December 2, 2011; Eugene, OR, USA; Detail view of the endzone pylon with the Pac-12 logo during the third quarter of the Pac-12 Championship game between the UCLA Bruins and the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium. The Ducks defeated the Bruins 49-31. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Pac-12 Football and Basketball Facilities Set To Go Wireless with AT&T


Being able to use Wireless technology in some cases saves battery life and is usually faster when on the go vs traditional 3G/4G that is currently out there. It looks like the Pac-12 Conference is among the first of the major conferences to start the process to make it easier for the fans of College Football to be connected as fast as they are in their homes and their workplace in the football stadiums they migrate to every Saturday to watch their favorite team play.

According to Sports Business Daily, the Conference of Champions has started the process:

The conference struck a comprehensive, three-pronged agreement with AT&T earlier this month that will provide carriage for the Pac-12 Networks on U-verse, while also making AT&T an official corporate sponsor across all 12 schools.

But the third leg of the deal could wind up providing the most long-term benefit for the conference. AT&T will become the official technology provider for the Pac-12, and the company will install distributed antenna systems and full Wi-Fi availability throughout the league’s football and basketball facilities, including seating bowls and concourses.

This is the first deal made with a Conference in College football as most conferences leave it up to the individual schools to deal with putting together this convenience for fans. One school, Penn State, already has a system in place for Beaver Stadium.  A Wireless system in stadiums opens up the opportunity for schools to deliver more information to fans in the stands during games, as well as providing other stadium information like where restrooms are located or where the shortest food lines are. Oregon and Penn State already have Apps for fans to use during game days that help to provide a better fan experience.

“Having the connectivity is one thing, but being able to deliver the content without conflicts with the rights holders is a whole different animal. The way we’ve configured Pac-12 Networks and our digital network will allow us to deliver stuff that people haven’t seen in a stadium before. We’re going to do everything we can to replicate the experience people have watching the game in their living room.”

Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott on deal with AT&T Wireless

Wi Fi in football stadiums is part the future of the game, but also for Safety. If everyone is connected during the game and there is an emergency it is an easy way to get the word out.

 

One Pac 12 facility that already has Wi Fi is Washington’s Husky Stadium. The upgrade was part of the $250 million facility renovation. The Wi Fi technology will cost each school about $2 million to install, but the benefits for those using the service will far outweigh the cost on Gameday. As part of the deal AT&T will also provide Distributed Antenna Systems which will help to boost broadband and Wi Fi Coverage.
DAS systems will be installed in time for the start of the 2014 season. A timetable for Wi Fi is yet to be determined according to the report.  AT&T will also become the official technology provider for the Pac-12.

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Tags: AT&T Pac 12 Ducks General Pac 12 Stadiums Wifi Pac-12 Wireless Technology