June 25, 2017

New Report: Carolina Panthers build new Wi-Fi and DAS; Mercedes-Benz Stadium update, and more!

Q3thumbMobile Sports Report is pleased to announce the Q3 issue of our STADIUM TECH REPORT series, the ONLY in-depth publication created specifically for the stadium technology professional and the stadium technology marketplace.

In addition to our historical in-depth profiles of successful stadium technology deployments, our Q3 issue for 2016 has additional news and analysis, including a look at Wi-Fi analytics at the Mall of America, and a story about how the Cleveland Browns found $1 million in ROI using new analytics software from YinzCam. Download your FREE copy today!

Inside the report our editorial coverage also includes:

— Bank of America Stadium profile: An in-depth look at the Carolina Panthers’ decision to bring new Wi-Fi and DAS networks in-house;
— Mercedes-Benz Stadium profile: An early look at the technology being built into the new home of the Atlanta Falcons, with an emphasis on fiber;
— T-Mobile Arena photo essay: A first look at the newest venue on the famed Las Vegas Strip;
— Avaya Stadium profile: How the stadium’s Wi-Fi network became the star of the MLS All-Star game.

We’d like to take a quick moment to thank our sponsors, which for this issue include Mobilitie, Crown Castle, SOLiD, CommScope, JMA Wireless, Corning, Samsung Business, Xirrus, Huber+Suhner, ExteNet Systems, DAS Group Professionals and Boingo Wireless. Their generous sponsorship makes it possible for us to offer this content free of charge to our readers. We’d also like to thank you for your interest and support.

Wi-Fi a winner at Avaya Stadium’s MLS All-Star game

Just before game time at Avaya Stadium for the 2016 MLS All Star game. Credit all photos: Paul Kapustka, MSR

Just before game time at Avaya Stadium for the 2016 MLS All Star game. Credit all photos: Paul Kapustka, MSR

On the pitch it was the Arsenal lads emerging victorious over by a 2-1 score over the Major League Soccer All-Stars, but in the stands it was Avaya Stadium’s Wi-Fi network that won the day at the 2016 MLS All-Star game Thursday in San Jose, Calif.

Unlike a year ago at the Avaya Stadium opening, when we found the fan-facing Wi-Fi a bit lacking, the Wi-Fi network performed at top speeds for almost all of our tests during an MSR “walkaround” before and during the MLS All-Star game. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same about the cellular network performance in and around Avaya Stadium, with many signals so weak on both the AT&T and Verizon Wireless networks that in most places we couldn’t conduct a speed test.

Leaving behind the question as to why there hasn’t been a DAS installed yet at Avaya Stadium, it was great to see the Wi-Fi network consistently hit download and upload speeds in the mid- to high-20+ Mbps range in just about every spot of the U-shaped soccer-centric arena. In the main seating areas, in the concourses below the stands as well as around the huge open-air bar there was solid connectivity, fueled by what looked like a lot more APs than we saw during vists to the venue last year.

While some of the AP installs looked like last-minute fixes (we saw several instances where paper binder clips were used in Phil Mickelson fashion to secure wiring to metal beams) there was certainly a noticeable amount of extra equipment, especially on the stanchions that loom out over the seating area. There, it seemed like every beam or at least every other beam had three sets of paired APs, which no doubt helped produce a speed test of 28.93/27.44 we took in the middle of the seating area (of section 120, in the closed end zone). Last year, it was a challenge to get a good reading in the middle of the seats.

The top speed test we got Thursday night was outside a sausage stand at one corner of the open end zone, where the meter hit 44.00/33.49 just before game time. We were also impressed by the consistent coverage at the huge outdoor bar in the open end zone, helped no doubt by APs on the top of the bar roof on each end, and three APs per side above the bar server areas.

