NFL Stadium Tech Reviews — AFC West

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.


Reporting by Paul Kapustka

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Kansas City Chiefs
Arrowhead Stadium
Seating Capacity: 76,416
Wi-Fi – Yes

On a quest to challenge the HD experience at home, Chiefs president Mark Donovan delivered Wi-Fi and a mobile app to Arrowhead Stadium in 2013. Kansas City continues to enhance its mobile experience for fans, and now has in-stadium NFL RedZone access, live video feeds during games, as well as video highlights and replays from every drive. New for 2015, the Chiefs added a “Chiefs Kingdom” rewards program that works via the app.

Denver Broncos
Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Seating Capacity: 76,125
Wi-Fi – Yes
DAS – Yes

Connectivity is still kind of a mixed bag in Broncosland, with Wi-Fi in the stadium but still only available for Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon, AT&T and Sprint all have separate DAS deployments, so most fans should be covered in one form or another.

Oakland Raiders
O.Co Coliseum
Seating Capacity: 56,057
Wi-Fi – No
DAS – Yes

With the team’s stay in Oakland still a matter of doubt, fans will have to cheer their team on without Wi-Fi for another year at O.Co Coliseum. Despite being available for A’s fans, when the stadium capacity increases by almost 20,000 people for football, Raiders faithful are left without any access, without any official explanation.

San Diego Chargers
Qualcomm Stadium
Seating Capacity: 70,561
Wi-Fi – No
DAS – Yes

The stadium that’s named after the wireless giant remains a mystery. Because Wi-Fi in Qualcomm Stadium, a facility whose sponsor’s fortunes come mainly from the sale of wireless-phone silicon, is still absent.

The stadium that hosted the Super Bowl over a decade ago does have DAS antennas courtesy of AT&T for improved cell coverage. Perhaps given the Chargers’ public statements about moving to a new stadium or Los Angeles means that they aren’t going to make a Wi-Fi investment at Qualcomm right now.

Wireless Whispers: Montreal Canadiens get Avaya Wi-Fi; Chargers, Clemson lead latest AT&T DAS totals

Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 11.07.33 AMThe Montreal Canadiens will have Wi-Fi for fans in the 21,000-seat Bell Centre this season, thanks to a deployment from Avaya.

We haven’t yet had a chance to speak with the Canadiens’ IT folks, but according to a press release from Avaya the deployment has nearly 500 Wi-Fi access points, “ensuring that visitors get Wi-Fi no matter where they are in the facility.” Any visitors to games this year, please let us know if that connectivity is so!

Looking over the Avaya press materials, it appears that the Bell Centre (CentreBell?) has been a customer of Avaya technology for some time now, as the company said the stadium also uses Avaya’s Fabric Connect at the network core, as well as “an Avaya telephony platform on Avaya Aura Contact Centre.” (Is it only called “contact centre” in Canada?) We’ll keep an eye on the Bell Centre/CentreBell to see if the Avaya team is able to power any new fan engagement features thanks to the new wireless network.

As far as we know, this is the first public confirmation of an Avaya Wi-Fi network in an NHL arena. And while it’s not yet been publicly announced, we know from sources close to the company that Avaya is also behind a new Wi-Fi network at the Pepsi Center in Denver, home of the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets; more on that deployment coming soon! Of course, Avaya built the Wi-Fi network at the new San Jose Earthquakes’ soccer pitch, Avaya Stadium.

Chargers, Clemson top AT&T DAS stats for Oct. 3-4 weekend

Exciting football games seem to go hand in hand with lots of DAS network usage — at least that seems to be the case after viewing another week of statistics from the folks at AT&T’s stadium DAS department. According to AT&T, fans at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium used the most DAS traffic at NFL games the weekend of Oct. 3-4, with 1.130 terabytes of DAS traffic consumed during the Bolts’ 30-27 win over the Cleveland Browns. Remember, these stats are ONLY for AT&T network traffic ONLY at the stadiums where AT&T has a DAS deployment. So there may be other stadiums that have higher DAS stats, but ONLY AT&T sends us DAS data, so… you see the scores we get. New Orleans’ Superdome was second that weekend with 965 GB, followed by Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., where fans at the Niners-Packers game used 835 GB of DAS data (in addition to the 2.12 TB of Wi-Fi data).

