The 49ers’ Plan To Build The Greatest Stadium Wi-Fi Network Of All Time

from ars technica

When the San Francisco 49ers’ new stadium opens for the 2014 NFL season, it is quite likely to have the best publicly accessible Wi-Fi network a sports facility in this country has ever known.

The 49ers are defending NFC champions, so 68,500 fans will inevitably walk into the stadium for each game. And every single one of them will be able to connect to the wireless network, simultaneously, without any limits on uploads or downloads. Smartphones and tablets will run into the limits of their own hardware long before they hit the limits of the 49ers’ wireless network.

More here.

95 Responses to The 49ers’ Plan To Build The Greatest Stadium Wi-Fi Network Of All Time

  1. Jared Gaspar February 21, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

    People nowadays are attached to their phone and in some instances it is kind of scary. When you have to not be on your phone for a couple hours and you can’t do that, it means you have a problem. I am not saying that I am not on my phone a lot, I am, but not as much as some people in the world. People need to have some sort of Wi-Fi or mobile data everywhere they go so they can constantly be on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Children who are growing up in this technology age or starting to lose the skill of being able to talk to people face to face. Everyone is used to texting or talking on a phone. Once you get a job you are going to have to be able to talk to people one on one though. When you go to a restaurant now you will see a family all on their phone not saying anything to each other. Is that really right?
    Restaurants and cafes now spend money to get Wi-Fi so it makes people want to come in and spend their money there. It does not surprise me that a development like this happened and as a fan of sports it makes me sad. When I go to a sporting event that last thing I want to do is be on my phone. When I go I am usually with my dad so instead of being on my phone we actually have conversation and pay attention to the game. It annoys me when I see people who are sitting court side at a basketball game and they are on their phone the entire game. Why spend all that money to not pay attention? If I was a person who wanted to go to 49ers games I would be mad because food, tickets, and apparel is probably going to be more expensive now.

    • Nicholas Coyle January 29, 2016 at 7:21 pm #

      Oh it is a great time to be a sports fan isn’t it? We are in a time period where sports are turning towards more and more technology. If it is either challenges like in baseball, or football. Or it may be like in basketball, where they check to see if the player released the ball in time, or if a player should receive a flagrant foul 1 or a flagrant foul 2. The sports industry is taking advantage of how much people use their phones. I mean, people practically live off of their wireless connection. The sports industry in ingenious in incorporating technology to increase the profits they make. Putting this into all of the sports stadiums may be extremely expensive, but it may pay off down the years. It creates a better atmosphere for the stadium. yes some people may be looking at their phones more often, but the true fans who came there to see the game will not fall into the new addition to the stadiums. Also, it will be great for the fans to see every aspect of the game. there are many angles and things people in the stands miss because of the location they are in, along with the location the athletes are on the field, diamond, or court. And with the new technology, you can change the camera angle you prefer. Also, if you like to tailgate, you can now watch the pregame analysis and follow every step of the teams preparations for the game. It is a new way for fans to interact with their beloved team, and i think it is a great idea. Every stadium should implement this system, even though it is expensive and will take time to install. It creates a better environment and the sports team will make a bigger profit for future events.

  2. Brian Montero February 21, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    The 49ers’ organization’s innovative idea of establishing a Wi-Fi savvy stadium is absolutely genius. I commend the man who hailed the concept of introducing an expansive Wi-Fi network in the arena. With today’s technology, we are seeing more and more people becoming part of the smart-phone world, and with that comes the interconnection between them and everyone else who uses a smart-phone. Therefore, what better way to connect fans to one another using a massive Wi-Fi network? Nothing but good can come from the implementation of the Wi-Fi network in the 49ers’ new stadium. But, the big question in my mind, before reading the article, was how are the programmers going to fit the capacity of the fans onto one wireless network? Therefore, what surprised me about the article was the fact that the 49ers tech-guys are capable of developing a network so vast that it can support all 68,500 fans at once! Truly impressive in my opinion.
    With that said, the new network will not only allow fans to connect with one another, it will also help fans connect to the actual game. The network will introduce instant replays and live in-game commentary, thus keeping a fan seated in the nose-bleed seats updated as to what is going on below. Attending an NFL game is a great experience, but it is harder to enjoy for someone who can barely see the players. The Wi-Fi accessibility will specifically come in handy for someone in that situation.
    This project displays the 49ers’ organization’s genuine concern for its fans. It is easy to conclude that without fans, professional football would be nothing. Actually, never mind professional football, without fans, professional sports as a whole would be nothing! All of an organization’s revenue comes directly from ticket sales and fan support. The fact that the 49ers organization went out of their way in an effort to further connect their fans to the action means that they truly care, and want them to have the best experience possible. The enhanced Wi-Fi network will undoubtedly revolutionize the 49ers’ fan’s experience and, in my opinion, evoke a positive response. Good move, 49ers’. The article briefly mentions that other organizations have implemented networks like the 49ers’, but not nearly on the scale that they are on. If the new Wi-Fi-friendly stadium is successful, I would not be surprised if other NFL teams follow in the 49ers’ footsteps.

