Philadelphia – April 11, 2023 – Comcast Business today announced that it is providing Oracle Park – the home to the San Francisco Giants – with a fully WiFi 6E-ready network in partnership with Extreme Networks. This network refresh will make Oracle Park the first professional sports venue to be completely WiFi 6E-ready.
WiFi 6E will improve the connectivity experience by enabling devices to download and upload data from the Internet faster and with lower latency. This 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 like AR/VR experiences and biometrics-based park entry. The 6GHz band adds a significant amount of new spectrum to provide a fast, reliable connection for devices throughout the ballpark.
The installation at Oracle Park includes approximately 900 of Extreme’s WiFi 6E access points in a combination of overhead and under-seat placements that will provide strong network connectivity for both fans and back-of-house applications throughout the ballpark.
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, ExtremeAnalytics provides 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 behavior 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 WiFi to our fans, with a new network that will serve the needs of our fans and staff well into the future,” said Bill Schlough, SVP & CIO for 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.”
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.
With ubiquitous WiFi coverage throughout the ballpark, fans will be able to reliably enjoy any number of connected experiences – whether sharing with friends on social media, finding their way around the ballpark via their mobile devices or ordering concessions online. Behind the scenes, the new network will provide improved reliability to power business functions like point-of-sale and ticketing, as well as the ability to rapidly deploy wireless infrastructure for temporary events on the field or outside the ballpark.
“It is so important for ballparks like Oracle Park to be adaptable,” said Scott Cohen, Executive Director of Strategic Wireless Solutions, Comcast Business. “Fans attend Giants games for monumental moments and unforgettable experiences. Having a strong and adaptable network infrastructure is how these fans, and the vendors that serve them, achieve those unforgettable experiences. And, with these new network upgrades, the gameday experience at Oracle Park will be prepared for years to come.”
Working with Comcast Business and Extreme Networks, the San Francisco Giants ensured that the new installation was long-lasting in the face of a fast-changing technology environment. The network backbone can 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.
John Brams, Vice President of Strategic Accounts at Extreme Networks said, “The Giants are setting the bar of excellence when it comes to fan experience and overall operational efficiency. In this day and age, when fans come to the park, they expect the experience off the field to match what they see on the field. With the backbone of a high-bandwidth, high-performing, superhighway network, the Giants have laid the foundation for next-generation services like streaming and biometrics.”
The installation is expected to be completed this month – April 2023.