Jared Miller leaves Falcons for Madison Square Garden

Jared Miller, former chief digital officer for the Atlanta Falcons, has moved to a new job with Madison Square Garden. Credit: Paul Kapustka, MSR


In a personnel move that may have some technological impact on the upcoming year’s Super Bowl, former Atlanta Falcons chief digital officer Jared Miller is now executive vice president and chief operating officer at Madison Square Garden Ventures, according to Miller’s LinkedIn page.

We haven’t yet spoken to any of the principals involved, so more details will have to come at a later time (maybe at next week’s SEAT conference in Dallas, where the greater world of the sports technology marketplace regularly gathers). Miller, as those who read MSR know, was the point person for all technology deployments at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the new roost for the Falcons that opened last summer and is scheduled to host Super Bowl 53 in February, 2019.

If history is any guide, the networking teams at MBS are likely already busy preparing for the NFL’s big game — in the recent past, carriers have used the offseason before a Super Bowl date to update the DAS inside Super Bowl venues, a task likely already underway in Atlanta. What’s not known is how Miller’s departure may or may not affect technology strategy decisions, either on the DAS side or on the Wi-Fi side of things. After touring MBS during a press day last summer, MSR did not receive any network-performance updates during the 2017 football season, despite repeated requests to stadium representatives, including Miller.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium also hosted the College Football Playoff championship game this past season, but for the first time in years the stadium hosting the game did not provide Wi-Fi usage statistics.

SEAT founder launches venue business-strategy firm

Christine Stoffel

Christine Stoffel, founder of the popular SEAT conference, has banded together with some top sports & entertainment industry executives to form The Executive Advocates (TEA), a venue business-strategy consulting firm with a wide menu of potential services.

Joining Stoffel in the founding of TEA are partners Katee Panter and Douglas Moss; Denise Taylor, CIO for Westfield Inc., will serve as an advisory board member to TEA.

The 20-year technology veteran Panter, who was most recently senior vice president of enterprise technology for New York icon venue Madison Square Garden, said in a prepared statement that “TEA’s mission will enable businesses to derive value from their people and technology investments.” According to the press release announcing the firm, TEA’s service offerings include: executive recruitment and placement, strategic technology roadmap consulting, tech solution and design, real estate-technology project management and financial oversight, all based on “insights & research from years of technical and executive leadership.”

“TEA are the voices of industry leaders and venture backed company Chief Marketing Officers brought together to support organizations with transparency, integrity and candor,” said Stoffel, in a prepared statement. “We are championing the drive for excellence from the top down, in every organization starting with executive recruitment through providing consultancy expertise on experiential technology solutions and design. It’s exciting to bring these offerings to our industry peers, colleagues and friends across the globe with this talented group.”

Venue consulting firms on the rise

Moss, a 30-year veteran of the sports and entertainment industry, has a resume that includes serving as president of the Buffalo Sabres, Phoenix Coyotes and International Hockey League, senior vice president of business operations for the Anaheim Ducks and president of Madison Square Garden Network.

“I look forward to be working with [the TEAM team] and our colleagues around the globe as we continue of journey of connecting technology, business and people,” Moss said.

The launch of TEA follows another recent high-profile gathering of minds in the venue consulting arena. A firm called 27/17 Innovations was formed by former Corning and IBM executive Todd Christner, calling itself in part “a firm focused on the end-user experience as the sustainable source of competitive differentiation, regardless of industry.” May the battles for RFPs begin!

NBA stadium tech reports — NBA East, Atlantic 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 EAST: Atlantic Division

Boston Celtics
TD Bank Garden
Seating capacity: 18,624
Wi-Fi: Yes DAS:Yes

The “new” TD Garden unveiled the first signs of a 2-year $70 million renovation project this past fall. Renovations include new concessions, touch-screen directory displays on the concourses, and Cisco’s Connected Stadium Wi-Fi and StadiumVision for digital displays. As TD Garden turns 20 years old, it’s maturing to connect fans better than ever before.

The Celtics are co-tenants with the Boston Bruins, and the two storied franchises share over 400 Wi-Fi antennas throughout the Garden. The Bruins are even placing Wi-Fi hot spots in the boards around the ice during hockey games. And Celtics and Bruins fans can easily find food and beverage locations using the TD Garden app. Phase II of the renovation will tip off this summer.

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Brooklyn Nets
Barclays Center
Seating capacity: 17,732
Wi-Fi: Yes DAS: Yes

With rumors swirling that majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov plans to sell the team, the Brooklyn Nets still call one of the most connected arenas in all of sports home. With Wi-Fi, DAS, and Cisco’s StadiumVision products (including StadiumVision Mobile, which brings live action to handheld devices), Nets fans are already well connected at home games.

This season Brooklyn is bringing fans even closer, as the Barclays Center is one the first NBA arenas to experiment with beaconing technology. The Barclays Center is using beacons to communicate and keep fans engaged at all times. For example, as fans enter the arena, the beacons can alert them of seat upgrades at discounted rates. In its third year of existence, the Barclays Center continues to make noise in stadium technology.

New York Knicks
Madison Square Garden
Seating capacity: 19,812
Wi-Fi: Yes DAS: Yes

Despite only turning in nine wins by the end of January, the New York Knicks still ranked in the top five in attendance in the NBA. A big reason why is the Knicks’ legendary home, Madison Square Garden. The second oldest arena in basketball knows its will always be an attraction for fans. And fresh off a $1 billion dollar renovation that boosted LTE-DAS and Wi-Fi access, Madison Square Garden was again in the national spotlight, hosting this year’s 64th NBA All-Star Game.

Philadelphia 76ers
Wells Fargo Center
Seating capacity: 20,328
Wi-Fi: Yes DAS: Yes

Entering its 19th year, the Wells Fargo Center is prepared to make renovations to keep Sixers’ and Flyers’ fans happy. As the majority owner of the franchise, Comcast is slated to release boosted Xfinity Wi-Fi signals and hot spots throughout the arena in 2015. More improvements that include a refresh of club and suite levels, and wider concourses are rumored for 2016.

Toronto Raptors
Air Canada Centre
Seating capacity: 19,800
Wi-Fi: Yes DAS: Yes

After being selected to host the 2016 NBA All-Star Game, Air Canada Centre is on tap to get more renovations. Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. group, estimates to spend around $40 million to enhance the Raptors’ and Maple Leafs’ home arena. Upgrades to both Wi-Fi and DAS, plus the third scoreboard since the arena has opened in 1999, are listed as major enhancements. With the Raptors on pace to make the playoffs for the second consecutive year, the improvements will be welcomed.

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