Pacers get new Wi-Fi network from Ruckus to replace SignalShare

Screen Shot 2016-10-24 at 1.15.36 PMThe Indiana Pacers have signed a 3-year deal with Ruckus Wireless and Wi-Fi analytics and deployment firm Purple to put a new Wi-Fi network into Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the home of both the NBA’s Pacers and the WNBA’s Indiana Fever.

The new network, which the firms said would use 437 Ruckus Wi-Fi APs, will replace a Wi-Fi network installed at Bankers Life Fieldhouse by SignalShare, a Wi-Fi deployment firm that recently went bankrupt in the middle of legal issues that alleged fraudulent practices. According to Ruckus, the new network should be live by early December; stay tuned for a more thorough profile of the new deployment.

So far, all of the teams that we’ve contacted who were caught up in the SignalShare snafu (under which some of the network leases were being offered for auction before the SignalShare bankruptcy put a halt to things) seem to be coming out of the mess OK. The Jacksonville Jaguars have a new manager for their Wi-Fi network, and the Pacers will have a new Ruckus-gear network.

It’s still a little unclear as to what is happening at the Golden State Warriors’ Oracle Arena, but press representatives there said the building will have an Extreme Networks Wi-Fi deployment up and running for this season; previously, SignalShare had run the network using Extreme gear so our best guess is that Extreme somehow took over the SignalShare lease. Neither the Warriors nor Extreme would comment on any SignalShare matters.

In Indianapolis, the press release said that Purple, previously known as Purple WiFi (a “cloud-based marketing and analytics WiFi software company,” according to the firm), will be providing analytics from the Wi-Fi network to the Pacers. Terms of the deal were not diclosed, so it is unknown if Purple is paying for the Wi-Fi gear and making money off analytics and advertising sales; again, stay tuned for more details when we speak to the Pacers IT team in more detail.

AT&T: Data use growth continues during second rounds of NBA, NHL playoffs

Photo: NBA.com

Photo: NBA.com

As the NHL and NBA playoffs march toward the championship rounds, fans at second-round playoff games continued to use more wireless data than during the regular season, according to figures from AT&T’s cellular networks inside the postseason-hosting venues.

For both leagues the average and overall usage was almost dead even — according to figures sent to us by AT&T, fans on its networks at NHL sites used a total of 5 terabytes of wireless traffic, an average of 210 GB per game. For the NBA, AT&T said it saw a total of 4.1 TB of data used during second-round games, for an average of 211 GB per game.

In the NBA, the leading data use on AT&T networks was at games hosted by the Oklahoma City Thunder, with an average of 422 GB per game at Chesapeake Energy Arena. For hockey the most data was used by fans at games hosted by the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center, where AT&T said it saw and average of 390 GB used per second-round game.

AT&T: Hawks, Warriors fans are tops when it comes to DAS data use during championship series

Though we didn’t get a game-by-game breakdown, according to our friends at AT&T the fans for the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks and the NBA Finals Champion Golden State Warriors are also the respective “winners” in their sports for having finals-series games with the most DAS data use.

In a blog post outlining some stats for data usage on AT&T networks on distributed antenna systems (DAS) inside the championship venues, the Chicago fans filling United Center had the single highest DAS total for any game in either sport, with 386 gigabytes crossing the network during the Cup-clinching Game 6 on June 15. Warriors fans captured the highest AT&T DAS total for the NBA Finals with a 249 GB mark on June 7 at Oracle Arena, the Game 2 overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Remember, these totals are only for AT&T customers on AT&T networks at those arenas. (Any other carriers who want to report results, you know where to find us!)

We are working to get Wi-Fi totals as well since we know all four venues — Chicago’s United Center, Oakland’s Oracle Arena, Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena and Tampa’s Amelie Arena all have Wi-Fi, courtesy of our recent HOOPS AND HOCKEY ISSUE. Now all we need are some final stats, so if the folks at each arena are done celebrating or weeping, send your finals Wi-Fi stats our way.

And… THREE! 🙂

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(photos credit Chicago Blackhawks team site)

NBA stadium tech reports — NBA West, Pacific Division

Editor’s note: The following team-by-team capsule reports of NBA stadium technology deployments are an excerpt from our most recent Stadium Tech Report, THE HOOPS AND HOCKEY ISSUE. To get all the capsules in one place as well as our featured reports, interviews and analysis, download your free copy of the full report today.

Reporting by Chris Gallo

NBA WEST: Pacific Division

Golden State Warriors
Oracle Arena
Seating capacity: 19,596
Wi-Fi: Yes (185 APs)
DAS: Yes

The Warriors have the oldest home court in the NBA as Oracle Arena opened almost a half century ago. The age hasn’t stopped Golden State from making upgrades to the arena in the past few seasons with Wi-Fi and DAS available. (In fact, the Wi-Fi network is currently undergoing upgrade during this season). The Warriors are also out front with beacons, now in the second generation of using the technology to power features like store discounts and seat upgrades. The Warriors also remain one of the recognized leaders in all sports in social media outreach.

