Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, home of the University of Oklahoma’s (OU) American football team, has been fitted with a venue-wide Wi-Fi system for the first time.

OU first outlined plans to introduce Wi-Fi at the 86,000-seat stadium in March as part of upgrades which also included the addition of handrails throughout the venue and the widening of some seats.

The new Wi-Fi system has now been fitted ahead of the Oklahoma Sooners’ season opener against the Houston Cougars this weekend.

Joe Castiglione, vice-president and director of athletics at OU, said: “This is an exciting upgrade for our stadium and one that we’ve had on the drawing board for several years. We are rolling it out at an optimum time as we have been able to secure the latest technology, which will make this system viable for several years.”

OU athletics department officials have been planning for a “high-quality connected experience” for three years, since the university’s south end zone renovation project began. OU said the system has been engineered to handle nearly three times the amount of traffic seen in newer stadia and at high-profile games such as the Super Bowl.

The university admitted that it would be impossible to replicate more than 80,000 fans accessing the system on game days and as a result, staff members and ‘Wi-Fi coaches’ will be on-site to assess the new system during the coming weeks. Engineers and roaming testers will also address performance issues and hone the experience.

OU added that the Wi-Fi equipment has been designed to work at peak with newer phones and devices that are not even on the market yet. A total of 1,362 wireless access points have been installed and connected to 3,702 antennas.

“Fan experience is a high priority for us,” Castiglione added. “The on-field performance and pageantry of OU football are the best in the nation. Now, we are adding other pieces to the fan experience that make a trip to our stadium even more special and convenient.

“At the same time, we will soon be pushing out a new athletics department app that is designed with game day in mind. With the new Wi-Fi system providing a foundation, it has the capabilities we need to better serve our fans in and around the stadium. We’re excited about our new offerings and yet we’ll remain engaged in researching other products and services that we can bring to Sooner fans.”

Image: Sooner Sports