Wycombe Wanderers FC has announced that its new high-performance digital infrastructure at Adams Park is ready for service. The new network supports the stadium’s Wi-Fi, security and – in what it claims is an industry first – audio systems.

As reported by TheStadiumBusiness in July 2020, the ambitious League One club teamed up with network specialists Landways to build and operate this new digital infrastructure at Adams Park.

“Through our partnership with Landways, we are making a long-term investment in digital technology to improve the matchday experience, reduce costs and help our business continue to thrive,” says Rob Couhig, Chairman of Wycombe Wanderers. “The first services using the new Wi-Fi system are already up and running and we plan to introduce more in the future.”

Enhancements include “a new, concert-quality digital audio system throughout the stadium, high-performance Wi-Fi, and a number of new systems to improve ground safety and security”, all of which are supported by a long-life digital and power infrastructure delivering guaranteed levels of performance. Other highlights include the first DC microgrid in a European commercial venue, providing the club with significant energy cost reductions.

Digital Audio

Wycombe’s new digital audio system is an industry-first, says Landways. Designed using optical fibre and a new low power infrastructure, it distributes high quality digital audio streams to a series of amplifiers located at the edge of the network, adjacent to more than 250 powerful new speakers to serve every seat and public space in the stadium.

This unique approach “combats the challenges of audibility, speech clarity, music quality and volume found in so many stadium audio systems,” says Landways. 

The installation incorporates a fully IP-based Praesensa public address and voice alarm system by Bosch. Control and audio distribution is courtesy of Dynacord MXE5 performance audio matrices. TPC-1 touch panel controllers provide a simple user interface, multiple inputs and easy integration with video sources. Landways has installed the touch panels in all hospitality and event spaces, allowing the club to control each area centrally or to offer private guests the ability to customise their entertainment experience on match days or at other events.

High-Density Wi-Fi

The upgrades also incudes a high-density Wi-Fi system throughout the stadium, providing market-leading and guaranteed network speeds for fans, staff and other visitors, throughout the contract term. 

Careful radio planning and the same powerful digital infrastructure ensures that, even in a packed bowl, fans can seamlessly stream content to their smartphones and take full advantage of mobile apps such as the club’s new Fetch service for ordering food and drink.

The Wi-Fi system already supports other digital services around the ground, including the club’s new digital ticketing system (more details here on our sister TheTicketingBusiness channel), connectivity for staff and media, and electronic payment devices in support of the club’s plan to go cashless, with more to come in the future.

Security and Safety

Behind the scenes, the partnership has also seen a series of other systems deployed to make sure that Adams Park is a safe and secure environment for fans and to comply with the requirements set by both the EFL and the local council for ground safety and survivability in the event of an emergency. This includes:

  • A new high-resolution 48 camera surveillance system;
  • Emergency phones throughout the stadium, run over a separate network;
  • A new voice announcement system in all public areas, with guaranteed clarity for ground evacuation. 

Digital Infrastructure

Behind all these new systems is a long-life, future-proofed and scalable digital and power infrastructure, which includes a ground-breaking series of technical innovations:

  • 200km of optical fibre, replacing old, capacity-limited and unreliable copper cabling;
  • Stadium-wide ducting for fibre and power cabling using Landways’ new Induct system (patent pending);
  • The first DC microgrid in a European commercial venue (reducing energy consumption by 15% and helping carbon reduction);
  • A secure on-site data centre for critical network and power equipment, providing a 3-hour standby time for all systems;
  • A private optical fibre network to an off-site data centre.

Landways says that this design enables the club to deliver “the guaranteed performance standards, upgrade the various systems quickly and with minimal disruption, and launch new digital services in the future at much lower cost.”

The Wycombe Wanderers FC installation adds to Landways’ stadium referneces which also include Gloucester Rugby’s Kingsholm Stadium (see article here).

“We are extremely proud to work with Wycombe Wanderers and play our part in the digital transformation of Adams Park. We would particularly like to thank the Couhig family, the club’s staff and the Wycombe Wanderers Trust who have been a pleasure to work with throughout this very challenging period for us all,” adds Chris Smedley, Chief Executive of Landways. “We are delighted that the club’s fans are now back at Adams Park and we look forward to making sure these new systems deliver to them for years to come.” 

Image cedit: PRiME Media Images @PrimeMediaUK