  3. Anthony Manfredi II March 25, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    Brian I agree with everything you stated about this great idea. I think ultimately this will bring more fans into the stadium as well. Having Wi-Fi savvy stadium as you stated will really bring the new stadium into the 21st century. Being able to connect to the game right at your fingertips is a great way for fans to get those instant replays and for those who may not have the best seats in the house to enjoy the game at a better angle.

    At the same time I have the same concern they do. How are they going to manage 63,000 people on one network? It seems like its nearly impossible. I feel that they are going to have to eventually charge a good amount of money to the users to be on their Wi-Fi network because so many people who have iPhone 5 and newer do not have unlimited data that maybe someone who has the iPhone 4 does who does not need that Wi-Fi as much as they do. I think eventually this will lead to more stadiums having Wi-Fi in theirs as well but I am extremely curious to how this will all play out.

  4. Robbie Carbonello April 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    The thought of making the stadium Wi-Fi friendly is a great idea when it comes to social media and talking about the games. Every time I go out to a game at a stadium or arena, it is hard to get any service to send texts, pictures, and also to receive anything. Given that social media is very popular, people are constantly posting things relating to the games and players. Having perfect connection on your phone you can follow other games while at the stadium, follow up on your fantasy teams, and look at stats of the game you are watching. And a great point that Justin made in his post about not having to wait on line for food or drinks. If they have an app for the stadium to connect to the concessions, people wouldn’t have to leave their seats to get food. Having a Wi-Fi network in the stadium will increase the experience of the ticket holder.

  5. Joseph DiGiacopo April 11, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    I thought this article was very interesting. First of all, a network that can support 70,000 people at once is a pretty impressive technological feat. I think this could change the NFL experience will attending the game. The people attending will be offered a much more interactive experience. They can share their experience for family and peers to see. Some might argue that you should be watching the game and not on the internet but there is plenty of time to post to social media during commercial breaks and halftime.

  6. Becca G September 10, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

    To begin, I want to say that it is truly amazing what they are doing here, and honestly I am very impressed with the capacity of the wifi that they are able to have in this new stadium. I love the idea that everyone can get online and do things like watch replays and highlights, and also get other highlights from games you’re not at. Considering a football game has a lot of down time, sitting around in seats can get pretty boring.
    On the other hand, I got a little frustrated reading this article just thinking about how there is literally a whole article about a football stadium with wifi. Anytime I go out to eat, or to a bar, or wherever with friends and they ask if there’s wifi I get frustrated because that’s everyone’s first thought whenever they enter a building. No one knows how to just hang out and enjoy good company and an atmosphere or anything, everyone is just way too concerned with their phones. I’ll admit, I use mine more than I should to check scores and emails and such when I get bored, but most of the time if I’m around people, the only time I’m bored is when they are engrossed in their cell phones or iPads or whatever other technology they have. So, now, at a football game, which is honestly one of the best atmospheres with some of the greatest people, everyone is going to automatically change into that zombie state when they enter the stadium, and on any downtime, they’re going to switch to their phones until the next play. I do understand that football has a lot of downtime, but there are so many other ways to spend that time. For instance, you can talk about the game, share stories about other at-game experiences with people around you, make friends! There are some really interesting people sitting right next to you, there is no need to be online at that moment.
    I do understand why people are so excited about this wifi stadium, but honestly it is just getting to the point where we can’t do anything without our phones or tablets or whatever else! I do, however, pride the 49ers organization for coming up with this because this is a big deal to a lot of people and being to first to accomplish it is good for them!

  7. Kevin W September 23, 2014 at 9:15 am #

    I think this article was very interesting, but I do not understand why it is such a big deal to be able to get wifi at a football game. From a business standpoint I understand why the 49ers would want to have this in their stadium, but as a consumer I don’t know why this would be so special. The 49ers have a lot of business opportunities that they can set up through this wifi, like food delivery right to the fans or promotions. But if you see in this article when they talk about how many people actually use the wifi during the game, like at the superbowl or the Patriots games you will see not that many people used it. That’s because they were actually doing what they went to the game to do, watch it! I really do not understand why anyone would spend all of this money to go to a game and sit on their phone the entire time. Your there to watch your favorite team play, not see what’s going on in the twitter world.

