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BBVA Stadium sets MLS first with Wi-Fi 6 tech

BBVA Stadium, home to the Houston Dynamo, has become the first Major League Soccer stadium to deploy Wi-Fi 6 technology.

The network will enhance the game-day experience for fans of the Dynamo and fellow stadium tenant Houston Dash, which plays in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).

The teams have selected Extreme Networks’ Smart OmniEdge solution to provide the high-density, professional-grade connectivity. The Wi-Fi experience will be presented by BBVA USA.

The technology will also create the opportunity to enable mobile ticketing and wireless food ordering, as well as features such as augmented and virtual reality. The Dynamo and Dash have also commissioned local street artists to design ‘Instagram-worthy’ backdrops in the stadium to encourage fans to share their in-game photos on social media.

The technology will also make it easier for members of the media to upload large image and video files in real time. There are also plans to deploy ExtremeAnalytics technology to gain granular visibility into network and application performance, users, locations and devices, which will allow the Dynamo to deliver a more personalised experience for fans.

BBVA Stadium has a capacity of more than 22,000 and hosts an average of 50 ticketed events each year. It has hosted more international football matches than any other stadium in the US.

John Walker, president of business operations for Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash, said: “We’re continually investing in and improving the fan experience at BBVA Stadium, and reliable Wi-Fi connectivity during games is table stakes for our dynamic millennial fan base.

“But as we look to add more devices and digital capabilities, we need a cutting-edge network that can both support greater Wi-Fi bandwidth and capacity needs and give us the freedom to innovate. By deploying Extreme Networks Wi-Fi 6 access points, we will have the ability to scale our network and support forward-looking digital initiatives that will cement our reputation as a leading destination for major league soccer in the country.”

John Brams, director of hospitality, sports and entertainment at Extreme Networks, added: “Technology is an integral part of sports today and stadiums across the country are looking to improve their digital offerings – or risk declining attendance.

“But stadiums are uniquely challenging, highly density environments that require a powerful, leading-edge network. As the first vendor to offer 802.11ax access points purpose-built for stadium environments and as the official Wi-Fi solutions provider for the NFL for the last six seasons, Extreme’s state-of-the-art network solutions will set Houston Dynamo up for success as they look to build innovative, tech-driven game-day experiences.”

Image: Houston Dynamo