Somewhat ironically the only place we couldn’t get a Wi-Fi signal was in our assigned “press box” seat, actually the upper back corner in the southwest part of the stadium. While we are guessing the problem may have been due to press-laptop overload (or some APs missing from what looked like normal install points), we noticed that by walking one section away from the press section we were able to reconnect with the regular stadium Wi-Fi network at a reading of 18.27/20.38.

One of the many 'doubled' AP installs we saw

One of the many ‘doubled’ AP installs we saw

Most of the 18,000+ fans in the sellout crowd seemed to have no issues connecting to the Internet, as we saw fans heads-down on their devices in all parts of the venue. We did talk to one fan at halftime who said the lack of cellular connectivity outside the main gate kept him from being able to call up his digital tickets on his phone.

“But once I got inside I connected to Wi-Fi and everything was fine,” he said.

On the upper deck walkways we did finally get a fairly strong AT&T 4G LTE signal — 8.23/8.93 — which may have been due to a clear line of sight to the “eyeball” antenna we saw deployed in the VIP parking lot. And while we could make calls and send texts on our Verizon phone 4G LTE connection, trying to load a web page took so long we gave up. Moral of the story is for Avaya Stadium fans: Make sure you hit the GOQUAKES SSID as soon as you’re near the stadium!

Enjoy the rest of our photos from our quick trip to San Jose, and know that while beers may cost $12.50 and shots of Jameson’s may set you back $12 each, at this year’s All-Star game all the Arsenal cheers and songs you ever wanted to hear were free of charge.

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APs like this ringed the lower concourse wall areas

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When the players walk through the concourse to take the pitch, it’s snapshot city

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At the huge end zone bar, it was SRO all day long

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AP visible in middle of roof section of bar

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Pictures and selfies were the order of the day

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The famed sausage stand AP with the 44 down reading. The bratwurst was good, too

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The Avaya Stadium social media wall

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Staying connected in the stands

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Nice view from the upper deck

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I think if I stuck around this group for one more beer I could have learned at least three Arsenal songs

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AT&T eyeball antenna sighting in the VIP parking lot

Thinking out loud: Stadiums need better game-day online response teams

Avaya Stadium offers an online welcome

Avaya Stadium offers an online welcome

Maybe I just haven’t been to enough stadiums, but in the ones I visited over the last year I was struck by the fact that none of them seemed to have any kind of a place for live, updated game-day information where fans could find the kind of answers that might really improve their attendance experience.

In visiting various professional and top-level collegiate venues and interviewing representatives of other stadiums I continue to be impressed by the depth and breadth of technology deployments and of some apps that deliver advanced services, like Levi’s Stadium’s food delivery or the various live-replay systems in place at schools like Baylor and Nebraska, as well as at numerous pro venues. But I’ve yet to find a stadium, team or school with what seems like a simple thing to do — either to have a constantly updated “daily news” stream about game-day issues, or better yet, a rapid-response team on either social media or email to answer simple questions like, where should I park, and which gate should I go to?

Sometimes it seems like the simplest things are being overlooked when it comes to stadium technology, and I’m wondering why no such services seem to exist. Are they too costly? Or just not thought of as necessary? Or are stadium owners and operators not really paying attention to what happens on game day?

Why can’t all fans get the ‘suite’ treatment?

I don’t think the last question is true, since I did have the privilege of attending one Niners game at Levi’s Stadium this past season as the guest of app developer VenueNext, an experience that included a pass to the company’s corporate suite. As you can probably guess, having a suite-level pass is indeed a “suite” way to see a game. Almost all of your concerns and needs are taken care of, from the already paid-for drinks and food to the comfortable seating, and there is no shortage of stadium staff around to answer any questions you might have about where to go or how to find things.

