The Indianapolis Colts football team and its home stadium, Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium, have improved the venue’s Wi-Fi capabilities in partnership with Verizon. Verizon is the official wireless service provider of the Colts.
Once the project is fully completed, it will boost capacity by 300% and give visitors quicker access to mobile information, statistics and digital & social content.
The Colts said that the deployment of the new Wi-Fi 6 system, which was developed for dense environments such as stadiums, will be one of the first of its kind in the sports industry.
The upgrade will be activated in two stages. Wi-Fi is already active on stadium levels 100 through 500, covering about 75% of attendees. Wi-Fi on the 600 level will be active in time for the October 20 home game against Houston.
“Lucas Oil Stadium is one of the most accessible and enjoyable venues in the world, but we’re always looking to improve the fan experience so that it stays among the best in sports,” said Roger VanDerSnick, Colts chief sales and marketing officer. “In today’s media and entertainment landscape, fans want quick access to news and statistics, as well as the ability to consume, produce and share content – all while enjoying live game action. We’re excited to provide this state-of-the-art technology to Colts fans or anyone attending a stadium event.”
The last Wi-Fi system was installed at the stadium for Super Bowl XLVI in 2012 and has not been substantially updated since then, the Colts said. The new system will include more than 1,500 Extreme Networks Wi-Fi access points located beneath various seats in the stadium.
“We are proud to partner with Verizon and the Indianapolis Colts to provide this upgraded WiFi experience at Lucas Oil Stadium,” said Andy Mallon, executive director of the Capital Improvement Board, which operates or owns three million square feet of public facilities, including the stadium. “We are continually looking at ways to improve the experience for Colts fans, as well as residents and visitors who enjoy all of our world-class facilities.”
The total project cost of the Wi-Fi upgrade is $7 million, shared equally by the Colts, Capital Improvement Board and Verizon.
Additionally, a group of Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis students will serve as “Wi-Fi coaches” at every home game this season. The Wi-Fi coaches will move throughout the stadium and assist guests with Wi-Fi connection questions and issues.
This upgrade coincides with the rollout of new 5G technology at the stadium. Last week, Verizon and the NFL announced that Lucas Oil Stadium will be one of 13 NFL stadiums to offer 5G technologies for fans.
Other stadiums include Bank of America Stadium in North Carolina, Broncos Stadium at Mile High in Colorado, CenturyLink Field in Washington, Ford Field in Michigan, Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts, Hard Rock Stadium in Florida, and MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.