Wi-Fi News: Chiefs Announce New Wi-Fi Stadium Network and Mobile App; Enterasys Sold for $180M

Can they get another one? The Chiefs' trophy from Super Bowl IV is on display at Arrowhead Stadium. Credit: Paul Kapustka, MSR

Can they get another one? The Chiefs’ trophy from Super Bowl IV is on display at Arrowhead Stadium. Credit: Paul Kapustka, MSR

For the attendees of the SEAT Conference in Kansas City last month one of the highlights was an evening tour of Arrowhead Stadium, home of the NFL Chiefs. The Chiefs have a very cool history/museum area in one part of the stadium, with lots of gear, programs and assorted memorabilia from the old AFL days.

And now, the Chiefs and Arrowhead have one of the newest toys, a brand-new Wi-Fi network that will officially go live this weekend along with a new Chiefs mobile app. At the SEAT Conference one of the more outspoken proponents of Wi-Fi in stadiums was Mark Donovan, president of the Chiefs. The Chiefs, he said, were moving to Wi-Fi now because they wanted to upgrade the in-stadium fan experience sooner rather than later — “We’ve got to challenge the HD experience fans get at home,” Donovan said at SEAT. “We need to make the stadium experience better.”

With a mobile app from YinzCam, the supplier to most of the NFL teams who have apps, Chiefs fans using the stadium Wi-Fi network will have access to a lot of live video, including the NFL Network’s popular RedZone channel. For Donovan this is only the beginning of what he sees as a host of possibilities to bring the game closer to fans via technology.

One idea Donovan talked about at SEAT was the idea of making the coach-to-quarterback radio conferences available to fans, much like NASCAR makes its crew-to-driver conversations public. Though NFL coaches are probably unanimous in their opposition to such moves, Donovan said “those questions need to be asked” if the NFL wants to make the stadium a special place to visit.

“Two years ago, we put the official replay videos on our [stadium] replay boards, and the positive response to that was overwhelming,” Donovan said at SEAT. Using Wi-Fi to make available features like RedZone or updated fantasy app stats are just recognition that fans in the stands are not only Chiefs fans, but “fans of the game,” Donovan said. Cheers to the Chiefs, the newest addition to the wired world of stadiums.

Enterasys Sold for $180 Million

We had no idea that stadium Wi-Fi provider Enterasys was on the block, but then in this world everything is for sale, and it makes sense that there would be some consolidation on the equipment provider market. That happened today with the news that Enterasys was being acquired by Extreme Networks. We’ll dig some more to find out what this means for Enterasys’ stadium network business but in the meantime read this post by ZK Research’s Zeus Kerravala, which nails down the whys and hows of the purchase.

Speak Your Mind