Share this post:
Today’s tech savvy sports and entertainment fans expect a fully immersive event experience from the moment they leave their homes. Creating the ultimate fan experience means meeting fans where they are, providing them with a platform to interact seamlessly and securely, and giving them fast, uninterrupted access to rich, analytics-driven content, personalized for their needs and optimized for the devices they carry.
Converged fiber networks with passive optical network (PON) and distributed antenna system (DAS) technologies are bringing these kinds of capabilities to the sports and entertainment industry, lowering network costs and complexity while creating new opportunities for business innovation and growth.
Consistent, high quality connectivity is key, and young fans in particular are leaving stadiums and other venues that aren’t able to provide it. Today they expect to have continuous smartphone access to social media and mobile apps. But that’s just a start. Increasingly venues will be expected to deliver a more personalized experience.
Some are already accomplishing that, notifying fans automatically about seat upgrades and best parking, sharing exclusive video feeds and instant replays from multiple camera angles, and enabling fans to place and receive concession orders without ever leaving their seats. All of these activities will become a standard part of the in-stadium experience—but not without the right network.
For example, with a new stadium slated to open in 2017 that will host both an MLS and NFL team, one major sports and entertainment organization recognized it had an opportunity and an obligation to reinvent the stadium experience for its increasingly connected fan base.
Understanding what was at stake, the company is deploying a converged fiber network to provide fast, reliable connectivity and pervasive high-density (HD) WiFi coverage stadium-wide. The converged PON fiber network with DAS is designed to provide fans and guests with greater control by integrating physical security, power and point-of-sale systems, audio and IPTV onto the same fiber backbone.
Unique features like a 360-degree, 63,000-square foot HD halo scoreboard and more than 3,000 video displays will bring fans closer to the action than ever before. Specialty services like paperless ticketing, in-seat ordering and better crowd management will improve the fan experience.
At the same time, personalized offers, viewer polls and upcoming event notifications will provide the organization with new sources of revenue. The company’s objective is to reset the bar for the game-day and event experience while creating a prototype for sports and entertainment venues everywhere.
With fans leading the charge, the race is on to create an unforgettable stadium experience. The winner will be the ones who embrace next-generation networks with converged fiber infrastructures that take full advantage of cloud, mobile, analytics and security technologies to keep fans connected and coming back.
They will bring together all of the software, applications and technologies required for effective networking today—from LAN, wireless and WiFi to building automation systems, intelligent video analytics and security— to create a superior event experience for their fans and businesses.