One for the road at the BNY Club, Levi's Stadium

One for the road at the BNY Club, Levi’s Stadium

Fans with “regular” passes, however, simply don’t have many similar options for assistance, especially outside the stadium gates, where perhaps help is most needed. I know teams and stadiums (like Levi’s) do a good job of making maps and guides available online, especially for season ticket holders, but those resources typically aren’t designed for viewing on mobile devices, especially in a low-connectivity or bright-sunlight outdoor situation. Others that are designed for mobile apps, like Avaya Stadium’s “Ava” character, only offer canned information, and not a question-and-answer service.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a rapid-response Twitter handle or a regularly updated Twitter feed to answer questions like “where is the best place to park for seating in Section X,” or “which lots are less full,” or “which lots offer the fastest exit after the game?” Such a service could be incredibly helpful for the huge numbers of fans who only attend a small number of games, who might be making such decisions at the last minute and may have never been to the stadium before.

Feed me, keep me warm and dry

I really could have used such an informative service at the College Football Playoff championship game, which I was able to attend via a last-minute media invite from AT&T. Though my pass included access to the game (and more suite-level pampering) I didn’t have any special treatment getting to the event, so my game-day travel experience was probably very similar to many of the thousands of Ohio State and Oregon fans who had likely never been to AT&T Stadium before. Like many others, I decided to get to the stadium early, both to avoid any kind of parking crush and to bathe in whatever pre-game atmosphere might emerge. Three things I wasn’t prepared for came back to chomp me in the behind: Freezing cold weather, the lack of anywhere outside the stadium to get out of said cold weather, and the lack of any kind of online information to assist in the situation.

Fans freezing outside waiting for the CFP game to start

Fans freezing outside waiting for the CFP game to start

Though we were smart enough to grab lunch beforehand at a nearby bar and grill, my friend and media buddy Phil Harvey and I were only vaguely aware of the fact that the doors to the stadium weren’t going to open until 5:30 p.m., two hours before the scheduled game start, something we hadn’t really counted on when we drove over to park at 2 p.m. Our thoughts of being able to wander around and check out tailgate parties — or the underpublicized outdoor “festival” being put on by the NCAA and its sponsors — were negated by the chilling, biting wind, which whipped mercilessly throughout the acres of parking lots surrounding the stadium.

Like many others that day, we wound up spending some unplanned shopping time in the nearby Walmart, mainly to get out of the chill. We also ended up being frustrated with thousands of our newest closest friends, when the ticket gates apparently opened at 4:30 — only to find ourselves “in” the event (having gone through security and ticket checking) but still outside the doors, jammed onto the outdoor patios where we had to wait for another hour. The only good part of being crushed cheek to jowl is that being packed together did help keep all of us somewhat warmer.

Bargains available at the AT&T Stadium Walmart.

Bargains available at the AT&T Stadium Walmart.

Sure, we should have been smarter and maybe asked more questions beforehand but during the hours of unpleasantness all I could think of was why someone from the game or venue wasn’t outside watching what was going on, or doing anything to help rectify the situation. Even a simple official message of “we aren’t opening the doors for two more hours — here are a list of nearby restaurants you can walk to” would have been extremely helpful advice.

Maybe the CFP game was an outlier situation — lots of people who had never been to the venue before — but I’m guessing the situation isn’t that unique, especially for “big” events like playoffs or championships. And especially when it comes to extreme weather conditions, it just seems to make sense to have some kind of continually updated “at the game” news service that is well advertised and easily found, so that when a crisis situation emerges, fans know where to turn for trusted information.

Do any such services exist? Are there teams out there already doing this in a fashion that works? Let me know here, or we can have a discussion over on Twitter, where you can find me under the @PaulKaps handle.

Avaya Stadium fans used 256 GB of Wi-Fi during Earthquakes’ MLS home opener

Connecting to Wi-Fi was easy

Connecting to Wi-Fi was easy

Fans at the San Jose Earthquakes’ MLS home opener at the brand-new Avaya Stadium used 256 gigabytes of data on the venue’s Wi-Fi network, according to statistics provided by Avaya, which also runs the wireless network in its new namesake stadium.

