Come visit the new site — Stadium Tech Report!

If you have been reading stories on this site lately, you might not have noticed much that was new — that is mainly because we have moved all of our activity to our new website, Stadium Tech Report. While we will keep the lights on here at mobilesportsreport.com for a while until we can get everything moved over, the new site is our new home and you should change your bookmark to stadiumtechreport.com to get our latest and greatest news, analysis and opinions on all things stadium technology.

New Report: FC Cincinnati’s West End Stadium using technology to support safer, easier fan experience

Stadium Tech Report is pleased to announce our Spring 2021 issue, with a profile of the technology being deployed at FC Cincinnati’s new West End Stadium. With an eye toward making the fan experience better and safer, the Atomic Data-led deployment of Wi-Fi, entry and concessions technologies provides a robust technology infrastructure. Read our lead profile for all the details!

Our latest issue also has some forward-thinking analysis, including Bill Anderson’s essay on why Frequency Neutral Networks are the “magic” that will provide the kind of wireless connectivity users are seeking. Paul Kapustka weighs in on why concessions are going all-digital and cashless, and why that’s a good thing for everyone involved.

We are also featuring our second interview in our “Design Vision” series, this time with Kevin Devore of ME Engineers. We also have a recap of the wireless usage from Super Bowl LV in Tampa, where the reduced-size crowd still consumed data at a rate equal to past “big games.”

If you are reading on a desktop or tablet, you can view all the stories in our web magazine format.

We’d like to take a quick moment to thank our sponsors, which for this issue include Corning, Boingo, MatSing, Cox Business/Hospitality Network, American Tower, CommScope, AmpThink, ExteNet Systems and Belden. Their generous sponsorship makes it possible for us to offer this content free of charge to our readers. We’d also like to welcome readers from the Inside Towers community, who may have found their way here via our ongoing partnership with the excellent publication Inside Towers.

Super Bowl LV Wi-Fi: Low total, but per-fan usage remains steady

Fans at Super Bowl LV in Tampa used 13.97 TB of Wi-Fi data during the game. Credit: Preston Mack/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Thanks to the reduced crowd size due to the Covid pandemic, the total Wi-Fi data used at Super Bowl LV was well below previous years’ numbers — but the data used per device was nearly equal to last year’s number, showing that fans are still using their devices at the “big game” with gusto.

Because of needs to socially distance, this year’s Super Bowl LV at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium only saw 24,835 fans in attendance, much lower than the sellout crowds usually seen at the NFL’s championship game. According to numbers compiled by Extreme Networks, fans who connected to the stadium’s Wi-Fi network used a total of 13.97 terabytes of data, far below last year’s total of 26.42 TB used at Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, when 62,417 fans were at the game.

The fans watching Tampa Bay’s 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs live, however, used almost as much data per device as last year. According to Extreme 23,766 devices were seen on the stadium’s Wi-Fi network before and during the game. That works out to a per-user bandwidth usage rate of 587.8 MB per device, comparable to the 595.6 MB per user mark seen at last year’s big game.

Only 24,835 fans were in attendance at Super Bowl LV due to safety restrictions. Credit: Preston Mack/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

According to Extreme the 23,766 total-devices number includes 3,891 devices that connected to the network before the gates were open, utilizing an expanded Wi-Fi network in and around the stadium entry areas and the parking lots. Once the gates opened, Extreme said it saw 19,875 devices connect inside the venue, for an approximate “take rate” of 80 percent. At last year’s game Extreme saw a take rate of 71 percent, with 44,358 unique devices connected to the network.

Some more interesting nuggets from the Extreme numbers:
— Peak bandwidth usage was 7.9 Gbps, and peak concurrent users on the network was 12,288.
— The fans used 2.58 TB of Wi-Fi data before kickoff, and 11.39 TB afterwards.
— Top app used by fans was Facebook, accounting for 1.6 TB of all data used.

In part because of the pandemic safety measures, this was the first Super Bowl ever to go completely cashless for concessions and all-digital for ticketing. According to Extreme the company added some temporary Wi-Fi infrastructure to handle the increased needs for connectivity in areas like entry gates and other places outside the stadium.

Vaccination sites popping up at stadiums across the country

A first responder gets a Covid vaccination shot at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Screenshot from Boston Globe video

While fans are still not allowed to attend events at most stadiums in the U.S., sports venues across the country are now being pressed into service as mass vaccination sites in the latest step in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

From Gillette Stadium, home of the NFL’s New England Patriots, to Dodger Stadium and Disneyland in Southern California, the wide-open indoor spaces and easy drive-up and parking lots found at most large public venues are now being used as staging grounds for initial deployments of the vaccines being used to fight the spread of the pandemic.

