June 25, 2017

Analysis: The year of the big stadium Wi-Fi upgrade

Carolina Panthers director of IT James Hammond shows off a new under-seat Wi-Fi AP at Bank of America Stadium. Credit: Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers director of IT James Hammond shows off a new under-seat Wi-Fi AP at Bank of America Stadium. Credit: Carolina Panthers

Even in the midst of several brand-new stadium debuts and the future-proofed wireless networks inside them, there is a separate, yet distinct trend emerging in the big-stadium, wireless connectivity world: Call it the year of the big upgrade.

Our profile in our latest STADIUM TECH REPORT of Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., is a case in point: Thanks to the never-ending demand for more connectivity for fans, stadiums that deployed networks just a few years ago are now finding that those old systems already need upgrades or replacements, typically at a much higher cost than the original network. In addition to BofA Stadium, the New England Patriots’ home, Gillette Stadium, also got a Wi-Fi makeover this past summer, going from about 400 Wi-Fi APs to well over a thousand, with most of the new ones deployed under seats.

According to Fred Kirsch, who oversees the Gillette Stadium network, some of the under-seat placements there were especially tricky, since granite underneath the stands didn’t allow for the ability to drill through the concrete. A workaround involving an above-ground enclosure was envisioned and manufactured, underlining the custom complexity of network deployment found from stadium to stadium. No two are the same, and what works at one may or may not work at another.

But what is common across all these large venues is the ever-increasing need for bandwidth, a moving target that has yet to slow down or stabilize. Last year the story that turned everyone’s head was the need by carriers to upgrade their DAS infrastructure at Levi’s Stadium ahead of Super Bowl 50 – this coming just a year after the stadium had opened for business. While the demands of a Super Bowl (especially Super Bowl 50, which set records for DAS and Wi-Fi usage) are perhaps much different than everyday events, it’s still a safe bet that for many stadiums with Wi-Fi networks – especially the early movers – 2016 has become a year of reckoning, or biting the bullet and writing more checks for more coverage, perhaps seemingly too soon after the initial rollout.

Getting ready for Super Bowl LI

In Houston, NRG Stadium finally has Wi-Fi, and not a moment too soon, with Super Bowl LI on the near horizon. Since the venue didn’t have Wi-Fi prior to this season it’s not really an upgrade but it’s hard to understate the challenge of putting in a Super Bowl-ready network in just one summer, a construction calendar shortened by the fact that integrator 5 Bars and equipment vendor Extreme Networks had to wait until after the NCAA Men’s Final Four was over to begin installing cabling and APs. At of the start of the NFL season the Wi-Fi network is already live at NRG Stadium, and is sure to go through weekly tweaks as the league marches on toward its championship game.

Gillette Stadium before the Sept. 11 game vs. the Miami Dolphins. Credit: Steve Milne, AP, via Patriots.com

Gillette Stadium before the Sept. 11 game vs. the Miami Dolphins. Credit: Steve Milne, AP, via Patriots.com

And while attention-grabbing new stadiums like US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis and Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta are planning big network capacity from the get-go, some new stadiums like T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas have upgrade thinking planned in from the start, with the idea that the network will never really be a finished product, at least until they stop making new phones or developing new apps. Of course, that future isn’t happening anytime soon, with the Apple iPhone 7 announcement with the new double-lens camera coming in just before the start of another football season.

New phones and new apps mean more bandwidth demands, leading even those who already have stadium networks to keep wondering if what they’ve installed is enough. We suspect this may be an ongoing story line for the foreseeable future, so – stay tuned here to Mobile Sports Report for the latest success stories and lessons learned from those who have already jumped in or jumped back in to the deployment fray.

Editor’s note: This column is from our latest STADIUM TECH REPORT, which is available for free download from our site. Read about Wi-Fi deployments at Bank of America Stadium, Mercedes-Benz Stadium and more!

Super Bowl 50 app use sets Levi’s Stadium records, led by video watching and drink orders

Screenshot of home page of Super Bowl 50 stadium app. (Click on any photo for a larger image)

Screenshot of home page of Super Bowl 50 stadium app. (Click on any photo for a larger image)

As part of the Wi-Fi and cellular usage records set at Super Bowl 50, fans at Levi’s Stadium also set new records for usage of the main stadium app features, including overall app adoption, viewing of action replays and Super Bowl commercials, and food and drink ordering.

