Churchill Downs taps Mobilitie for DAS upgrade ahead of Kentucky Derby

horseTexting and calling on Kentucky Derby day should work a lot better for fans at the legendary Churchill Downs racetrack this weekend, thanks to a recent doubling of the facility’s DAS infrastructure.

According to infrastructure deployer Mobilitie, the 140th running of the Derby and other associated races is expected to attract more than 260,000 fans to the Louisville, Ky., home of perhaps the world’s most famous thoroughbred event. With coverage improvements that Mobilitie said effectively doubles the capacity of the previous distributed antenna system (DAS) installment, fans should have better cellular coverage in more areas, including the track’s parking lot and other outside areas.

A Mobilitie press release said that the upgraded DAS will cover all six levels and basement in the Churchill Downs main building, and will also cover all of the grandstands, the parking areas and the newly installed Grandstand Terrace. In addition, Mobilitie said new coverage will also support temporary hospitality suites as well as the entire infield area. Mobilitie said the DAS system is one of the largest in the country, with more than 253 antennas and over 1 million feet of fiber optic cable installed throughout the venue. So far, AT&T and Verizon Wireless have signed on to use the DAS, which means that for this year at least most wireless customers will have access to improved connectivity. According to Mobilitie, both carriers’ 4G LTE signals will be supported by the neutral DAS.

FastBet app screen shot

FastBet app screen shot

“Since 2003, Churchill Downs has invested $160 million into improving the onsite customer experience for guests attending the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby,” said Ryan Jordan, general manager of Churchill Downs, in a prepared statement. “A major part of the live event experience is ensuring that fans maintain connectivity to their social networks. As a result of the upgrades that Mobilitie made this year, our guests with smartphone service from participating carriers will be able to share those memorable experiences as they happen live with their entire network.”

Fans at the race can also use smartphones to bet on the races via their mobile devices, using the track’s Wi-Fi network that covers a large segment of the main building’s stands and suites. According to the Churchill Downs website, the FastBet Mobile system only works on the track’s Wi-Fi network, most likely due to security and billing requirements. A map shows which areas of the stands are covered by Wi-Fi.


  1. […] stats from the AT&T wireless network over the weekend of racing at Churchill Downs. With a new DAS from Mobilitie in place, AT&T said it saw a total of 2 Terabytes of traffic over the weekend and a stunning […]

  2. […] more about Mobilitie DAS rollout at Churchill Downs at Mobile Sports Report and how it […]

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