  8. Josh Paradiso October 17, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    I have been to many sporting venues, such as: Madison Square Garden, MetLife Stadium, Barclays Center, Prudential Center, Nassau Coliseum, and the new and old Yankee Stadium. One feature they all have in common is that the wi-fi is terrible. I find it very annoying that I cannot send a picture while at these games or even receive text messages. What the 49ers are planning to do to their new stadium gives me hope. They are trying to have a wi-fi signal that everyone can simultaneously connect to. They are not stopping there either, they also want to make it a strong wi-fi that load can browse the web in seconds. The plan is to cover the whole stadium with wireless access points to help speed up the connection.

    If this innovative idea works for the 49ers, hopefully other venues will try and copy them. If stadiums could improve their wi-fi signals, the customers would be a lot more happy. One could argue that the fans should not be on their phones and should be engaged in the game. I do agree with this statement, but with the amount of commercial breaks there are in professional sports, something is needed during all those breaks. The National Football League has a commercial break every change of possession and after almost every kickoff. The National Basketball Association and the NCAA has a commercial break about every four minutes. Major League Baseball has commercials in between every inning and during pitcher substitutions. The fans who are at these games need something to do during all these breaks when there is no action or sport being played.

  9. Josiah Smith November 13, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

    Unlimited Wi-Fi is what everyone wants and for 49ers fans that is what they are going to get. I find it fascinating that the team has focused in on this when the numbers say it is not something that is needed to be focused on. They are preparing for the worst (or technically most) amount of usage that could happen in one game. This is great for all of the fans that attend the games as they know that they will be able to have access to Wi-Fi to do whatever they please. While it has been an issue in some stadiums, it will no longer be an issue for the 49ers fans.
    What makes this most interesting is that it is truly for the fans. Often going to football games is for ‘the experience’ but the experience is not always great. Football tickets are outrageously expensive, and if your team is good it is even more so. That being said, you are not only paying for the game but that experience. That includes food, events, videos, shops, heckling the opponent’s fans and now the Wi-Fi. While many people choose to watch the event from the comfort of their own home with their own food, paying for that experience exhilarates many people. By providing Wi-Fi to everyone at the stadium, the 49ers are focusing in on enhancing that experience so more people will enjoy their visit to the stadium.
    Even with that being said, football tickets are still expensive. While it is nice that teams like the 49ers are pushing to broaden and improve the experience for the fan, they can continue to improve that experience in other ways than just Wi-Fi. In the future it will be interesting to see what else they will do to draw in fans.

  10. Joseph Iuliano January 28, 2015 at 1:59 pm #

    Cell phone bills are increasing each month for different families or individuals due to the fact of using their cellular data to quick. On iPhones or droids, LTE means you are using your data and you have service but the data you are using you are limited too. Everyone is a culprit of it because no one really knows exactly how much data they can use up to until they get the message that you are being charged because you used to much data. The 49ers seem to have a solution to this problem when attending their home games, which could result in other professional sports teams to do the same.
    Having attended many many professional sports games in the past, this idea is brilliant too me. In arenas or stadiums, usually the service on phones is terrible because of how many people are trying to use their cellular data using social media, texting, etc. The 49ers tend to have wifi which is wireless that enables phone users to use everything at its top speed like using data but with wifi it is free. Social media is popular when attending sporting events so instead of paying massive amounts of money using your data to instagram a picture or tweet news about the game, the 49ers new stadium is enabling all 68,000 fans to be connected to wifi so they can do whatever they like for free with no charge to the phone bill. Most fans have season tickets to these events so this could potentially save them some money when attending the game Sunday or Monday each week.
    I guarantee more and more sports facilities will start improving their wifi for the same reason why the 49ers are doing it. People ask the question all the time, “how do you enable 68,000 people to be connected to one wifi server at once?” It definitely is possible and the 49ers have proven this. In conclusion, I feel that since the 49ers have proven that it is possible for massive amounts of people are able to connect to a wifi server to make the connection better and free, more facilities will do the same and even businesses, hospitals, etc will follow the same procedure because it is a brilliant idea and helps many citizens out by saving some money on their phone bills.

  11. Brendan Lloyd January 28, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

    At first when I started reading this article I thought that it sounded like a great plan and it would make a huge difference if it worked but it seemed at first though that this would be nearly impossible to accomplish. Even as the internet and Wi-Fi has expanded, bringing wireless connection to an entire stadium all at once without any problems seemed like on that would be quite a challenge. What makes this even more impressive is that the wireless connection won’t be limited to certain sections such as the suites but rather the entire stadium. The way the 49ers’ lay the plan out makes you believe that this plan they have in store will work but there only seems to be a problem once something as large as this gets up and running. My question is if this is necessary to complete. Yes people are posting pictures of themselves at the game but is the entire stadium going to be on their phone at the same time. Once the game is underway most likely everyone will be focused on the game and if you are not then you probably shouldn’t be there in the first place. If I were in charge I would most likely make half the stadium capable of this or certain parts where fans can go but the whole stadium seems like a lot and Im sure it will cost lots of money as well. I do see their point though in doing this because in today’s world just about everyone is on their phone and this makes their stadium more fan friendly and something to talk about.
    The 49ers’ organization seems to have the confidence it takes to complete a task like that when asked about the project. Instead of wavering over their answer they gave a confident yes asking why not in regards to if they could make this work. Even though they have confidence I still don’t believe something like this will work. I believe the system will be down more than it is up giving the fans less internet connection than they did before. Unless fans are complaining about the current system I would have just let it be and worried about others problems and putting the money towards them. As this project continues I am curious to see how this plays out. If they are able to make this work, they will set a standard for all the other stadiums as they will want to catch up to them.

