Philadelphia Flyers and Winnipeg Jets Soar to New Heights in Fan Engagement with Extreme Wi-Fi Advancements

By Greg Tavarez November 27, 2023

Sporting venues today require an enhanced network infrastructure to cater to the increasing connectivity demands of modern sports fans. Why? Well, with the prevalence of smartphones and smart devices, spectators expect seamless internet access for real-time sharing on social media, streaming live content and engaging with digital platforms during events. This connectivity is not only essential for fans to share their experiences but also for accessing features like instant replays, statistics and interactive apps.

Adding to the demand of a reliable network is the shift toward mobile ticketing, digital payments and location-based services necessitates a reliable network for efficient entry and overall operational effectiveness. A robust network also plays a critical role in ensuring fan safety and security through timely communication during emergency situations.

A well-established network at sporting venues not only meets the expectations of the tech-savvy fan base but also provides the infrastructure for data collection and analytics.

Extreme Networks stands out as a prominent player in cloud networking, emphasizing the provision of innovative services that foster connectivity among devices, applications and individuals. The company distinguishes itself by pushing technological boundaries through the utilization of machine learning, artificial intelligence, analytics and automation. Because of these capabilities, Extreme is trusted by the NFL, the MLB (News - Alert), NASCAR and soccer giant Manchester United.

Now, Extreme Networks looks to take to the ice with two NHL clubs that will deploy Extreme Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E-ready solutions. The solutions will improve fan experiences, streamline arena operation, and gain actionable insights to create more personalized fan experiences and sponsorship opportunities.

The Wells Fargo (News - Alert) Center, home of the Philadelphia Flyers, and Canada Life Centre, home of the Winnipeg Jets, chose Extreme solutions to deliver high-speed, high-capacity, low latency connectivity for fans and club officials.

To enhance the fan experience, the arenas implemented an advanced Wi-Fi infrastructure featuring nearly 800 Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E access points, coupled with Extreme Universal Switches. This deployment ensures a consistent and reliable network across both venues. The upgraded Wi-Fi enables fans to access various services, including mobile tickets, social media, online sports betting applications and mobile concessions.

Beyond fan amenities, the improved Wi-Fi benefits arena operations by enhancing connectivity for ticket scanners, portable card readers, staff communications, security cameras and location-based tracking of foot traffic.

The Official Wi-Fi Analytics Provider of the NHL also provides the Flyers and Jets with access to ExtremeAnalytics. This tool allows the teams to efficiently analyze network usage data, focusing on popular applications, high-traffic areas and peak user activity moments within the arenas. These insights let the NHL clubs make informed decisions about resource allocation, potential marketing partnerships, and priorities for between-play programming to boost fan engagement.

The implemented Extreme Wi-Fi solutions serve as a foundational infrastructure. This supports current and future technological demands such as mobile tickets, self-serve checkouts, biometrics, AR and VR, and in-seat mobile concessions. The flexibility of Extreme Universal Switches enables IT teams to adapt to changing use cases swiftly, ensuring agility and minimizing future equipment costs.

“The network is not just about connectivity, it’s the critical enabler of new technology, safety and security, innovation and immersive fan engagement,” said Ed Meyercord, president and CEO, Extreme Networks (News - Alert). “Wi-Fi insights and analytics become a strategic gateway to uncover new sponsorship and revenue opportunities, and to personalize the gameday experience. Together with the Flyers and Jets, we’ll work to push the boundaries of the network to drive next-generation fan experiences.”

The deployment at the Wells Fargo Center will be completed in partnership with Comcast (News - Alert) Business.

Edited by Alex Passett
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