NFL Stadium Tech Reviews — AFC East

Editor’s note: The following team-by-team capsule reports of NFL stadium technology deployments are an excerpt from our most recent Stadium Tech Report, THE PRO FOOTBALL 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.

AFC EAST

Reporting by Paul Kapustka

Screen shot 2015-11-06 at 1.02.38 PMBuffalo Bills
Ralph Wilson Stadium
Seating Capacity: 71,757
Wi-Fi – Yes
DAS – Yes

Add the Buffalo Bills to the list of teams that installed Wi-Fi into their stadiums this offseason, as the Bills tapped NFL favorite Extreme Networks for a deployment at Ralph Wilson Stadium that was live for the regular-season opener against the Indianapolis Colts, a game the Bills won 27-14. The team picked Carousel Industries, Extreme Networks and Frey Electric for the deployment, which began in May this year. The Bills said the network went through beta-type testing this summer, at concerts for the Rolling Stones and One Direction, and during the Bills’ preseason schedule.

By our count, this is the ninth NFL stadium to use Extreme gear for its fan-facing Wi-Fi, a signal that Extreme’s preferred-supplier deal with the league is working well for all concerned. So far this season the Baltimore Ravens and the Green Bay Packers have announced Wi-Fi deployments from Extreme.

Last year Ralph Wilson Stadium had a DAS upgrade that has no doubt been upgraded again recently, so for all types of wireless communications the Buffalo fans should be well served this season as they enjoy the Rex Ryan ride.

New England Patriots
Gillette Stadium
Seating Capacity: 68,756
Wi-Fi – Yes
DAS – Yes

The defending Super Bowl champs the New England Patriots continue to make wireless connectivity a priority in Gillette Stadium, with Wi-Fi outfitted by Extreme Networks, and a team-centric Game Day Live mobile app. Unlike most stadiums, the Patriots also have RedZone channel access for mobile users, a real treat for fantasy football fans.

Miami Dolphins
Sun Life Stadium
Seating Capacity: 75,540
Wi-Fi – Yes
DAS – Yes

With more than 1,000 Wi-Fi access points, Sun Life Stadium has always been near or at the top of venues with the most Wi-Fi and DAS traffic generated. A $400+ million renovation this offseason added a host of new amenities, including field-level suites and more concessions. Sounds like it’s still great to be taking your talents to a game in Miami.

New York Jets
MetLife Stadium
Seating Capacity: 82,500
Wi-Fi – Yes
DAS – Yes

There are lots of benefits to hosting a Super Bowl – including the improved connectivity of your stadium. After AT&T and Verizon spent over a year outfitting MetLife Stadium with their own DAS deployments before Super Bowl XLVIII, the stadium saw a 60 percent increase in wireless data from the previous Super Bowl. With more than 850 Wi-Fi APs, MetLife is covered when it comes to wireless.

Jets Executive Talks about Importance of Mobile App in Connecting to Fans

jets

A New York Jets executive took the stage at the annual Multiscreen Summit which concluded yesterday in New York City and discussed the importance of mobile apps and a strong social media presence are vital to keep fans engaged both at the stadium and away regardless of how the team does on the field.

Paul Marsh, director of app development for the New York Jets comments came during the two days of discussion at the conference that focuses on a range of marketing and advertising challenges and opportunities as well as how to engage and hold customers in a range of areas, including sports.

According to Mobile Marketer, Marsh focused his comments on the importance of in stadium and out of stadium experience its growing importance during his part of the “Fireside Chat: Location, location, location” panel segment of the show.

He talked up the Jets mobile app, and how important that is to the team both in and out of the stadium. The social hooks in the app are very important he said because it allows fans to communicate with each other and to share content. The Jets are looking at enhancing the app in the future so that fans can better communicate with the team and the team can follow fans activities in the stadium and so customize service to better meet fans’ needs going forward.

MLB has been working for some time to develop apps that do this and now offer a variety of different features including in some stadiums the ability to order food at your seats with an app or to move down to better seats. The NFL as a whole has seemed to miss out on connecting with fans in this way and until I read the article in Mobile Marketer I was unaware that the Jets had a personalized app. I spend a fair amount of time on the NFL main page and it would have been nice if they pointed this out.

The conference as a whole looked very interesting with a list of presenters that ranged from Google, Mozilla, Rovio Entertainment, Microsoft, PayPal, MasterCard and Michael Bayle, the former general manager of Mobile for ESPN.

I was a bit surprised at the lack of additional sports executives at the event since it’s obviously a massive viewing and advertising platform in America, just among the big three of NFL, MLB and NBA, not counting events such as BCS games, March Madness and the College World Series.