Mo data, mo data: The Montreal Impact is partnering with vendor Hewlett Packard Enterprise to upgrade Saputo Stadium WiFi with a new high-performance Aruba network.
High-performing WiFi has always been recommended for stadiums big and small, and changes in the fan experience brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic will put more stress on WiFi networks when normalcy resumes: mobile apps, contactless and cashless concessions as well as paperless ticketing will be prevalent in 2021, and add to that the increasing use of social media (everyone wants a selfie at the stadium!). All of this will require more data than teams offered in the past.
Enter the Impact’s plans to upgrade the Saputo Stadium WiFi. “Though the pandemic has caused us to have to delay the start of our home game play this year, engaging with fans and allowing them to share their experiences with each other and via social media is still one of the main hallmarks of the in-stadium experience,” said Saputo’s IT Director, Roger Miron, via press release. “Implementing a reliable, high performing Wi-Fi network is the first step in our multi-phase initiative to enable extraordinary experiences, as well as improve our own stadium operations, and we’re excited to welcome our fans back to the stadium.”
The plan: hardware, lots of hardware. Working with HPE and team sponsor Vidéotron, Saputo Stadium is deploying Aruba access points, mobility controllers and Aruba core and access switches, as well as AirWave for network management.
“We knew that Aruba had already been successfully deployed in many other stadiums and we saw early on that the Aruba infrastructure was easy to deploy,” Miron said. “In addition, the Aruba network offers the kind of scalability we need to handle the expected device density in our Stadium. We’ve engineered the network to accommodate two devices per attendee, and we’re confident the Aruba network can handle this load – or more – should we need to increase that.”