  12. Guillermo Garcia January 28, 2015 at 11:52 pm #

    This was very interesting. i am not really into technology and all that stuff. So I do not really no much about technology and how it works. I do know that the more people are on wifi the slower it works though, that is something I have picked up over the years. So I can only imagine with 68,500 that is pretty crazy to think about, I know the wifi at my house can barely have more than 3-4 people at a time.

    This is something that I would have never had thought of either the fact that NFL teams are having apps to watch instant replays. I have never been to a football game so I did not realize that they had apps to watch replays. I have gone to NBA games, and they play replays on the Jumbotrons.

    Nonetheless, it was very interesting the fact that they are working on something so great in terms of size and difficulty, is very impressive, it was a nice look into wifi, and professional sports raising the bar for wifi and things of that nature.

  13. Dakota Best February 6, 2015 at 8:16 pm #

    I think that the ability to hold an entire NFL stadium on one wifi network is an amazing task but if accomplished would make life at a football stadium a whole lot easier. Not only would it allow ease of access for its fans, but it would also allow easier access of internet to broadcasting units within the stadium. Being able to contrust a wireless network that can hold that many people is going to be a huge task, but with the people doing it it seems obtainable.

    Being able to connect and use a wireless network that 65,000 other people are on seems like an awesome achievement. Not only would there be a lot of positive feedback from the local fans, but there would also most likely be positive feedback from the league and wanting this at every NFL stadium. This new advancement can really change today’s spectating enjoyment of a professional football game. Not only would they be able to watch the game, but the fans can go on social media and tell others about how much they are enjoying them selves. This accomplishment could shape the expectations of professional sports forever.

  14. Andrew Aguilera February 13, 2015 at 1:19 am #

    This article was about the 49ers plan to build a Wi-Fi system in the new Levi’s Stadium. The two men heading the project are two former Facebook friends, Dan Williams and Kunal Malik. They contributed largely to Facebook and were part of the reason why the Facebook servers are so large. I found it very interesting to learn that they left Facebook because they felt that there was nothing left to accomplish. I certainly admire their ambition and motivation to be challenged with this new 49ers project.

    Up until today, I had no idea that the 49ers had this planned for their new stadium. But I definitely think that this is a step in the right direction for the NFL and technology. During this past NFL season, I had the opportunity to attend a New York Giants game at MetLife Stadium. I actually took the moment to see if the stadium did have wifi available and noticed that this was not the case. I never took the time to think about how big of a system that a NFL stadium would need to offer strong internet access to thousands of people all at one time. Although Williams and Malik have hit some bumps in the road in their plans, they seem to have an excellent expertise and understanding of their field and project. If they manage to pull this off, I can definitely see other stadiums attempting to do the same in the near future. I am actually very curious to see how this impact the game experience. Will we get to a time where each chair has a phone holder so you can easily see your phone screen and verbally request for an instant replay of a play that you missed? Only time will tell!

  15. Matthew Goldberg February 13, 2015 at 9:34 am #

    I think that I would be amazing to have an entire NFL stadium all on one Wi-Fi network. Having one Wi-Fi network would have many benefits for the company and for the people. It would not only grant easier access for the fans who are on their phones, but it will allow the broadcasters to use this network. This poses many risks because it is a very challenging task to get a Wi-Fi range that is of this magnitude and strength. I would love to see improvement in this because I think it would lead to a drastic improvement in all Wi-Fi networks throughout stadiums nationally. Constructing a wireless network that can sustain over 65 thousand people will be challenging, but in the end I think it is worth it to have.

    From personal experience, I have gone to stadiums and had no cellular or wireless service which frustrated me. I wanted to upload a picture on the internet, or text a friend to show him my seats, but I could do no such thing. Having a Wi-Fi network would help fans spread their interest on social media, and write about their experiences while at the game. Throughout this article, they talked about how it was very important to design a proper Wi-Fi network with many access points and enough bandwidth to allow information to flow. It was very interesting to see that the 49ers only had a technology team of less than 10 people! I was impressed by the amount of information and research that went into making this project happen, and it only being 10 people, wow.

