Industry News

Westpac Stadium partners with Spark for technology upgrade

Software design and development company Spark has partnered with Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand to complete the initial groundwork of a stadium-wide technology upgrade to enhance the fan experience.

The stadium is undergoing a complete technology revamp, through which Spark and its partner Huawei are installing high density WiFi throughout the stadium. Huawei has delivered similar upgrades for German Bundesliga football club Borussia Dortmund and for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Westpac Stadium is used for larger capacity one-day international cricket matches, and is home to the Wellington Lions rugby team and the Hurricanes Super Rugby franchise. It regularly serves as a home venue for All Blacks rugby matches and is the home ground for A-League football club Wellington Phoenix. It also serves as a large-capacity venue for concerts, holding almost 34,500 people.

The upgrade due to take place at the Westpac Stadium will see 24km of new cabling laid, along with the installation of around 300 access points. The entire seating area is being covered by 350 directional antennas, allowing around 20,000 people to connect to the WiFi concurrently, supported by a 20 GB/second fibre backbone running around the stadium.

Westpac Stadium chief executive Shane Harmon said: “We’re delighted to partner with Spark to provide a better experience for event attendees at Westpac Stadium.

“Connectivity is important for fans and their phone is part of any game day experience, whether sharing a moment via social media or looking up information related to the event, and this project will take that to a whole new level.”

The new technology is expected to be in use by July.

Additionally, Spark’s partner Eyemagnet will support the installation of internet protocol television (IPTV) and content management to the WiFi services.

Spark’s general manager of enterprise commercial and trans-Tasman, Vanessa Sorenson, added: “We competed against global companies to be Westpac Stadium’s official technology partner and for us the biggest driver in this was the opportunity to help craft awesome experiences for stadium-goers.

“We’ve seen connected technologies used in amazing ways to enhance stadium experiences overseas, so we’re thrilled now to be involved in bringing this to Wellington.”