According to the San Francisco 49ers networking staff, 46 percent of the 71,088 fans at the game downloaded the Super Bowl 50 stadium app, an NFL-specific app built by VenueNext, designers of the regular Levi’s Stadium app. That total is 16 percentage points higher than any recorded at a San Francisco 49ers regular-season game, according to the Niners.

One of the more unique features of the Super Bowl app was the ability for fans to use the app to order food and drinks, either for express window pickup, or for drinks only, the option for in-seat delivery. According to the Niners there were 3,284 food and beverage orders, 67 percent higher than the previous top order number ever recorded at a Levi’s Stadium game.

The Niners did not provide separate statistics for how many orders were for express pickup and how many were for in-seat delivery out of the larger total. Unlike the regular-season Levi’s Stadium app, which supports food and beverage delivery service to every seat, the Super Bowl app only offered drink delivery, per the wishes of the NFL.

Drink delivery order page on Super Bowl stadium app, including the $13 Bud Light.

Drink delivery order page on Super Bowl stadium app, including the $13 Bud Light.

According to VenueNext and the team, the average in-seat delivery time for drinks was 10 minutes. The top drink item ordered was Bud Light beer, while the top food item ordered via the app was chicken tenders, VenueNext said.

The Super Bowl 50 crowd also set Levi’s Stadium app records for video viewing, a stat helped perhaps by the availability of Super Bowl broadcast commercials, which fans at the game could watch via the app after they aired on TV. A full 55 percent of all app users either watched a video replay or Super Bowl commercials, the Niners said, 36 percent higher than the previous Levi’s Stadium record for video app views.

The app’s unique wayfinding feature, which uses the 2,000 beacons inside Levi’s Stadium to provide interactive maps, was used by 33 percent of the app users, according to the Niners. Fans could also use the app to purchase Super Bowl merchandise (which could be picked up at a concession stand or delivered to a suite), and according to the Niners all the mobile inventory was sold out before the game actually started, with an average order price of $212. Previously, the high-water average mark for app-ordered merchandise was $77 at a concert.

UPDATE: Top 4 carriers combine for 15.9 TB of cellular data use at Super Bowl 50

New Verizon Wireless under-seat DAS antenna placement at Levi's Stadium. Photo: Verizon Wireless

New Verizon Wireless under-seat DAS antenna placement at Levi’s Stadium. Photo: Verizon Wireless

UPDATE, 2/8/16, 1:50 p.m. — We now have data totals in from all four of the major U.S. cellular carriers, and at Sunday’s Super Bowl 50, fans combined to use 15.9 terabytes of data on the networks in and directly around Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

Leading the way in usage was Verizon Wireless with a claim of 7 TB used by its customers; AT&T was next with 5.2 TB of claimed usage, followed by T-Mobile with a report of 2.1 TB, and Sprint with 1.6 TB. All the carriers’ numbers are well above figures from last year’s Super Bowl, where by our reporting Sprint, AT&T and Verizon had a combined 6.56 TB of cellular data consumed during the big game. (We did not have any T-Mobile reports from last year.)

For all the carriers, the data apparently includes both traffic on the in-stadium distributed antenna system (DAS) network was well as any macro deployments outside the stadium in parking lot areas. The final total was well over double the 6.56 TB of cellular traffic seen at last year’s big game in Glendale, Ariz. We are still waiting for Wi-Fi numbers from the Levi’s Stadium networking crew but it’s a good bet the 6.23 TB number from last year’s game will be eclipsed and we will have a new single-game Wi-Fi record as well so stay tuned.

Though we did hear and see some scattered reports of network connectivity issues during the Denver Broncos’ 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers it appears the upgrade of the DAS Group Professionals DAS install at Levi’s Stadium with its gear mainly provided by JMA Wireless stood up to the biggest-ever test of traffic. Congrats to all involved.

Thanks also to the Verizon and AT&T crews who supplied us with tweet reports and emails Sunday night, it made for some entertaining in-game stats. Some tweets embedded below.

Niners: All (tech) systems go at Levi’s Stadium for Super Bowl 50

Levi's Stadium, ready for the Super Bowl. All stadium photos: Levi's Stadium (click on any photo for a larger image)

Levi’s Stadium, ready for the Super Bowl. All stadium photos: Levi’s Stadium (click on any photo for a larger image)

As far as the technology at Levi’s Stadium is concerned, it’s all systems go for Sunday’s Super Bowl 50, according to San Francisco 49ers chief operating officer Al Guido.