  16. Andres Arcila March 22, 2015 at 3:42 pm #

    The 49ers organization have created great wifi in there stadium. It will allow all the spectators to download anything they want to at a very fast rate. Often WiFi is very poor at stadiums and the fans can get annoyed. As you know smartphones are very important part of peoples lives and therefore the 49ers organization has went beyond to create the best wifi possible.
    The fans can now not complain that the wifi is bad a stadiums. If anything they will have to complain to there phone companies that they need better and quicker hardware.
    From a fans perspective I think this is great because it can be frustrating not being able to upload or send something. You could be at a game and want to send a picture to your friends or even put something on instagram and you would not be able to. This would take away that problem and you would not have to go through the struggle of not having service and having a picture fail.

  17. Dylan Walko April 8, 2015 at 10:23 pm #

    When it comes to Wi-Fi in the present day it may in fact be the greatest thing since sliced bread. With the demand for high speed mobile broadband at sound a resounding rate, 4G data at times is not nearly as fast as it should be compared to a direct Wi-Fi link. Yet even with this demand it is still very clear that Wi-Fi lacks heavily in highly populated areas especially when hundreds of devices are going through the same string of routers.
    The 49er’s though had the right idea in mind when they chose to revamp their internet connection throughout the stadium. A smart organization, especially the sports ones, know that the team is not the only thing that matters. The overall experience that the fans have is essential to making a high profit year in and year out. During half time or a TV time out, people are going to want to post a picture to Instagram or send out a tweet. If their connection cannot be established and they are waiting the entire time for the app to load, naturally that causes people to get irritated. But by giving fans the best experience but watching the game and socially interacting online it makes the entire atmosphere and experience that much better. Happy fans make happy owners, lucky enough for San Francisco their team isn’t too shabby so overall they are just continuing to move in the right direction all around.

  18. Darren Williams September 25, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

    Good stadium Wi-Fi, I can only imagine!! In our country professional and collegiate sporting events are huge attractions for a large mix of audience attendees. No matter how different the individuals are age, race, gender or even which team they are rooting for in that particular game, the one thing they all have in common is that they will all bring their devices to the game and desire to use them for various things such as pictures and video, checking stats and scores of other games and of course just to communicate. As we all know today’s technology is all about speed and efficiency and how fast information can be posted received and viewed. In a stadium though, there are tens of thousands of devices all trying to access information at the same time and the inevitable result of that is the reduction of speed substantially. As a diehard Washington sports fan, Redskins, Wizards, Nationals, Capitals, with diehard Washington sports fan friends I am all over any opportunity to share the experience with them and just show my pride for my teams while at the game. Of course with many social media sites and sport statistic apps running such as Instagram, Snapchat, ESPN, and just regular IMessage a large amount of data is necessary to handle all of that information and with nearly 80,000 fans at FedEx Field and 20,000 at Verizon center not including all the staff that is a lot of devices that are all trying to access similar networks if not all on the same stadium Wi-Fi slowing it down significantly. The lack of bandwidth for all the fans physically in the stadium doesn’t only affect them however, it also affects the fans at home watching or on the go using their mobile devices. The information about the games progress obviously originates from where the game is actually being played so if, for example, the scoreboard operators aren’t able to log the score to ESPN fans can’t stay current or even the ones watching live from the online stream on their mobile devices will be several minutes if not more behind and I know that always annoys me because like I said as a diehard fan being anxious about the outcome of the game is always impending. In addition to that God forbid that the commentators aren’t able to live tweet about the games progress or how a specific player is doing or even to smack talk for those fans who just stay current about the evening’s events through twitter. A fan for almost 19 years now and granted only increased the use of devices at the game in the past eight or so years, the networks have always been very limited and in this article the writers have blamed that on the limits of available Wi-Fi spectrum, even with the enormous budgets of the NFL teams, but that was because traditional technicians were given the task of constructing the network and equipment necessary. Being located in San Francisco gave the 49ers and opportunity that not many other teams have and that is being located near the huge social media company Facebook which has many new age technicians who know about creating large bandwidth seeing how many users Facebook has now around the world. With their help the new 49ers stadium has innovative Wi-Fi with increased bandwidth and the fans must be loving it. Hopefully soon the 49ers and Facebook will share the wealth with some Washington sports teams.

  19. Nick M. October 3, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

    In today’s society, it has become increasingly important to be “connected” to the wireless world. People used to eat their food without posting a picture of it on Instagram. Individuals formerly used ticket stubs or mementos to remember a great event or a great moment, now they have selfies (and the aid of selfie-sticks). People used to be satisfied with getting caught up on current events and breaking news the next morning while reading the newspaper. Now we have all sorts of media outlets to bring the news to you faster. Mothers used to tell their children to be home before the sun goes down, now mothers have the ability to track down their children with a tap of a screen. Society has evolved mightily over the past decade or so, and it is up to companies and businesses to adapt.

