How mobile technology affects the college sports fan experience
To boost cellular connectivity at venues and enable digital ticketing and parking passes and other aspects, the school is using a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) from AT&T, according to Chief Revenue Officer Travis Cameron. and assistant athletic director.
“Running cables through old buildings obviously presents many challenges,” Cameron says. “Every time we work, we try to introduce avenues for future work, whether it’s sealing off conduits or additional conduits, or whatever the job might require. We’ve found that any time we need to do this type of work, it’s a significant investment, and a lot of that comes from the lack of this type of infrastructure.
The Cincinnati Football Stadium, built in 1915 at the center of campus, was designed to be freely accessible to the community, says Di Fino. At any time, teenagers could use the pitch for a flag football match, or local residents could walk up and down the stadium stairs during a practice session. As a result, the stadium lacks permanent, defined gates to which network access could be wired.
“We don’t have a physical structure that says, ‘This is Gate A, enter here,'” Di Fino explains. “Our IT people have found a way to do this by installing transponders on the buildings and making sure they are directed to the gates where we typically install ticket scanning services. There are a lot of buildings around, and it allows us to wire from those buildings. »
LEARN MORE: Stadium Wi-Fi connectivity and college sports fan experience.
To implement the Bearcats Fast Pass entry option – which allows attendees to bypass the queue by having their tickets scanned in a separate tailgating area and wearing wristbands that grant access to certain gates – the school discovered that adjustments were needed to ensure that the ticket scanning devices would work properly.
“We were actually there three or four days before a game saying, ‘OK, let’s see if we get signal strength here,’” Di Fino explains. “When we went to scan some areas of the tailgate, we didn’t have network coverage for our scanners, so we had to work with our IT team again, and they figured out that we just had to move a transponder.