Major League Soccer expansion franchise Austin FC has selected Boingo Wireless to provide Wi-Fi 6 and cellular services at its new stadium, which is currently under construction.
Boingo will design, install, operate and maintain neutral-host cellular distributed antenna system (DAS) and Wi-Fi 6 networks across the stadium, including bowl seating, suites, club sections, concourses and the pitch. Boingo has been selected following a competitive review process and the company’s ability to build converged neutral-host networks that meet demands of the 5G era was a key factor.
Boingo’s DAS will be designed for multi-carrier coverage with flexibility of 5G upgrades, while its Wi-Fi 6 deployment will be one of the first launches of the technology at an MLS stadium. Wi-Fi 6 is the latest generation of Wi-Fi and is designed to deliver enhanced coverage.
Boingo will also offer Passpoint, a next-generation hotspot technology, to fans to further enhance the in-stadium experience.
Austin FC is due to move into the 20,500-seat stadium in the spring of 2021 ahead of its inaugural season in MLS. Austin FC joined MLS as its 27th club in January and is the Texan city’s first major league sports team. The club broke ground on the stadium last September.
Austin FC president Andy Loughnane said: “The important selection of Boingo Wireless as a technology provider represents a significant addition to the Austin FC stadium project. Our stadium will be a world-class facility that prioritises technology, hospitality, and above all, the fan experience.
“We selected Boingo to achieve our tech-forward objectives and keep guests connected during all stadium events, notably on matchday. We look forward to Boingo delivering a best-in-class experience to all Austin FC fans and stadium guests.”
Mike Finley, chief executive of Boingo, added: “We’ve entered a new age of sports where the action takes place not only on the field, but also on the fan’s device. This immersive experience requires strong wireless connectivity that fuels fan engagement and satisfaction. From DAS to Wi-Fi 6 to Passpoint, Boingo has Austin FC covered, and we’re proud to play our part to provide a next generation connected fan experience.”
Austin FC’s new stadium will form part of a wider $260m (£199m/€221m) development, which is being 100 per cent privately financed. The stadium will host other sporting events, concerts, community activities and cultural events.
Boingo’s networks are available across six continents, and in the UK it powers connectivity at venues such as Heathrow Airport. Its stadium partners are currently based in North America.