    That’s exactly what the San Francisco 49ers are attempting to perform with their new facility Levi Stadium in Santa Barbara, California. The Niners are attempting to build the greatest stadium Wi-Fi network of all time. Most stadium executives have said it’s impossible to deliver quality Wi-Fi to every single fan who visits the stadium, but the Niners put together a technological team that said it is possible and doable.

    Fans now have the ability to tweet live reactions to the game, post selfies onto Instagram and Facebook, check game scores from around the league, and of course tinker with their fantasy football lineup. Although the 49ers are a popular team and the NFL reigns supremacy in entertainment, this gives fans even more incentive to travel to Levi Stadium for a game. Additionally, it gives the NFL more incentive to hold events at Levi Stadium as the Wi-Fi makes things more accessible to fans and media members. The new Wi-Fi system has already paid for itself, as the NFL will hold their golden anniversary Super Bowl in Santa Barbara.

  20. Andrew Lentini October 8, 2015 at 9:22 pm #

    The world we live in today relies on wifi more than any other generation in the past. These are the times that we are living in. Connecting with people instantly is what we love to do best. IPhones went from 3g to 4g in a couple years making speeds of the phones incredibly faster. That what the public wants and that is what they demand. We all want to connect to the internet at any time of the day and make it as fast as the blind of an eye. The San Francisco 49ners were in the process of building their stadium when they thought of the wonderful idea to put wifi in their stadium strong enough to support 70,000 people. Many people have said that this is not possible but that just is not true. If Verizon and AT&T can provide cellular data for millions of people then so can professional teams. It comes down to if they want to spend the money or not. Personally I think it makes sense for a team to spend the money to install a huge wifi network in their stadium. Many things can come out of the wifi network not just an average fan connecting to the web to look up stats. With this network you can start making an app that allows season ticket holders to access replays right after they happen. With this added feature people will be more interested in buy season tickets which will help bring more money in for the team. For an owner bringing wifi is a expensive thing to do but there are many money making ideas that can come out of it. With this wifi fans will now be able to upload many picture to social media so all of their friends can see. By doing this, this will help market the team and place a positive image on them showing that their friends go to the teams games so you should too. Sports is my life I love sports and that’s why I am a sports management major because I love making money and sports. I attend many games and the problem that I always find is when I attend these games I try and share my experiences on social media and I cannot. I have trouble doing this because there are thousands of people trying to do the same exact thing as I am. The only place I have no problem is when I go to the Prudential Center to watch Seton Hall basketball games and New Jersey Devils hockey! Luckily I have the password to the wifi to the Newark arena so all of my posts load instantly. The Saying goes “You do not know what you have till it is gone” and that is 100% correct this does pertain to wifi too. When I go to other arenas and stadiums I realize that once again my posts are not loading and it really has a negative effect on my fan experience. There is still many little details that need to be worked out like how will the connection be when it starts to rain and severe weather comes in. Every great idea starts with a plan and that is what the 49ers are doing they are making a plan to connect the most people onto the same network at the same time. We live in a generation of technology where everyone wants to be connected at all times no matter where they are. Times are changing and the 49ers are following the right path to success. Eventually all stadiums in the United States will have this, it may take a long time but in order to draw more fans they will need to be able to connect to the internet instantly.

  21. Nicholas B. October 17, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

    For everyone that has ever gone to a professional sporting event then can relate to the struggle of trying to use his or her phones while there. With the amount of people who have smart phones at it highest point ever the amount of phone towers needed at stadiums is enormous. I don’t fully trust the logistical standpoint that 70,000 people would all be able to use their phones at the same time just because it has never been done to this scale. With how slow phones work now at games I do think an old stadium can adjust to better support the people using their phones at the same time but the cost would not warrant the adjustments necessary to achieve this. It interesting how most stadiums set up now can only support a quarter of the fans at once. It would be interesting to see what they did for the Dallas Cowboys stadium considering the total expense was over a billion dollars. This would make the experience of going to the games more enjoyable by having the ability to post pictures and updates while at the game and not have to wait a half hour for it to load.

  22. A. Palm October 19, 2015 at 11:26 pm #

    I am all for advancement in technology and breaking technological records, but why must a professional football stadium have the most advanced wi-fi network of its size? Fans are going to the game to watch the sport and having this advanced wi-fi network will distract many from actually watching the game. As soon as they enter the stadium, all their devices will connect to the network and they will instantly be in the cyber world instead of living in the moment. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing people on their phones constantly especially at the movie theaters, the mall, and sport events. You came to the event to watch the event, not post of Twitter or Facebook, or constantly text your boyfriend/girlfriend. They should have used this technology in a more appropriate environment such as a university or a hospital where the use of internet and wi-fi access is critical and beneficial to the operations of the venue.

