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OU stadium set for major tech upgrade

The athletics department of the University of Oklahoma (OU) has outlined a range of upgrades at its American football stadium, which has a capacity of 86,000.

The main upgrade at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium will be wireless access, with full coverage to be provided throughout the facility in time for the season opener.

The university is working with telco AT&T on the rollout, with specific wireless access currently only available in the south end zone seats. OU said it will be installing Wi-Fi 6, the latest version of the technology, which is designed to provide greater access in congested environments.

Some 750 access points will be added to the 245 that already exist in the south end zone, with the Distributed Antennae System, which serves cellular service, to remain.

Joe Castiglione, vice-president and athletics director at OU, said: “Our stadium is one of the great venues in the history of college football, but it needs upgrades, too.

“Among the improvements underway is a first-rate technological experience. We recognise that connectivity is an important piece of the fan experience. We’re also exploring ways to use the wireless access to further engage our fans in nearly every aspect of game attendance.”

Upgrades will also include the addition of handrails throughout the facility and the widening of some seats, which did not meet the code width of 18 inches, and aisles. This will decrease the stadium’s capacity by approximately 3,000 but OU noted that officials have been planning for this for several years.

“The changes we are making give us a more accessible stadium while also helping us provide greater accommodation for everyone,” Castiglione added. “Our fans will find that it’s easier to move around the facility and we’ll definitely improve the comfort of enjoying the game.”

Oklahoma opens the 2019 season on August 31 at home against Houston.

Image: Toniklemm