Montreal’s Saputo Stadium, which is Canada’s second largest soccer stadium, is to install a new Wi-Fi network through Aruba as part of a comprehensive overhaul of the venue’s technological systems.

The 19,000-capacity home of Montreal Impact of Major League Soccer (MLS) will deliver an enhanced communications service to fans when they are able to return to games through the Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

Saputo Stadium officials also said they would also seek to retain Aruba for other services as the venue looks to modernise and improve concessions ordering and delivery, mobile ticketing and a new mobile app.

Providing fans with in-stadium Wi-Fi, and all of the related experiences this can enable, was a key driver for the deployment, according to Saputo’s IT director, Roger Miron.

“Though the pandemic has caused us to have to delay the start of our home game play this year, engaging with fans and allowing them to share their experiences with each other and via social media is still one of the main hallmarks of the in-stadium experience,” Miron said.

“Implementing a reliable, high performing Wi-Fi network is the first step in our multi-phase initiative to enable extraordinary experiences, as well as improve our own stadium operations, and we’re excited to welcome our fans back to the stadium.”

Working with partner, Vidéotron, a leader in Canadian telecommunications and founding sponsor and partner for the Montreal Impact, Saputo is deploying Aruba access points, mobility controllers and Aruba core and access switches, as well as AirWave for network management.

Aruba’s turnkey solution that includes wireless, switching and management, was a key factor in Saputo’s decision to select Aruba, as was the ability to layer on additional Aruba technology solutions.

“We knew that Aruba had already been successfully deployed in many other stadiums and we saw early on that the Aruba infrastructure was easy to deploy,” Miron said.

“In addition, the Aruba network offers the kind of scalability we need to handle the expected device density in our stadium. We’ve engineered the network to accommodate two devices per attendee, and we’re confident the Aruba network can handle this load – or more – should we need to increase that.”