In a phone interview with Mobile Sports Report, Guido said the 2-year-old stadium’s vaunted technology underpinnings — especially the wireless connectivity for fans — is ready to go for the NFL’s biggest yearly event, after a second season spent mainly fine-tuning the different components.

“We couldn’t feel more confident, hosting the game,” said Guido, speaking specifically about the technology infrastructure at Levi’s Stadium. As he stated before the regular season began, the Niners didn’t do anything radical to the stadium’s Wi-Fi network, which uses gear from Aruba, an HP Enterprise company, to bring the main wireless bandwidth to fans.

And while the stadium’s distributed antenna system (DAS) got a complete replacement over the summer, the new capabilities including under-seat DAS antennas for Verizon Wireless should only lead to better reception than the year before. According to Guido, representatives from Aruba as well as from “all the carriers” will be on hand Super Sunday just in case anything needs close attention.

“Everybody’s going to be at a high tech [support] level” on game day, Guido said.

Drink delivery order page on Super Bowl stadium app, including the $13 Bud Light.

Drink delivery order page on Super Bowl stadium app, including the $13 Bud Light.


No food, but in-seat beverage delivery as part of stadium app

The Super Bowl 50 stadium app, designed for the NFL by the Niners’ in-house app development company VenueNext, will have some but not all of the features Niners fans have available during the regular season. The most obvious omission is the lack of food delivery to all seats, something that makes Levi’s Stadium stand apart from any other large public sporting venue. Instead, the stadium app will only allow fans to order beverages for in-seat delivery, with the option to order food, beverage and merchandise that can be claimed at “express pickup” concession windows.

According to Guido, the decision to only have beverage deliveries at Super Bowl 50 was one reached jointly by the NFL, the Niners and VenueNext, and the catering company for the stadium, Centerplate. Guido said that the potential “amount of education” for all the fans new to the stadium and new to the app led the league, the Niners and the caterers toward a path of greater simplicity, namely just having beverages available for in-seat delivery.

“It was a risk-reward decision about the amount of fan education needed,” Guido said. “There’s so much going on at a Super Bowl and so many people new to the stadium that it didn’t seem worth it to us to risk someone not getting an order delivered because of their error, or our error.” Guido added that with all the extra breaks in action for a Super Bowl, and additional concessions stands, “there’s enough time to get around” to get food.

View of the temporary media towers on the Dignity Health concourse

View of the temporary media towers on the Dignity Health concourse

Michelle McKenna-Doyle, senior vice president and chief information officer for the NFL, told Sports Business Journal that the league was also concerned about game-day delivery traffic patterns being disrupted by the new media towers that have been built for the game in the corner plaza areas of the stadium viagra online no prior prescription. “We were worried about having to keep up with demand … and we need to keep the aisles clear, which is important to the security team,” McKenna-Doyle said in a story by SBJ’s Don Muret.

The app will, however, include its normal live wayfinding capabilities, which should prove useful to new visitors to Levi’s Stadium since they can watch themselves walk through a map of the facility as a familiar moving blue dot. Like it does for Niners games, the app will also have instant replays from multiple camera angles available, as well as Super Bowl extras like a “celebrity cam” and the ability to watch Super Bowl commercials right after they are broadcast on TV.

Guido said the Levi’s Stadium app performed well all season, with an average of about “2,000 to 2,500” in-seat delivery orders per game. What was especially pleasing to the team was the number of fans who used the app’s ability to support digital ticketing, a feature that makes life somewhat simpler for fans but exponentially better for the team, which can gain valuable marketing insight from digital ticket-use statistics. According to Guido almost 35 percent of fans used digital ticketing during the past season.

Media towers save seats for fans

Niners fans watching Sunday’s game on TV might be surprised by the media towers, which Guido said were built in the Intel and Dignity Health concourse areas, which during regular-season games are simply open spaces. Guido said the decision to build temporary facilities for media means that the regular stadium seats will be saved for fans. At many other pro championship or playoff events, the overflow media are often housed in regular seating areas.

“The NFL made a great decision there” to put the media in the pavilions, Guido said.

