Having spent a large part of 2021 and 2022 inking wireless infrastructure deals with some of the largest names in European sport, cloud networking provider Extreme Networks has turned its attention to its back yard, announcing that it is providing Oracle Park – the home to the San Francisco Giants – with a fully Wi-Fi 6E-ready network in partnership with Comcast Business.
As gamedays increasingly incorporate technology-based offerings, a strong, future-ready network is critical to stadiums as they continually enhance their fan experience. Simultaneously, the increased reliance on tech-enabled services creates the need for more robust backend network operations. Operations staff for sports teams need a network that’s easy to manage and scale.
Described as offering “breathtaking views and classic design” after it opened in 2000, Oracle Park is the first privately financed ballpark in Major League Baseball since Dodger Stadium in 1962. It has a seating capacity of approximately 42,300, with 67 luxury suites.
The network refresh is designed to make Oracle Park the first professional sports venue to be completely Wi-Fi 6E-ready given that the sports team believes the new deployment will improve the connectivity experience by enabling devices to download and upload data from the internet faster and with lower latency.
This, said Extreme, means the Giants will be able to improve the fan experience inside the park to include benefits such as fast mobile ticket entry and mobile concessions while considering future innovations such as AR/VR experiences and biometrics-based park entry. The 6GHz band is seen as being able to add a significant amount of new spectrum to provide a fast, reliable connection for devices.
The installation at Oracle Park includes approximately 900 of Extreme’s Wi-Fi 6E access points in a combination of overhead and under-seat placements designed to provide strong network connectivity for both fans and back-of-house applications.
Working with Extreme Networks and Comcast Business, the San Francisco Giants ensured the installation was long-lasting in the face of a fast-changing technology environment. The network backbone is constructed to keep up with demand, and can go from 10 GB up to 100 GB with the flip of a switch. This adaptability means that as technology advances, Oracle Park can adjust its network without installing any new technology.
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With ubiquitous Wi-Fi coverage throughout the ballpark, Extreme assures that fans will be able to reliably enjoy any number of connected experiences – whether sharing with friends on social media, finding their way around via their mobile devices or ordering concessions online.
Behind the scenes, the network will provide improved reliability to power business functions such as point-of-sale and ticketing, as well as the ability to rapidly deploy wireless infrastructure for temporary events on the field or outside the stadium.
The wireless network will be managed via the ExtremeCloudIQ toolset, providing Comcast Business and the Giants a single view into network performance across the park, enabling them to detect anomalies before they cause issues.
Additionally, the ExtremeAnalytics solution will provide insights into network activity to pinpoint network issues and help improve performance; streamline operations such as identifying bottlenecks in venue foot traffic or determining when it’s necessary to redeploy resources at busy concession stands; and understand fan behaviour and interests to help inform future commercial or marketing partnerships.
“We are thrilled to build upon Oracle Park’s 20-year legacy as the first sports facility to bring free Wi-Fi to our fans, with a new network that will serve the needs of our fans and staff well into the future,” said Bill Schlough, senior vice-president and CIO of the San Francisco Giants.
“As we implement this new technology, we are also making sure that we install it in such a way that it can be easily upgraded so that as technology advances, we can continue to provide a best-in-class connected experience.”