With a sellout crowd of 18,000 on hand to jam the new stadium, almost 25 percent of the attendees logged on to the Wi-Fi network, with a total of 4,217 unique connections during the March 22 game, Avaya representatives said. The peak number of simultaneous connections during the 2-1 Earthquakes victory over the Chicago Fire was 2,735, Avaya said, with an average connection number of 1,247 fans on the Wi-Fi network during the game.

Our unofficial testing of the Wi-Fi network during the game found some spots where connectivity was challenged, but with 256 GB over a few hours the 170+ Wi-Fi access points appeared to have done their job. We expect connectivity at Avaya Stadium to improve when Mobilitie finishes deploying its neutral-host DAS in the stadium, which currently does not have any enhanced cellular connectivity.

Stadium Tech Report: Average connectivity doesn’t seem to hurt Avaya Stadium experience

Panoramic view of the packed house at Avaya Stadium for the official debut.

Panoramic view of the packed house at Avaya Stadium for the official debut.

From a strictly wireless perspective, the opening-day performance of the Avaya Stadium Wi-Fi network was good in some spots and very poor in others, leading to an overall grade of average at best. But the Wi-Fi issues didn’t seem to take anything away from the smashing debut of a facility purpose-built for soccer and well-designed for an easy, fun fan experience, even with a sellout crowd of 18,000 on hand.

Mobile Sports Report visited Avaya Stadium for its “official” debut, Sunday’s San Jose Earthquakes’ MLS season home opener against the Chicago Fire, which ended in a 2-1 San Jose victory. But the team on the field wasn’t the only winner, as fans seemed to be smiling and enjoying every part of the new $100 million venue, from its huge end-zone bar and its close-to-the-field seats, to the pre-game picnic area with food trucks, music, and space for kids to run around. Well-planned parking and traffic operations seemed to cause few problems, with most fans finding their way to their seats in the new park in time for the just-after-4 p.m. kickoff.

If my unofficial walk-around testing was any true barometer, my guess is that the only problem some fans might have had Sunday was trying to connect to the Internet to post the thousands of selfies I saw being taken with smartphones. With almost zero cellular communication inside the stadium, and very low Wi-Fi readings in much of the seating bowl, my tests lead me to conclude that while the stadium is wonderful right now for watching futbol, its wireless connectivity is still a work in progress but one that should get better soon when the planned neutral-host DAS from Mobilitie gets installed and becomes operational.

Parking and traffic a breeze

Since I arrived early and had an employee-lot parking pass (thanks to the Earthquakes for the media pass and parking) I didn’t encounter any traffic at all either in my drive down 101 or on the streets leading to the stadium. Approaching from the north on 6-lane wide Coleman Avenue, there was very clear signage for each of the parking lots, and no backups in sight at 2 p.m., two hours before the scheduled start.

Fans waiting outside the main gate

Fans waiting outside the main gate

Since it’s about one-fourth the size of its neighbor to the north, the San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium, Avaya Stadium probably won’t have the same kinds of transit and parking issues that plagued Levi’s during its inaugural season. It also seems like the Avaya Stadium location is a much better setup for getting in and out of the stadium, with the wide Coleman Avenue and the huge dirt lots directly adjacent to the venue. Walking past some early bird tailgaters I was at the stadium gates in a couple minutes. In both the employee lot and the closest regular parking lot, I couldn’t get a Wi-Fi signal at all but cellular connectivity was pretty good (7+ Mbps on Verizon 4G LTE), as I could see several large cell towers around the edges of the lots. Even with a packed parking area, fans should still be able to get a signal on their way in.

For my early entry time I didn’t see any issues with stadium entry technology, but the lack of metal-detector gates (security personnel used handheld wands to scan each fan as they entered) might be something that slows down the process of getting into the stadium. I did notice larger lines around 3:30 p.m., but like anywhere else the entry procedures will likely only improve with time.