If there is one thing that can’t really be controlled, it’s the traffic and transportation issues of bringing fans to the game. On Sunday fans coming to the game will confront Levi’s Stadium’s unique location in the middle of many Silicon Valley corporate headquarters buildings, which presents challenges that stadiums like AT&T Stadium in Dallas or the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. — which are surrounded by acres of stadium-controlled parking lots — simply don’t have. To help with Super Bowl traffic the planners are using multiple methods, including using Google employee buses as shuttles as well as signing Uber as a sponsor with its own dedicated pickup and dropoff lot. There is also light rail service which stops right outside the stadium, which intially in the past experienced lengthy delays especially after games, but has improved over time.

“Traffic and transportation is our largest concern,” Guido said.

Bring on the players and fans!

Bring on the players and fans!

Verizon: Denver fans used 2.87 TB of wireless data during AFC championship; AT&T also sets DAS traffic records at both Sunday games

Sports Authority Field at Mile High, during Jan. 3 game vs. San Diego. All photos: Paul Kapustka, MSR (click on any photo for a larger image)

Sports Authority Field at Mile High, during Jan. 3 game vs. San Diego. All photos: Paul Kapustka, MSR (click on any photo for a larger image)

During their team’s exciting 20-18 victory over the New England Patriots Sunday, Denver Broncos fans who are Verizon Wireless customers used 2.87 terabytes of wireless data, according to Verizon. That total includes 1.7 TB used on the Verizon-only Wi-Fi network at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, and another 1.17 TB of data on the Verizon LTE DAS network at the stadium.

Also on Sunday, at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., where the Carolina Panthers defeated the Arizona Cardinals, Verizon Wireless customers there used 1.3 TB of data on the Verizon LTE DAS network, according to figures sent to us by Verizon.

According to AT&T, its wireless customers set DAS traffic records at both stadiums Sunday, with 819 GB used on AT&T’s DAS network at Sports Authority Field and 739 GB used by AT&T DAS customers at Bank of America Stadium. Both totals are the highest-ever marks seen by AT&T at the respective stadiums, according to AT&T; the Denver total Sunday was 34 percent higher than the total used in the team’s first playoff game this season against Pittsburgh, and was 52 percent more than the average data used during regular-season games. In Charlotte, the DAS traffic total Sunday was 16 percent higher than the number hit during the playoff game a week previous against Seattle, and 50 percent higher than the average regular-season game, according to AT&T.

On the AT&T Wi-Fi network at Bank of America Stadium, fans used 740 GB of data, which AT&T said is also the highest-ever mark for that network, 19 percent higher than the previous playoff game vs. Seattle and 36 percent more than the network saw for average regular season games. The Wi-Fi network at Bank of America Stadium will be replaced this offseason, with a new network built by AmpThink and Aruba.

In Denver, the network situation is somewhat unique since Verizon built the Wi-Fi network inside Sports Authority Field at Mile High, but so far only Verizon customers are allowed access to it. While we’ll describe the situation in more detail in a stadium-visit profile coming very soon, the word from stadium IT types is that the Wi-Fi is open to other carriers but none have yet signed on to allow their customers access to it. There are, however, separate DAS networks for AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile inside the stadium as well, so at least from a DAS perspective most fans at Mile High are pretty well connected.

Stay tuned for more soon on the networks at Sports Authority Field at Mile High! In the meantime, some pictures from our Jan. 3 visit below.

mihi3

Count the antennas! See if you can spot the AT&T DAS antennas (slightly rounded) and the T-Mobile antenna (big square) among others in this overhang shot at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

mihi4

Denver’s south end zone scoreboard is topped by a horse… and two Wi-Fi antennas

The parking lots just outside Sports Authority Field have good Wi-Fi coverage as this light pole shows.

The parking lots just outside Sports Authority Field have good Wi-Fi coverage as this light pole shows.

Your Levi’s Stadium technology primer: Everything you need to know about wireless technology at the site of Super Bowl 50!

Scoreboard promo for the Levi's Wi-Fi network, from 2014 season. All photos: Paul Kapustka, MSR (click on any photo for a larger image)

Scoreboard promo for the Levi’s Wi-Fi network, from 2014 season. All photos: Paul Kapustka, MSR (click on any photo for a larger image)

With Super Bowl 50 two weeks away there is going to be increased interest about whether or not Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., host site of the event, is “the most technologically advanced” athletic venue. Here at Mobile Sports Report, we have spent the better part of the last two years researching and reporting on Levi’s Stadium and all its technical components, attending multiple events and compiling all the known statistics we can find, to present as complete and as honest an assessment as possible, from a completely objective perspective, about the technology found at Levi’s Stadium.