Los Angeles Clippers
Staples Center
Seating capacity: 19,060
Wi-Fi: Yes
DAS: Yes

Staples centerWhile the Clippers went through an eventful summer last year, the Staples Center was busy improving the fan experience. The 15-year-old facility completed a new LED sports lighting system to the tune of nearly $7.5 million. The conversion to LED lighting allows the Staples Center to save an estimated $280,000 annually in energy costs. Those savings combined with Wi-Fi and DAS deployment from Verizon, help new owner Steve Ballmer in his pursuit to make the Clippers a championship franchise. (Which will have to wait until next year.)

Los Angeles Lakers
Staples Center
Seating capacity: 18,997
Wi-Fi: Yes
DAS: Yes

While there wasn’t much to cheer about on the court this season, Los Angeles Lakers fans still benefited from sharing the Staples Center with multiple professional franchises. The Wi-Fi and DAS systems are among the best in the NBA, and more improvements are scheduled for the arena. The latest planned renovation is a retractable seating system to help the Staples Center more easily complete almost 150 doubleheader games each year between the Lakers, Clippers, LA Kings, and Sparks.

Phoenix Suns
US Airways Center (Talking Stick Resort Arena)
Seating capacity: 18,422
Wi-Fi: Yes (300+ APs)
DAS: Yes (325 antennas)

Verizon and the Phoenix Suns agreed to a long-term extension this fall to make the arena fan-friendly for years to come. Verizon plans to install beacons, and allow fans to keep tickets and arena credit in a “wallet” directly on their mobile devices. The upgrades will coincide with a name change of the arena. A Phoenix-area tribe purchased the naming rights in December. With its new moniker, Talking Stick Resort Arena will take over the rights from the US Airways for the 2015-16 season.

Sacramento Kings
Sleep Train Arena
Seating capacity: 17,317
Wi-Fi: Yes (90+ access points)
DAS: Yes

The Sacramento Kings broke ground on their new $477 million downtown arena this fall. The franchise plans to open the new arena in time for the 2016 season, and to make a splash in stadium technology. The Kings are aiming to have more per capita connectivity than the 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium. Bold. And to prepare for the new arena, Sacramento is using the aging Sleep Train Arena to experiment with new technologies. In limited pockets, the Kings took advantage of their partnership with SignalShare to make the team app more location-specific and gather data of fans’ habits that will be useful for the opening of the new arena.

Could PogoSeat funding be the start of a sports app boom?

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 11.59.31 PMUnlike many of the app startups funded these days, ticket-upgrade enabler PogoSeat isn’t a social media thing with a goal to attract billions of users. Instead, it’s a fairly straightforward utility application, one that most likely will end up being a feature in some other bigger app, like a team or league app. So why could its reported $2.3 million in funding be the start of a much bigger boom? Because there’s lots of room for improvement in the fan experience, and we think — like PogoSeat’s investors — that simple, targeted apps that do one thing well have a pretty attractive future.

At the recent SEAT Conference in Miami, the folks from PogoSeat and the Golden State Warriors gave a brief outline of some of the results from early trials of the PogoSeat app at Warriors games last season. While the numbers weren’t Instagram-like in nature — one of the playoff games between the Warriors and the Clippers saw 52 upgrades using the app — if you start to extrapolate to the large numbers of teams and every-day nature of events, you start to see the lure of the PogoSeat power. More importantly — as a utility with a great amount of potential worth to a fan, it gives people a reason to download and actually use a team app in the first place — often one of the hardest types of customer acquisition around.

Where are there other pain points in the live fan experience that simple apps might solve? We’ve already explored the idea of a parking app, and we’ll have some more profiles coming soon, including one called AudioAir which is pursuing the relatively simple idea of using your mobile phone to listen to the audio broadcast from a nearby public TV, like in a sports bar or at a stadium. No funding stories yet for these sports apps, but with all the cash floating around in VC land, maybe we’ll have more headlines like this story’s in the near future.

NBA Pros Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings Will ‘Hang Out’ on PlayUp App During NBA Finals

Fan interaction app PlayUp has announced that it will be hosting a couple NBA pros — the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Milwaukee Bucks’ Brandon Jennings — who will “hang out” in special PlayUp chat rooms during the NBA Finals.

Up first tonight is Golden State’s Curry, “hanging out” in a virtual room on the PlayUp app. If you’ve never tried PlayUp the pro player rooms are a good way to start, since the pros and fans are motivated to have a good interaction. We checked out one such interaction during the NCAA tournament and found it interesting.

“PlayUp is once again offering fans an incredible opportunity to connect with two of the most likeable
budding superstars during what is sure to be an exciting and memorable NBA Finals,” said PlayUp USA
CEO Dennis Lee in a press release. “We are extremely proud to offer a platform for Stephen and Brandon to showcase their
great personalities to fans.”

(If you don’t have the PlayUp app installed yet you can get it here.)