Before coming to Avaya Stadium I downloaded the new team app, which seemed a little bare-bones. Since I didn’t have a ticket I couldn’t test the digital season-ticket integration, but I was able to use the directions to the stadium feature and the stadium map, which provides a helpful picture-view of all amenities that can be found in the U-shaped seating area as well as the open-air bar. The map is interactive, giving you a description of each amenity (bathrooms, team store, etc.) when you touch the associated icon. As of yet there is no way to use the app to pay for concessions or to view any live or archived video. Like other stadium apps, including Levi’s, the Avaya Stadium app will likely grow in functionality over time.

Wi-Fi performance: Great on the concourses, weak in the seats

Just after finding my “exterior press box” seat in possibly the “worst” part of the stands — the upper northwest corner — I quickly saw how Avaya Stadium was going to deliver its Wi-Fi signals to the seating area, by looking up at the metal beams supporting the awnings that are the open-air “roof.” On each beam I could see anywhere from two to three Wi-Fi access points, all targeted directly down at the seats below them. The Avaya Wi-Fi deployment has no under-the-seat APs or any handrail APs that I could see, but there are lots of other APs visible on top of concession stands and other places around the single, ground-level concourse. There are also some APs attached to the huge bar area that spans across the open east end of the stadium. Gaining access to the network was a snap, done by just clicking on the “proceed” button that popped up on the splash screen that appears after you select the “GOQUAKES” SSID on your device. There was no login credential or password required.

The view from our seat, probably the "worst" in the place

The view from our seat, probably the “worst” in the place

How did the network perform? Before the stadium filled up, my rooftop seat had a signal between 5 and 7 Mbps on the download and upload sides, a figure that would decline steadily as the day progressed. Walking down the steep stairs into the largely empty seating bowl, the Wi-Fi speeds decreased, with a couple readings in the 2-3 Mbps download range near the lowest row of seats.

Hungry because I hadn’t had lunch, I ventured out past the huge end-zone bar to a large grassy area that was lined with food trucks and filled with soccer fans having impromptu picnics with lots of kids running around. There were various booths for soccer clubs and from sponsors, as well as a band, which made the area seem (in a good way) more like a county fair than a pro sporting event. I couldn’t get a Wi-Fi connection out on the lawn, but I was able to get a good cellular signal, around 8 Mbps, on my Verizon device (an iPhone 6 Plus). Feeling thirsty I headed to the bar, where Wi-Fi kicked in again, with one signal of 22 Mbps down and 17 Mbps up.

Heading back through the now-crowded concourse toward my seat, I stopped and got a Wi-Fi reading of almost 16 Mbps down and 9 Mbps up, in the middle of a large throng of fans. But I wouldn’t hit that mark again the rest of the afternoon, which makes me wonder how well the network held up under a full-house load.

Up close and personal areas a hit with fans

Panoramic view from the cheering section

Panoramic view from the cheering section

Since I’d never been to a professional soccer game before I decided to soak in as much fan flavor as I could. At Avaya Stadium I headed down to the space behind the west end zone, in the closed end of the stadium, where there are several rows of standing-room only spaces where some of the loudest fans congregated (there was one group with a band, and many flags). Directly above the standing section was a seat section reserved for the team’s ardent followers, many of which spent the entire game standing, cheering, chanting and singing. Down below, I was fortunate enough to be close to the action and saw the Earthquakes’ first goal in their new home arena, a double header off a corner kick.

And though I was able to catch the score on video, because there was basically zero Wi-Fi signal there (I was directly underneath the bottom row of the stands) I wasn’t able to immediately post it to Twitter or Vine. Not that I cared that much, since it was fun to be swept up in the chanting and cheering and streamer-tossing that followed the goal. So even if I wasn’t connected wirelessly, I was certainly connected to the fans right around me — which, I think, is what Avaya Stadium is all about.