  23. Justin Amelio October 30, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    I think that it is pretty sad how the 49’ers are going to build the greatest stadium WiFi network of all time. In the world that we live in today, too many people are caught up in technology use. No matter where you are, you will likely see someone on their phone completely not paying attention to anything other than what is on their phone. Sporting events are meant for fun I do not see why it is necessary to have a strong WiFi network at a professional sports stadium. I can only see a few positive things that would come from this. It would allow for the teams competing in the game to communicate more easily, and it will allow fans to do things on their phone in relation to the game. Other than that I do know see the point of building such a strong WiFi network at a stadium. A strong WiFi network will be extremely beneficial for the coaches of the team, it will allow them to communicate very fast and efficiently. Like the article mentioned, having a strong WiFi network will allow fans to order products from their seats to be brought to them. I find the fact that people actually want to do this saddening.

    The world that we lived in has gradually begun to become dominated by technology. The fact that fans want to be order something to eat or drink from their seats at a professional game and have it be delivered to them is appalling. It is alarming to me that people have become so lazy that instead of getting up out of their seats and moving around a little bit to get something they want to be able to access it without moving a muscle. There have been movies made and books written about the future and I used to laugh at some of them, but it seems to me that some of those things in the books and movies are becoming reality. I just do not like the world we live in sometimes just because of technology. It is rare to find someone that can hold a conversation for more than 5 minutes without them looking down at their phone. The idea of the 49’ers building the greatest WiFi network of all time is a cool concept but it is just sad to me that this is one of the things that sports teams find necessary to do in order to attract people to come watch them play.

  24. Vince DeBartolomeis January 29, 2016 at 8:12 pm #

    It is surprising to me how many people go to sporting events or concerts or other entertainment events and spend a majority of the time looking at their phone or trying to record the event rather than just simply watching it and enjoying it. Maybe it’s just a pet peeve of mine but either way it is a problem that stadiums and concert venues have to deal with. How do we allow for hundreds of thousands of fans to be online in a relatively tighter space? And while they are all getting online simultaneously? The work done at Levi’s Stadium seems to have answered that question. With their brilliantly worked network, Dan Williams and Kunal Malik have figured out how to give the fans and the team what they want and need. With their past in building a network on Facebook, Williams and Mack were able to build the strongest Wi-Fi network at any modern stadium to date. With fans constantly wanting to be connected with family and friends everywhere they go, a strong wireless network at a sports stadium would allow them to do this. The problem that many teams had was that first of all they had to try to accommodate a large amount of fans in a tight space and second they had to deal with all of these fans getting on the network at about the same time. Williams and Malik figured out how to do that and built the network into the stadium as it was being built. But they didn’t stop there with innovation. The team worked to develop apps so that fans can watch replays and highlights on their phones and also order food from their seats. The Wi-Fi network opens up a lot of possibilities for teams to try to add to fan’s watching experiences. If all teams start to add these wireless networks into their stadiums I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more apps and features open to fans through Wi-Fi. So as my hometown Denver Broncos walk into Levi’s Stadium on February 7th for Super Bowl 50, thanks to Williams and Malik, thousands of fans will have connection to the internet and Wi-Fi throughout the game.

  25. John Hatch January 29, 2016 at 8:56 pm #

    One issue that I have with going to sports games is that I cannot use my phone just to check scores of other games and just surf the web. This shows how reliant people now are on the internet, but it shows how lucrative it can be to add a more reliable internet connection to sports stadiums and arenas. This is what the 49er’s have decided to do, as they decided to add an entire Wi-Fi network to their new stadium. This has the ability to revolutionize what can be done at stadiums and will further advance the appeal of attending sports games in person.
    I really hope that the Wi-Fi network created for Levi stadium will be enhanced and added to every new stadium made in the country. It is incredible to believe that 60,000 plus people will be able to access Wi-Fi in such a small space. This can seriously enhance the fan experience at games, as fans will only have to leave their seats to go to bathroom. Fans will be able to order food and have it sent to their seats. This should increase profits for the stadiums because I sometimes do not get food at games because I do not want to miss the action. It also leaves the door open for a lot of innovation for the stadiums that will enhance the fan experience and will make more people want to go to see games in person as opposed to staying at home. However, I have heard some people complain about the internet at Levi stadium because it is unreliable or slow. There is no reason to worry though, because this is the first stadium to implement a wide spread internet network, so there will always be room for more improvement and innovation.
    It is amazing to think of how far technology and the internet has come. I vaguely remember the time when people could not go on the internet if someone in their house was using a landline phone. Now, people can use their phones to go on the internet and it is way faster than the internet connection people had in the nineties. This new technology reminds me of Google fiber, which has the ability give an entire city reliable internet at a price much lower than normal internet costs. It has already been implemented in a few cities and has the ability to take out standard internet companies. What would be really cool is if google fiber was put into a stadium because it appears to me that they have the best internet networks with the most capabilities.
    One thing that the article mentioned that would be very cool in stadiums if fans at the games can use their phones to get exclusive camera angles of the games. All of this will make it even more appealing for fans to go to the stadiums and will be very profitable for the teams and stadium owners. They can also create apps that will help fans get more into the action, like instant injury reports.

