The game sequences were filmed in the Olympic Basketball Arena in Munich. Munich citizens were invited to the filming to serve as spectators to the games. Norman Jewison intended the movie to be anti violence, but audiences so loved the action of the game that there was actually talk about forming rollerball leagues in the wake of the film which horrified him.
In the liner notes to the Region 2 DVD, director Norman Jewison is quoted as being influenced by Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971). The influence is most obviously seen in the repetitive use of zooms, classical music and modern (i.e. concrete and glass) architecture.
The rollerball game sequences were filmed in the Basketballhalle (now known as the Audi Dome) at Olympiapark in Munich, Germany. This was the only sports arena in the world with a near-circular profile which the production could take over and redress for shooting.
Outside shots of the Energy Corporation building are actually of the corporate headquarters of car maker BMW in Munich. Outside shots of the bowl-shaped library building are of the old BMW museum. It is located only a few steps to the left of the headquarters' entrance.
The laser pistol that drunken party guest use to incinerate pine trees during the big corporate soirée is actually a Ruger Standard .22 caliber target pistol introduced by the Ruger firearms company in 1949. The weapon used in the movie has an elaborately modified barrel to make it look more like a futuristic ray gun.
Director Norman Jewison notes on the DVD commentary track that using classical music in a science fiction film, as was the case here and on 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), reduces the tendency for a film to become "dated" over time. Only the party sequence contains 1970s music with analog synthesizer sounds common to the period.
The shot sequence ahead of the New York game shows the Palácio da Alvorada as well as the Congresso Nacional in Brasília, Brazil, the Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican and Lower Manhattan, NY, USA.
For the Houston-Madrid match, at at the start of the film, the scoreboard shows the teams, using three letters for each name. The resulting display reads "HOU MAD". This could be taken as a comment on the game as a whole, and certainly as the deadly spectacle into which it degenerates; "How mad".