I’m no wireless engineer, but I was hardly surprised that the Wi-Fi signal in the seats wasn’t strong; looking way up at the APs on the roof, they seem too far away to be able to provide a high level of connectivity to the seats below, especially the ones closest to field level. Other stadiums we’ve covered in the near past have already either started or are making plans to increase the Wi-Fi APs at field level, since that’s one of the toughest areas to put an AP.

But like in the standing section, I’m not sure that Wi-Fi connectivity is a big deal for fans in the seats during the game action, which in case you’ve not watched soccer, has no breaks like timeouts or inning changes. I’m generalizing here but I think that the continuous-flow of soccer action inherently results in fans who simply watch the game instead of taking breaks to check their phones (Mark Cuban, here’s your sport!). So maybe the expense of bringing Wi-Fi to all the seats at Avaya Stadium isn’t justified.

Halftime view of fans checking phones

Halftime view of fans checking phones

That said, it seemed like during halftime there were a lot of people looking at devices in their stadium seats, but I didn’t hear any howls or complaints or see any obvious frustration. I do know that at my seat on the stadium’s top walkway (which can get very very very windy in the late afternoon) the Wi-Fi signal was weak the whole game, never registering more than 1 Mbps on the download side from the start of the game through the second half.

But again, this is just one phone and one person, a person who was also walking around a lot and connecting to multiple APs, a factor that sometimes makes network connections inconsistent. I did find that turning Wi-Fi off and on again helped get a better signal; when we hear back from the stadium network team we’ll ask if the network has been optimized for roaming connections. I did notice that the beer stand on the top deck just behind my “press box” seat was using cell phones and a payment-device gizmo to take credit card payments; when I asked the staffer running the stand she said she’d been taking payments all game using the regular Wi-Fi and hadn’t had any connectivity issues. So, the connectivity mileage may vary.

DAS to the rescue

Though team executives have talked a lot about the stadium’s networking plans, it would be better for fans right now to have a more realistic estimate of what is going on, and when future enhancements like video and food ordering will become a reality. Some improvement will happen in a big way when Mobilitie gets the neutral-host DAS up and running, since many people never think of joining a stadium Wi-Fi network, they just pull out their phones and hope for the best. With advanced cellular in the building, the connectivity loads will be shared between cellular and Wi-Fi, increasing overall capacity. Sunday, I wasn’t able to get either an AT&T 4G device or my Verizon phone to even register with Speedtest.com to get a figure anywhere inside the stadium using a cellular-only connection. While most fans might have been able to send text messages or get regular voice calls, it’s a good guess that many like me were stymied trying to do simple data tasks like post messages to Twitter. It will be interesting to see what the network folks from Avaya Stadium say when they give us the opening-day report.

Cheers to Avaya Stadium from the end zone bar!

Cheers to Avaya Stadium from the end zone bar!

In the end, my first impression from a wireless point of view is that Avaya Stadium has a basic, average level of connectivity for a new stadium, with enough reasons to believe it’s going to get better over time. I’m also cutting them some slack since the technology supplier for the venue changed wholesale last year when Avaya came in as a title sponsor, leaving just a few short months for Avaya to get its own gear in the building and in working order. Again, I’m no engineer but I did see things like electrical tape holding some antenna connections in place, the kind of stuff you don’t expect to see in a professional stadium deployment.

And while the connectivity didn’t particularly stand out as awesome, it also was good enough in enough places to make sure there wasn’t the dreaded “no signal” issue that could have soured things for lots of fans. In the end, there was so much to like about the facility — even in my top-row seat I felt close to the action on the field — that it’s hard to call the day anything short of a smashing success, especially if you are a Bay area soccer fan who’s had to endure sub-par stadium experiences in the past. Those days are gone, and Avaya Stadium should be a fast favorite place going forward.

LOTS OF PHOTOS BELOW! Click on any picture for a larger image. Credit all photos: Paul Kapustka, MSR.

