Jets’ New Practice Facility Is Big, Wireless, and Digital
By Andrew Lippe
Acquiring quarterback Brett Favre was not the only big move the New York Jets made this off-season. The football franchise moved into a brand-new $75 million practice facility in Florham Park, NJ.
The Jets’ previous practice facility was located at the Hofstra University campus in Hempstead, NY. “We outgrew that building in every respect,” says Tom Murphy, Jets senior director of IT. “There was just no room for anything in that building anymore.”
The 27-acre Atlantic Health Jets Training Center features five practice fields (four outdoor and one indoor). The main building is approximately 120,000 sq. ft., with an 11,000-sq.-ft. weight room and an auditorium equipped with a giant digital projector from Panasonic.
The facility is wired with 228 strands of mixed multi-mode and single-mode fiber. Coaxial cable extends throughout the building and in every office. Wireless is distributed throughout the facility, and the Jets use a Cisco Voice-Over-IP system and wireless handsets. Their MDF (main distribution frame) is 12 times bigger then they had at Hofstra. In addition, there are 15 locations for JBT boxes so that television crews can feed video directly to their trucks.
The Jets record their practices using Sony SX cameras. At Hofstra, tapes would have to be taken from the cameras to the video control room for editing at halftime. In the new building, video goes from the camera directly to the video control room, speeding production and allowing video to be ready for coaches when they come off the field.
The team is in the process of moving its content to a new digital archive. “All of our digital storage will soon be in an Avid Unity system,” says Murphy. The team has about 40 TB worth of storage for coaching video.
“We are in season mode,” he adds. “We try to help the coaches get the information they need to the players as fast as they can get it.”
The Jets integrate video and data using XOS Technologies coaching tools. A video technology called Huddle allows them to share information over the Internet. “Players can watch plays,” Murphy explains, “and the coaches can send teaching information (like playbooks) down to them over the Internet in a secure fashion.”
Besides the auditorium, the facility has 10 classrooms, which allow team members, after meeting with the full squad, to focus on the offensive and defensive parts of the game. The running backs, the wide receivers, the tight ends, and the quarterbacks have their own classrooms, each with Sharp LCDs and Evertz master control and routing switchers. Defensive players’ classrooms have similar setups.