According to various reports, vaccination sites at stadiums are ramping up with plans to innoculate thousands per day. State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, expects to soon be administering more than 6,000 shots per day, according to an NPR report. According to a report in USA Today, Houston’s Minute Maid Park saw 4,000 vaccinations last weekend.

Other well-known venues also looking to ramp up vaccination sites or already providing such services include PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Petco Park in San Diego and the Oakland Coliseum. In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that Citi Field — home of the New York Mets — will soon be able to vaccinate between 5,000 and 7,000 residents per day.

Already during the pandemic, sports venues across the country have used their unique characteristics — easy access and wide-open covered spaces with the ability to host large numbers of people with social distancing — to act as temporary Covid-19 test centers or overflow hospitals, and also as voting registration and voting sites. Those same characteristics, plus the availability of power, running water and other amenities, also makes them perfect sites for pop-up vaccination centers, which will be necessary as the country tries to get as many people vaccinated as possible in the shortest amount of time.


Ribbon boards at Gillette Stadium tout the vaccination services. Credit: Boston Globe video screenshot

New Report: AT&T Stadium rewrites the DAS playbook

Stadium Tech Report is pleased to announce our Winter 2021 issue, with an in-depth profile of the new, groundbreaking distributed antenna system (DAS) recently installed at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. With its super-dense deployment of approximately 670 network zones and use of cutting-edge MatSing Lens antennas, the new cellular network is designed to handle the biggest demands from the largest crowds at what is probably the busiest football-sized arena anywhere.

We are also debuting some of our new, expanded areas of content coverage, with an in-depth look at how a converged compute infrastructure can help venues recover leaseable space and reduce operating expenses. Also look for our inaugural “Design Vision” interview, where we talk to Chris Williams, president of WJHW, to get his insights on stadium design and on two of his company’s recent projects, SoFi Stadium and Allegiant Stadium.

Also, please make sure you read my “letter from the editor” at the start of this issue, as it describes the business and strategic changes taking place here at Stadium Tech Report.

We’d like to take a quick moment to thank our sponsors, which for this issue include Corning, Boingo, MatSing, Cox Business/Hospitality Network, Comcast Business, American Tower, CommScope, AmpThink, ExteNet Systems and Ventev. Their generous sponsorship makes it possible for us to offer this content free of charge to our readers. We’d also like to welcome readers from the Inside Towers community, who may have found their way here via our ongoing partnership with the excellent publication Inside Towers.

READ THE REPORT NOW, no email or registration required!

Final Four displays, new Giants scoreboard, all in the new VENUE DISPLAY REPORT!

Mobile Sports Report is pleased to announce the second issue of our new VENUE DISPLAY REPORT, with in-depth profiles of display technology at the Final Four, a huge new video board for the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park, and the innovative directory displays at the Mall of America. No need to sign up or register — just click on the image below and start reading the issue today!

A new vertical-specific offering of MSR’s existing STADIUM TECH REPORT series, the VENUE DISPLAY REPORT series will focus on telling the stories of successful venue display technology deployments and the business opportunities these deployments enable. Like its sibling Stadium Tech Report series, the Venue Display Report series will offer valuable information about cutting-edge deployments that venue owners and operators can use to inform their own plans for advanced digital-display strategies.

Our reporting and analysis will be similar to that found in our popular STR series, with stadium and venue visits to see the display technology in action, and interviews and analysis with thought leaders to help readers better inform their upcoming technology purchasing decisions. And in case you are new to the MSR world, rest assured that all our VDR reports will be editorially objective, done in the old-school way of real reporting. We do not accept paid content and do not pick profiles based on any sponsorship or advertising arrangements.

This second issue is packed with real-world information, including how U.S. Bank Stadium uses the Cisco Vision IPTV display management system to help run the 2,000-plus digital displays inside and around the venue. We also take a good look at the huge new video board installed for this season at Oracle Park in San Francisco, and also bring you an in-person profile of the innovative directory display system at the Mall of America.

Start reading the second issue now! No download or registration necessary. You can also go back and view our inaugural VDR issue for more great information!

As venues seek to improve fan engagement and increase sponsor activation, display technology offers powerful new ways to improve the in-stadium fan experience. While these topics are of prime interest to many of our long-term audience of stadium tech professionals, we suggest that you share the link with colleagues on the marketing and advertising sales side of the house, as they will likely find great interest in the ROI enabled by strategic display system deployments.

Sponsorship spots are currently available for future VDR series reports; please contact Paul at kaps at mobilesportsreport.com for media kit information.