So what’s our verdict? As we see it, there are three main features that set Levi’s Stadium aside from most others, and qualify it for consideration as one of the most technologically advanced large public venues: The stadium’s Wi-Fi network, its distributed antenna system, or DAS, and the integrated Levi’s Stadium app, which takes advantage of a large network of beacons to provide wayfinding and other location-based features. Though some of the components, like the Wi-Fi network, may not be the fastest or largest around, it’s our opinion that the sum of the parts puts Levi’s Stadium at or near the top of any well-connected stadium list; but the 2-year-old venue’s real test won’t come until Super Sunday, when we’ll all see if the networks, apps and personnel performance can live up to the stress of one of sport’s biggest events.

For anyone who wants to know the exhaustive details behind the technology, we’ve included in this story links to all of our Levi’s Stadium stories we think are pertinent, to help other writers or interested sports-tech types get a grip on what’s really going to be technologically available to the 72,000 or so fans who show up on Feb. 7 to watch the NFL’s 50th annual big game.

For starters, here is the first part of a feature we did at the start of the season about how Levi’s Stadium was getting ready for Super Bowl 50. Though we expect some more news next week about late additions, this article pretty much sums up the first-year performance and the tweaks the San Francisco 49ers made to their home-stadium’s wireless infrastructure. And here is the second part of the feature, which focuses more on the stadium’s excellent app, which we’ll talk more about later.

Fans take pictures at Levi's Stadium, opening day 2014 season.

Fans take pictures at Levi’s Stadium, opening day 2014 season.


Wi-Fi: It’s good, but is it the best?

The Wi-Fi in the stadium is pretty good, among the best out there anywhere, but probably not the biggest or fastest network in all the land. Though the Aruba-gear network was innovative for its heavy use of under-seat Wi-Fi APs and the 1,200 APs it had for its first year, other stadiums are meeting or beating those numbers, and under-seat deployments are now becoming quite trendy for venues that want fast, wide connectivity. With slightly more than 1,200 APs now, the Levi’s Stadium Wi-Fi network has seen some big-traffic days for Wi-Fi, including the stadium’s NFL regular-season opener and a WrestleMania event last year.

Among stadiums we’ve seen, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, has more Wi-Fi APs and is a bigger place (by about 30,000 in capacity for football) so it had more overall Wi-Fi traffic than Levi’s the past couple years. And Kyle Field’s new network down at Texas A&M is the fastest we’ve seen anywhere, and already has had a bigger Wi-Fi traffic day than Levi’s Stadium. And we haven’t yet visited Miami’s Sun Life Stadium but they get a lot of wireless traffic there too. So while Levi’s Stadium may be among the best, we’re not quite sure it is at the top of the list, at least when it comes to sheer Wi-Fi connectivity.

We might change our tune if the Super Bowl 50 crowd can top last year’s Super Bowl Wi-Fi traffic total of 6.23 terabytes, recorded at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. But so far the biggest total recorded at Levi’s Stadium was 4.5 TB seen at the WrestleMania 31 event last March. From our unofficial observations, the “top 5” list of most single-day Wi-Fi events we know of are:

1) 6.23 TB — Super Bowl XLIX, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz., Feb. 1, 2015
2) 5.7 TB — Alabama vs. Texas A&M, Kyle Field, College Station, Texas, Oct. 17, 2015
3) 4.93 TB — College Football Playoff championship game, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, Jan. 12, 2015
4) 4.9 TB — College Football Playoff championship game, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz., Jan. 11, 2016
5) 4.5 TB — WrestleMania 31, Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif., March 31, 2015

For what it’s worth, Super Bowl XLVIII in MetLife Stadium used only 3.2 TB of Wi-Fi, so it will be interesting to see what happens with the growth curve at SB50. In addition to total data “tonnage” there is also an interesting observation about how much data is used per fan, on average. When we get the stats back from Super Bowl Sunday it will be interesting to see if the smaller crowd at Levi’s Stadium will have used more data per connected person, a good reflection of both the carrying capacity of the network and the ease of connecting and staying connected to the Wi-Fi.

