PHOENIX — In 2012, the Phoenix Suns became the first NBA team to integrate wireless technology into their basketball operations by using tablets powered by Verizon on the team’s bench, a breakthrough collaboration at the time.
Nine years later, the two sides teamed up again for the team's recently opened Verizon 5G Performance Center following a year-and-a-half of research, design, and combining multiple technologies.
The 53,000-square-foot, team-owned building is located at 44th Street at Camelback and serves primarily as the practice facility for the Suns and the Mercury, but both the teams and Verizon view it as a laboratory. Construction is now underway on other components of the mixed-use development, including a new Sam Fox-backed hotel.
The courts and workout areas are surrounded by 150 HD cameras, sensors and nodes that track the motion of players and the ball. Using Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband connectivity, the building merges computer-aided motion analysis, player and ball tracking, and shot tracking — typically independent technologies — into one integrated system.