


Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
28 Jun 2006