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Verizon signs 5G deal with three Oak View Group arenas

Verizon has agreed a deal with Oak View Group to become the exclusive 5G and wireless partner of UBS Arena, Climate Pledge Arena and Coachella Valley Arena.

UBS Arena (pictured) and Climate Pledge Arena will both open this year and will serve as the respective homes of the New York Islanders and Seattle Kraken NHL teams, while Coachella Valley Arena will open in 2022 and will house the Kraken’s AHL affiliate.

The multi-year deal will give the arenas the ability to use next-gen solutions to innovate public safety, access, concessions, crowd management and immersive fan experiences. Each venue will have access to Verizon’s 5G tech, distributed antenna system and converged network services providing voice, data and Wi-Fi services.

Under the agreement, Verizon will sponsor lounges at Climate Pledge Arena and UBS Arena, with both spaces to host private members for an intimate and elegant experience. Verizon will also sponsor concerts at Climate Pledge Arena.

“The Verizon 5G platform is changing the way that fans experience live events and venues operate,” Yvette Martinez-Rea, vice-president of sponsorships and partnerships at Verizon, said. “Working with Oak View Group as a strategic technology partner will enhance the in-arena experience for years to come.”

Tim Leiweke, chief executive at Oak View Group, added: “OVG venues are setting the new standard for arenas globally. We are committed to innovation and redefining the fan experience across music, sports and live entertainment. Welcoming Verizon as a founding partner is key to achieving this and we look forward to a long-term partnership.”

UBS Arena will have a capacity of 19,000 and is due to open in time for the 2021-22 NHL season. Climate Pledge Arena will seat 18,100 fans and is also due to open for next season, which will mark the Kraken’s debut NHL campaign. Coachella Valley Arena will have a capacity of 10,000 and the project is slated for completion during the last quarter of 2022.

Verizon is a signatory of The Climate Pledge, which the Seattle arena is named after. The initiative currently comprises over 100 companies and organisations, initiated by Amazon, working together to combat the climate crisis by committing to reach net zero carbons by 2040.

Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband technology is available in parts of more than 70 cities, 11 airports and 50-plus stadiums and arenas.

Verizon’s deal with OVG has been signed as Leiweke revealed that the cost of the Climate Pledge Arena, which will also serve as the home of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, has risen to over $1bn (£707m/€822m). The overall cost of the project will total $1.15bn when incorporating the adjacent $75m private parking garage and $25m worth of signage.

In an interview with the Seattle Times newspaper, Leiweke said: “We have continued to add to the building, and there were also COVID-19-related costs. But a lot of it is things we decided to add and do. There were the things we committed to get the arena deal with the city, then the things we needed to do in order to get the NHL franchise. And then there’s the NBA component so we can be NBA-ready if and when the league ever decides to make a team available.”

Image: UBS