Avaya Stadium, from the employee parking lot

Avaya Stadium, from the employee parking lot

Tailgate action before the game

Tailgate action before the game

Connecting to Wi-Fi was easy

Connecting to Wi-Fi was easy

Interactive stadium map was one of the best things in the app

Interactive stadium map was one of the best things in the app

Wi-Fi APs attached to roof beams

Wi-Fi APs attached to roof beams

More APs, underneath the canopy roof

More APs, underneath the canopy roof

Still more AP views

Still more AP views

Another AP, out on the end of the stanchion

Another AP, out on the end of the stanchion

A view to give perspective on how far away the roof-beam APs are from the stands

A view to give perspective on how far away the roof-beam APs are from the stands

Seats with promo scarves. The team asked fans to donate if they wanted to keep the scarves.

Seats with promo scarves. The team asked fans to donate if they wanted to keep the scarves.

More Wi-Fi APs, on the concourse level. This was above a bathroom entrance.

More Wi-Fi APs, on the concourse level. This was above a bathroom entrance.

Wi-Fi APs atop small building near the open end zone

Wi-Fi APs atop small building near the open end zone

Good view of standing-room area in front of end zone bar. It was packed all game.

Good view of standing-room area in front of end zone bar. It was packed all game.

Panoramic view of the picnic lawn. Hey there Quakes fan!

Panoramic view of the picnic lawn. Hey there Quakes fan!

Fans waiting to get in, about a half hour before game time

Fans waiting to get in, about a half hour before game time

Where the rich folks watch from: Over the gate view of a club level area and their nice buffet

Where the rich folks watch from: Over the gate view of a club level area and their nice buffet

Lots of selfies being taken Sunday

Lots of selfies being taken Sunday

You can see the big screen from just about everywhere in the place -- great resolution

You can see the big screen from just about everywhere in the place — great resolution

Avaya boots Ruckus from San Jose Earthquakes’ new stadium Wi-Fi deal

Crowds at Avaya Stadium during the venue's first game on Feb. 28. Credit all photos: Avaya

Crowds at Avaya Stadium during the venue’s first game on Feb. 28. Credit all photos: Avaya

While it hasn’t been announced publicly, the year-ago agreement to have Ruckus Wireless provide the Wi-Fi gear at the new San Jose Earthquakes stadium got the boot when networking gear and services provider Avaya stepped up with a $20 million naming-rights deal that also apparently includes using Avaya equipment, not Ruckus, for the in-house wireless network.

Since we haven’t yet been to the new Avaya Stadium we weren’t able to look around to see whose label was on the Wi-Fi APs when we reported that the network was live for the team’s “soft” opening, a preseason game on Feb. 28. As it turns out, we erroneously said Ruckus gear was being used for the network but have since been contacted by Avaya folks who told us that wasn’t the case. According to an Avaya spokesperson, the entire Wi-Fi network at the stadium, including APs, is Avaya gear.

When we asked a Ruckus spokesperson earlier this spring about the network, the only thing that person said was that the Earthquakes asked Ruckus not to comment on the network; until today, Ruckus had not announced publicly that it was no longer the Wi-Fi supplier at the now-named Avaya Stadium.

Here was the email reply we got today from Mark Priscaro, global public relations manager for Ruckus:

The San Jose Earthquakes recently consummated a naming deal for their new stadium, and it’s our understanding that Avaya is in charge of all networking, including Wi-Fi. It was a marketing deal on behalf of the Earthquakes, and not technology-driven. Avaya, with the approval of and authorization from the San Jose Earthquakes, chose to deploy their own Wi-Fi network infrastructure, which does not include Ruckus Wireless products or technology.

The Avaya spokesperson said the Wi-Fi network at the new arena worked well for the preseason opener, and will be fully operational at the team’s MLS home season opener on March 22. Mobilitie is the neutral host provider for the stadium’s DAS deployment, which is still under construction.