All-Star Game has DAS Grand Slam: Four different DAS systems online at Great American Ball Park

Google Map screenshot of Cincinnati riverfront area, showing Paul Brown Stadium and the Great American Ball Park. Somewhere in between is a DAS headend.

Google Map screenshot of Cincinnati riverfront area, showing Paul Brown Stadium and the Great American Ball Park. Somewhere in between is a DAS headend.

Call it the DAS grand slam — to cover wireless customer demand, the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati has four separate DAS deployments, one for each of the major U.S. wireless carriers, which are probably all getting a workout at tonight’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Brian Keys, vice president of technology for the Cincinnati Reds, confirmed Tuesday that there are four separate DAS (distributed antenna system) networks in the ballpark, one each for AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile. Through several interviews Mobile Sports Report was able to confirm that Solid is providing the gear for the Verizon DAS, and another source said that ADRF is providing the DAS for Sprint.

We also had a long interview with the folks at TE Connectivity, who initially installed a 2G/3G/4G DAS in the venue in 2011, and recently upgraded that DAS, adding support for the 2100 MHz AWS spectrum. And while TE Connectivity was not at liberty to name the carrier for which it provides the DAS, by process of elimination we are fairly confident that their customer is AT&T. T-Mobile, which is also on its own DAS in the park, is also believed to be a Solid customer but we haven’t yet confirmed that fact.

Why are there four systems in Cincinnati? We haven’t yet had a chance to talk to Brian Keys (he’s been a little bit busy this week) but it’s fairly likely that it was just a fairly normal occurrence in the DAS world — one big carrier doesn’t want to join a DAS already installed by another big carrier, so it just funds its own. At the Great American Ball Park, Verizon’s decision to build its own DAS may have been in part because the carrier already has a DAS headend facility nearby, serving Paul Brown Stadium, the GABP’s riverfront neighbor. In fact, the Solid folks told us Tuesday that both the baseball DAS and the football DAS for Verizon are served out of the same facility, which makes sense.

The TE Connectivity DAS, for the client it couldn’t name (AT&T!), was also recently upgraded to cover areas outside the stadium, including the parking lots, a trend we are seeing more of as venues realize that fans want connectivity the moment they arrive, not just when they’re in their seats. We’ll try to get more details on this somewhat unique DAS situation — which was also apparently approved by the technical and business folks at MLBAM, which helped bring a Wi-Fi upgrade to the park this past offseason — but for the meantime, let’s just be glad that customers of all four of the major U.S. carriers had DAS support at Tuesday’s All-Star Game — in their own private and separate ways.

Stadium Tech Report — NFL stadium technology reports — AFC North

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 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.


Reporting by Chris Gallo

Baltimore Ravens
M&T Bank Stadium
Seating Capacity: 71,008
Wi-Fi – No
DAS – Yes, 856 antennas
Beaconing – No

The Ravens are in the midst of a $35 million renovation to update their 15-year-old stadium. The focus of the enhancements is on aesthetics, with new video boards and more LED displays being installed. No Wi-Fi at the stadium yet, but fans should have no problem getting a cell signal via the now 2-year old Corning MobileAccess DAS system.

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 10.42.52 AMCincinnati Bengals
Paul Brown Stadium
Seating Capacity: 65,515
Beaconing – No

The upgrades on the field over the last two seasons have been significant for the Cincinnati Bengals. And soon you’ll be able to say the same about Paul Brown Stadium. Wi-Fi from Extreme Networks is in place for all home games this NFL season.

Cleveland Browns

FirstEnergy Stadium
Seating Capacity: 73,200
Wi-Fi – No, planned for 2015
Beaconing – No

Less than a year ago, the Cleveland Browns were awarded $62.5 million from the NFL to improve FirstEnergy Stadium. Upgrades for the 15-year-old stadium include Wi-Fi, video boards, and a new sound system. With two first-round draft picks, a Heisman trophy winner potentially under center, and another new coach – the stadium is not the only thing experiencing a makeover. But Browns fans will have to wait a year to have Wi-Fi and Johnny Football at the same time.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Heinz Field
Seating Capacity: 65,500
Wi-Fi – Yes, 193 access points
DAS – Yes, 339 antennas
Beaconing – No

With plans to increase its capacity over the coming years, it’s important for Heinz Field to continue to be one of the best home field advantages in all of football. The easiest way to do that is to keep fans happy. And as a Steelers fan, what sounds better than waving your Terrible Towel whilst taking a selfie? Steelers faithful can do just that thanks to 193 Wi-Fi access points and 339 DAS antennas outfitted from AT&T and Verizon. Now can Pittsburgh return to the playoffs after a 2-year break?

Bengals tap Extreme for Wi-Fi, TE Connectivity for DAS at Paul Brown Stadium

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 10.42.52 AMEven though the NFL season is barely underway, there’s one organization that already has a multi-win streak going: Extreme Networks said it will provide a Wi-Fi deployment for the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium, the fifth NFL team deal for Extreme and the third announced this year.

The Wi-Fi network at Paul Brown Stadium is scheduled to go live this Sunday for the Bengals’ home opener against the Atlanta Falcons. According to the team and Extreme, the Bengals will also utilize the Extreme Wi-Fi coaches strategy, where knowledgeable network types roam the stands to help fans connect. Prior to this year, Extreme won Wi-Fi deals for the New England Patriots’ Gillette Stadium and the Philadelphia Eagles’ Lincoln Financial Field. In addition to Cincinnati, this year Extreme has announced Wi-Fi projects for the Tennessee Titans’ LP Field, and a joint deal with SignalShare to bring Wi-Fi to EverBank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

And while we haven’t seen a press release yet we also know that TE Connectivity is in charge of installing a DAS at Paul Brown Stadium, meaning that cellular reception should improve as well.

We haven’t yet spoken to the folks at Paul Brown Stadium, but here are some prepared quotes from the press release to tell you how happy they are to be joining the NFL Wi-Fi fraternity:

“Our fans are of the utmost importance to our organization, and as technology continues to provide new possibilities, it was crucial that we identify a way to provide fans a truly differentiated in-person game day experience,” said Michael Kayes, Bengals director of technology. “The partnership with Extreme Networks provides the foundation to do just that, affording fans the connectivity they’ve grown to expect. We’re also excited to be able to offer our fans the opportunity to get field-level action through NFL RedZone.”

Here’s a Twitter pic of the press conference today: