Indianapolis – The Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium have moved forward with Verizon, the Official Wireless Service Provider of the Colts, to upgrade WiFi capabilities at the stadium, which will boost capacity by 300% and give visitors quicker access to mobile information, statistics, and digital & social content.
The new "WiFi-6" system was developed for dense environments such as Lucas Oil Stadium, and this deployment will be one of the first of its kind in the sports industry. The upgrade will be activated in two stages:
- WiFi will be active on stadium levels 100 through 500, covering about 75% of attendees, for Sunday's home opener vs. Atlanta.
- WiFi on the 600 level will be active in time for the Oct. 20 home game against Houston.
Fans are encouraged to join the free "ColtsWiFi" network upon arriving at the stadium. The system will be optimized and finalized as the season progresses.
"Lucas Oil Stadium is one of the most accessible and enjoyable venues in the world, but we're always looking to improve the fan experience so that it stays among the best in sports," said Roger VanDerSnick, Colts chief sales & marketing officer. "In today's media and entertainment landscape, fans want quick access to news and statistics, as well as the ability to consume, produce and share content – all while enjoying live game action. We're excited to provide this state-of-the-art technology to Colts fans or anyone attending a stadium event."
The last WiFi system was installed at the stadium for Super Bowl XLVI in 2012 and has not been substantially updated since then.The new system will include more than 1,500 Extreme Networks WiFi access points located beneath various seats in the stadium.The units are designed to provide more robust WiFi coverage while withstanding the wear and tear of stadium events.
"We are proud to partner with Verizon and the Indianapolis Colts to provide this upgraded WiFi experience at Lucas Oil Stadium," said Andy Mallon, executive director of the Capital Improvement Board, which operates or owns three million square feet of public facilities including the stadium. "We are continually looking at ways to improve the experience for Colts fans, as well as residents and visitors who enjoy all of our world-class facilities."
The total project cost of the WiFi upgrade is $7 million, shared equally by the Colts, Capital Improvement Board and Verizon.
What's more, a cohort of IUPUI students will serve as "WiFi Coaches" at every home game this season. The WiFi Coaches, dressed in bright orange shirts, will move throughout the stadium and assist guests with WiFi connection questions and issues. The WiFi Coaches will be supported by Integration Partners, a company that has been instrumental in the WiFi installation.
This upgrade coincides with the rollout of new 5G technology at the stadium. Last week, Verizon and the NFL announced that Lucas Oil Stadium will be one of 13 NFL stadiums to offer the game changing 5G network for fans, offering fans higher capacity and faster download speeds for 5G-enabled devices.