Superdome sees 10+ TB of Wi-Fi data at college playoff championship

The Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Credit all photos: Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The upgraded Wi-Fi network in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome passed its first big test, with 10.12 terabytes of data used during the College Football Playoff National Championship between LSU and Clemson on Jan. 13.

With 76,885 spectators in attendance to witness LSU’s 42-25 victory in the championship game
(including President Trump, his entourage and accompanying security personnel), the
Superdome’s Wi-Fi performed beautifully. According to figures provided to Mobile Sports
Report by ASM Global (the entity that resulted from the September 2019 merger of Anschutz
Entertainment Group and venue management firm SMG), the Superdome’s wireless network
handled 41,475 unique users, along with 28,534 concurrent users. Fans generated 10.12 TB of
network data during the game, according to ASM Global contractor Dave Stewart. Top
applications creating that motherload of bytes (in order of usage) were iCloud, Facebook,
Snapchat and Instagram.

“The lower bowl and outer plaza area upgrades made a significant impact on patrons’ ability to
onboard to the system and flow into the building seamlessly. We saw a significant improvement
in the reduction of signal noise, resulting in cleaner, faster connectivity for individual devices,”
commented Matt Boyd, IT manager for the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the adjacent
SmoothieKing Center and Champions Square facilities. “At the end of a long day, I was pleased
at the experience we were able to give our patrons, media, and the staffs of the various
organizations that make an event of this caliber happen.”

Newly installed APs outside in the plaza entry areas also kept things moving for fans and venue
management. “Paperless ticketing – a QR code on cell phone — accounted for over 85 percent
of the ticketed entry,” Stewart said. “We on-boarded over 40,000 unique devices at our entry
gates, which equates to over 60 percent of users accessing their ticket via Wi-Fi.”

AT&T adds DAS Coverage to New Orleans for Super Bowl Crowds

AT&T has beefed up its cellular coverage in the New Orleans downtown area by installing several Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) to help handle the expected crowds for the forthcoming Super Bowl on Feb. 3.

According to an AT&T press release Ma Bell has added some outdoor DAS systems as well as DAS deployments inside New Orleans hotels to help ensure that Super Bowl fans stay connected with their mobile devices. For those new to cellular technologies, DAS is basically a bunch of smaller cellular antennas that get spread around strategic locations where large crowds might gather, to bring more capacity to the cellular cloud. You can put up DAS antennas outside, on street poles, or inside places like hotels. There they act just like regular cellular antennas, connecting to the closest handsets.

Just to make sure that important call, tweet or Facebook post gets through, AT&T will also deploy 11 temporary cell sites to the Big Easy for Super week — the cleverly named COWs or Cell towers On Wheels — and if all else fails you can look for one of the 135 existing AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots in the New Orleans area.

We expect other major cell providers to chime in with their Super Bowl enhancements soon. The good news is, the Mercedes Benz Superdome had a pretty major DAS upgrade of its own last year so cell service inside should be OK.

Watching Golf This Week: Bubba’s Back in NOLA

Has the feel-good aura of winning the green jacket already worn off? Or was Bubba Watson always something of a crank, and now we’re just noticing because everyone is paying attention? The simmering story this week on the PGA Tour is that Bubba Watson is back playing in a somewhat minor event, which is surprising because tour stops like the Zurich Classic of New Orleans are the types the big dogs usually skip. And now Bubba is a big dog, courtesy of his Masters win. But Bubba is a man who is loyal, and he won here last year so he considers it his obligation to show up.

The only problem is, he’s letting everyone know that. And if you read between the lines from his testy press conference earlier in the week you get the feeling that the feel-good everyman Bubba may not stay that way for long. Cue the prima donna music! Let’s see how cheery the new dad is if he starts hitting them into the swamp. And if Bubba fails us, maybe John Daly can provide some excitement. Anyway — no online golf AGAIN this week, so you are stuck with broadcast TV, radio or shot tracker. (At least there’s the bonus Golf Channel coverage on the weekend) But you probably won’t care until Saturday anyway since you will be watching the NFL Draft.

But if you want golf…
Here’s where to follow the action:


(all times Eastern)
Thursday, April 26 — Golf Channel, 3 p.m. — 6 p.m.
Friday, April 27 — Golf Channel, 3 p.m. — 6 p.m.
Saturday, April 28 — Golf Channel, 1 p.m. — 2:30 p.m.; CBS, 3 p.m. — 6 p.m.
Sunday, April 29 — Golf Channel, 1 p.m. — 2:30 p.m.; CBS, 3 p.m. — 6 p.m.

SIRIUS XM (Satellite)
12 p.m. — 6 p.m., Thursday-Sunday

The PGA’s Live@ broadcasts don’t return until the Players in early May. So you will have to get by online with…

Get your online fix via Shot Tracker for the ZCoNO.


Geoff Shackelford — well known golf writer.
Golf Channel — official Golf Channel feed
@PGATOUR — official PGA Twitter feed
@StephanieWei — great golf writer who is a Twitter fiend

Is there any place in the U.S. more flavorful than New Orleans? Wish we were there this weekend — not only is there golf, there’s the New Orleans Jazz Festival. For golf, Doug Tatum at the New Orleans Times-Picayune is the guy to follow

Not much flavor or history to the TPC Louisiana. Looks swampy.

Bubba. (Has he become a one-word player yet? Like Tiger or Phil?)

1. Hunter Mahan, 1,378 points
2. Bubba Watson, 1322
3. Phil Mickelson, 1,136
4. Carl Pettersson, 1,111
5. Johnson Wagner, 1,056

See the full standings for the FedEx Cup points list.

1. Rory McIlroy; 2. Luke Donald; 3. Lee Westwood; 4. Bubba Watson; 5. Hunter Mahan.
See the official World Golf Ranking list.