Wembley To Make History With The World's Largest 360 Panoramic Sports Photo

Thursday, 12, May, 2011

Fans heading to this weekend’s FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Stoke City will create Wembley history by starring in a record breaking 10-gigapixel panoramic photo.

For the first time ever in The FA Cup’s prestigious 130 year history each and every supporter at the stadium will be frozen in time at the showpiece final. The biggest ever live sporting event 360-degree photo will then be hosted at wembleystadium.com/wembley360 for fans to enjoy.

Working with renowned photographer Jeffrey Martin from 360Cities.net, the photograph will provide a special memory for the fans of Manchester City who last reached the Cup Final in 1981 and for Stoke City who make their debut appearance in this year’s Final.

The resulting photo is set to be the largest image of a major sporting event ever taken and will also be a first for internet publishing by being taken and unveiled online less than 24 hours after the FA Cup is lifted.

Roger Maslin, Wembley’s Managing Director said: “We are delighted to be able to offer fans a special memento of their day at this year’s FA Cup Final and hope the photo will be the first of many to capture the fantastic atmosphere fans bring to Wembley Stadium. We have some very special events at Wembley this summer with the Champions League Final and 8 nights of Take That’s sell out Progress Live tour.”

In preparing for The FA Cup Final shoot, photographer Jeffrey Martin and the 360Cities.net team carried out several dry runs to test for the optimal combination of speed of shooting. The results were spectacular, picking out faces in the crowd from all parts of the 90,000 seat stadium with Cup-winning clarity.

Blues and Potters fans watching the final from home can visit www.wembleystadium.com/wembley360 after the game where they will be able to zoom across the Wembley pitch and feel like they are alongside the fans and their heroes at Wembley.

Sarah Hedges, Wembley Stadium, Marketing Manager, said: “The incredible technology now available will allow fans to re-live the day and take their place alongside royalty, players and celebrity guests in the biggest live sporting event 360-degree photo. Fans at this season’s FA Cup Final will be making a unique piece of Wembley history.”

Fans are invited to find their friends and Facebook tag themselves on the largest live event photo from 3pm on Sunday 15 May by visiting the Wembley website at www.wembleystadium.com/wembley360.

How the Wembley 360 works

The shoot itself is done with a professional grade digital SLR camera and long lens, and the camera-lens assembly is itself mounted on a robotic tripod head. The robot turns, focuses and snaps photos in a continuous motion around 360-degrees until the entire inside space of the stadium has been captured.

Only many years of experience and 360Cities.net’ automated stitching technology can produce a high-quality image in such a short time. Upwards of 1000 individual photographs are sorted, merged and enhanced to produce a finished image that would otherwise take days or weeks to create. That and a turbo-charged computer with more cores and gigabytes of RAM than you knew could be levered into a computer make it possible for The FA Cup Final gigapixel panorama to be online the next day, ready for people to view and tag via their Facebook accounts.