NHL’s arena tech to be fitted league-wide

The NHL ice hockey league has announced that its player-tracking and puck-tracking technology will be set up in each of the 16 arenas that will host Stanley Cup playoff games this season, and in all 31 arenas for the start of the 2020-21 campaign.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement on Friday ahead of the weekend’s NHL All-Star Weekend. The technology is designed to enhance the viewing experience for NHL fans and allow broadcasters to cover games in new ways.

Each arena will be fitted with 14 to 16 antennae, along with four cameras to support the tracking functionality. A sensor will then be placed on the shoulder pads of every player on each team, with 40 pucks to be manufactured with a sensor inside.

Bettman said the technology will generate 200 data points per second for the players and 2,000 data points per second for the puck.

The NHL announced during last year’s All-Star Weekend that the technology would be implemented during the 2019-20 season. The league began working on the technology in 2013, with tests taking place in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019.

Bettman said: “It’ll be as a fan and a viewer what you want it to be. You’ll be able to watch the game as you’ve always watched it traditionally if that’s what you want. There will be broadcast enhancements that the broadcasters can use either on the primary screen or on secondary screens, and you’ll see some of that this weekend as well. And there’ll be more data than ever before.”

He added: “So in terms of getting inside the game, telling stories, as a fan building in to get what you’re interested in, you’re going to be able to do more things than ever before and even imagined.”

Image: Canadian Tire Centre