Replacing the entire DAS for better cellular connectivity

What is often confusing to non-tech types who try to write about stadium wireless is realizing that there are often two separate networks, Wi-Fi and cellular, operating in the same venue. While many fans actively seek out Wi-Fi, many game-day attendees either don’t bother or don’t know how to connect to Wi-Fi, and so just use their phones like they do anywhere else. To make sure they still have a strong signal, wireless carriers and venues often team up to deploy a distributed antenna system, or DAS, which is basically a bunch of small antennas located inside the venue that act just like a big cell tower, connecting phones to the nearest antenna.

Close-up of new DAS antennas (from mid-July, before the wires were connected)

Close-up of new DAS antennas (from mid-July, before the wires were connected)

At Levi’s Stadium, integrator DAS Group Professionals (DGP) built a “neutral host” DAS for the stadium, which means the team owns the infrastructure and rents out space to carriers so they can connect to customers inside the building. One of the more interesting twists this past offseason was that DGP ripped out and replaced the entire DAS network it built the year before, at the behest of its customers, the major cellular providers. Why? According to DGP, the cell providers — who paid for the upgrade — are expecting as much as 2.5 times more cellular data at this year’s Super Bowl compared to last year, huge numbers that they were afraid might overwhelm the system installed in 2014.

During a stadium tour this summer, MSR saw that the main Levi’s Stadium head end (where the telecom gear that connects the stadium to the outside networks lives) was being doubled in size, so by any stretch cell connectivity should be good if not great during the big game. DGP was also supposed to be increasing cell coverage outside the stadium in the parking lots, but so far we haven’t heard any reports if reception was better this year than last.

At big events like the Super Bowl, the big wireless carriers will spend like crazy to make sure there are no reports of “phones not working,” so the DAS upgrades have become somewhat par for the course. AT&T said that it spent $25 million on wireless infrastructure improvements in the greater Bay area, including expanding its DAS operations inside Levi’s Stadium to allow them to handle 150 percent more traffic. You can expect that Verizon was spending some similar dollars, so rest assured, if you are there your phone will more likely than not find a signal.

What will the app let you do?

The biggest question remaining about the technological underpinnings of Super Bowl 50 — at least as of Sunday night — is whether or not all the features from the regular-season Levi’s Stadium app will make it into the mix for the Super Bowl, especially the one that really sets Levi’s Stadium apart, the ability to order food to be delivered to any seat in the stadium.

Though we’ve been given a “head nod” that the service will be available for Super Sunday, we haven’t yet received any official notice of what’s going to be in the game-day app either from app provider VenueNext or the NFL. This season Niners fans at home games could not only order food and drinks for themselves, they could order and pay for food to be delivered to friends in the stadium, something we noted in our season preview of changes to the groundbreaking Levi’s Stadium app.

App showing ability to buy pricey parking ticket for your RV

App showing ability to buy pricey parking ticket for your RV

If there is some doubt whether the league and the stadium might not make food-delivery available for the Super Bowl, it might have to do with the fact that at one of last year’s “big events” at Levi’s Stadium, the NHL’s Stadium Series outdoor hockey game, the food-delivery service melted down in the face of a massive amount of orders and a too-low level of human staffing. But our guess is that eventually (maybe this week?) we will hear that the Super Bowl app will embrace all the features of the regular Levi’s Stadium game-day app, including in-seat delivery.

What many fans at the game may find even more useful is the app’s ability to provide wayfinding capabilities through a mapping feature that uses the 2,000+ Bluetooth beacons installed throughout the venue to provide live wayfinding, just like how Google Maps shows your car as a blue dot driving down the highway. With many attendees most likely visiting the stadium for the first time, having the ability to find your way around via your device may be the most welcome reason to download the app. Fans should also be able to watch in-stadium replays seconds after plays happen, and may also be able to watch Super Bowl broadcast commercials via their mobile device. Stay tuned for more “official” announcements of app capabilities as we hear them.

In case you haven’t heard enough, here are a few more links from our in-person visits to Levi’s Stadium for Niners home games during the 2014 season.

Niners’ home opener tops Super Bowl for Wi-Fi data traffic with 3.3 Terabytes (Sept. 16, 2014)

Levi’s Stadium ‘NiNerds’ get high-visibility wardrobe upgrade (Nov. 23, 2014)

Stadium Tech Report: Network finishes season strong at Niners’ Levi’s Stadium (Jan. 12, 2015)