On the college side, the orange britches of the Clemson Tigers were successful once again, as Clemson defeated then-No. 6 Notre Dame 24-22 in a nail-biter. Fans at the 81,500-seat Memorial Stadium used a whopping 1.475 TB of wireless data, according to AT&T. In second on the college stats that weekend was Texas A&M’s Kyle Field with another big number, 1.116 TB of data used.

49ers Embrace Social Media In Deal With Yahoo


Have you ever dreamed of seeing your name, or at least your picture, up in lights for all to see? Well for 49er fans, and I guess any fan that attends games at the new 49er Levi’s Stadium that has become a possibility due to a deal between the team and Yahoo.

Yahoo has signed on with the team as the team and stadium’s “exclusive online sports content, social networking, and photo and video sharing partner” which is quite a mouthful. The terms of the 10 year deal have not been announced, or even reliably leaked.

Part of the deal will enable fans to appear on the big screen, that is the stadium big screen. Fans that take photos can upload them to Flikr during the game, which just happens to be a Yahoo property, and there is the possibility that they will be displayed on the big screen.

Fans can use specific booths that will be situated around the stadium’s concourse to upload the photos into the 49ers Flikr photo gallery, from which selections will be displayed at the game. Yahoo will also have the ability to tout its Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football.

The deal enables the company to name the lounge in the stadium’s suites and its adjacent viewing platforms the Fantasy Football Lounge. But the deal is more than just static naming- the 49ers said that they intend to integrate Yahoo and its properties into its broadcast and digital media.

It is not surprising that the 49ers have gone out and signed a deal with a major Internet player; expect to see this as the trend of the future as fans increasingly use smartphones and tablets to upload imagery and comments from sporting events, a trend that has been growing at a tremendous rate for the past few years.

With the increased adoption of social media at stadiums will also come the increasing need for better networking and communications technology. Anybody that has tried to get online at a sporting event knows the long delays that can entail, even when the mobile device shows that the signal is strong.

MLB has already signed a deal with Qualcomm to develop and implement a fan to help solve this issue. The San Francisco Giants, which planned for these issues from the start of AT&T Park, have still had to continually upgrade the stadiums’ capacity as users’ demands increased.

Wednesday Wi-Fi Whispers: Ruckus Files for IPO, Qualcomm Stadium Gets DAS

It’s about as far from a whisper as you can get, but in the Wi-Fi world the big news of the week was Wi-Fi vendor Ruckus Wireless filing for a $100 million IPO last Friday. As you’ve read here earlier Ruckus is heavily involved with the growing market for big-space Wi-Fi (like stadiums, racetracks and other event areas) and with healthy revenues ($120 million in 2011) the long-rumored move became a reality with the SEC Filing that makes for such good hard-data reading.

The part we like the best in Ruckus’ S-1 is this bit about how big the market is getting for what Ruckus calls its “carrier class” Wi-Fi products:

According to Infonetics, the market for Wi-Fi networking solutions for carriers is expected to grow from $296 million in 2011 to $2.8 billion in 2016, representing a 57% compound annual growth rate. According to Gartner, the market for Wi-Fi networking solutions for enterprises is expected to grow from $3.4 billion in 2011 to $6.9 billion in 2016, representing a 15% compound annual growth rate. Carrier-class Wi-Fi addresses the needs of both of these markets.

Stadium and sports deployments probably fall somewhere in the middle of those markets, since many such deals are being done as partnerships between enterprises (teams) and carriers. But the good news for vendors like Ruckus is, there’s no getting away from the need for Wi-Fi. And the gear needs to be better than earlier technology to handle the needs of big events.

Qualcomm Stadium Gets AT&T DAS; N.Carolina State, U of Kentucky also get upgrades

We’ve always found it more than a bit ironic that Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, namesake of the chip giant, didn’t have any Wi-Fi to speak of and from what we heard, it had bad cell coverage too. That should change going forward at least a little bit thanks to a new DAS (Distributed Antenna System) deployment AT&T has installed at the home of the Chargers, which will bring AT&T’s new 4G LTE network to football fans in SoCal.

AT&T is also putting some cellular upgrades into college stadiums, including N.C. State’s Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N.C., which is getting some of the cool new multi-beam antennas. The University of Kentucky’s Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky., is also getting an upgrade via an AT&T DAS, so SEC fans should be able to get their mobile game on better while cheering on the Wildcats.