  26. Alaina Piszczek February 3, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

    Although it is a genius idea to add that huge of a Wi-Fi network to a stadium, how well will it really work when 60,000 people are trying to connect simultaneously during a game. Free Wi-Fi is a blessing but a good majority of the time you’re trying to connect, it doesn’t work and you’re stuck using data anyway. It seems like the more logical approach would be charging people to use the Wi-Fi if it is that efficient. By charing people they could add that cost right towards their tickets or their package if they have season tickets. It could be much more convenient for fans and it may even attract some new fans. However how much time would a fan honestly spend on their phones during a 49ers’ game? Using this big of a Wi-Fi network could change the face and technology of the NFL and everything attached but the money going into this project, not every organization could afford. Not to mention the fans, San Fransisco normally has decent weather to watch a game, but on the other hand Green Bay Packers fans freeze during the later games in the season. I’m guessing a good majority of those fans aren’t going to take off their gloves to connect and watch replays from that game or possibly another game.
    Even though the technology coming out is very impressive, sometimes people need to slow down or learn when to put it down. When going to an NFL game you’re there to watch the game and experience the crowd and the energy in the stadium, rather than sit on your phone to check emails. If stadiums along with the NFL come out with the technology to be able to watch different angels, or a more in depth view of the game the Wi-FI would be a great business opportunity for fans and organizations.

  27. Anthony Scotti February 3, 2016 at 6:30 pm #

    In this generation Wi-Fi for 68,500 can be achievable by any means. You would think that the Wi-Fi would be not that up to par since 68,500 people are going to be on it but that is not the case with the 49ers built in Wi-Fi. According to Dan Williams and Kunal Malik “it is quite likely to have the best public Wi-Fi network a sports facility has in the country. Im sure now that the 49ers organization has added this feature you will see plenty of other teams around the league start to add Wi-Fi into their stadiums because the NFL is a business and organizations would do anything to bring in money. Increasing the value of the ticket will defiantly increase now because of this new feature. So even though you may be connected to that Wi-Fi right when you enter the stadium the price is defiantly included into that. Its safe to say that nothing in life is free. Having Wi-Fi will increase a fans experience at the game also. Of course the reason why fans will be going to the stadium to watch the 49ers but adding Wifi can also be beneficial for the organization outside of football.

    Lets say the 49ers are in the offseason which means they are no longer playing games, if they chose to make some money they can have a concert or maybe s different sport play in their arenas which is a popular venue now. It would be a hot commodity to host stuff at this stadium because whenever someone goes to a concert almost the whole time there phones are out posting videos and messages onto social media so it would be very benefical to have these types of events at this stadium simply because of the Wi-Fi which can bring in a lot of extra money.

    Im sure back then people would careless about if there was built in Wi-Fi so they can send an imessage or send a facebook update but in todays worlds a ticket, food and beer isn’t enough for the fans anymore they need to up the ante. It is great to know that someone came up with this idea because it bothers me when I am at sporting events and it takes a while for messages to send simply because of the fact either theres not enough wattage for everyone on the Wi-Fi or there is no Wi-Fi at all. This allows you even better now to connect with the world and communicate with people without having to call them. I know for me when I go to football games at MetLife stadium, I like to check on my fantasy teams throughout the game or even it is intermission when play is stopped. Sometimes it may work and other times it takes a while for the page but after a few minutes it will. I hope that all sports teams through the country realize what a great investment this would be to add Wi-Fi to their stadiums.

    This can also backfire against people that are so in love with Wi-Fi. Remember you are there for the game and not to be on your cell phone all game long worrying about who is updating there twitter status or who is posting an Instagram picture. You are there to watch your team play and support them. If you are there just to take pictures and to just be on your phone all game long because the WI-Fi is so great then just stay home because you can do the same exact thing at home except that it is free.

  28. ER February 8, 2016 at 1:57 pm #

    We live in a world that is dominated by smartphones. Everywhere you look and everywhere you turn around you see people of all ages from kids to adults playing or working on smart phones. They are just a part of this world’s generations culture. Technology has changed everything and everything is now just a click of a button away. But for those either don’t know smartphones need Wi-Fi to work. And this is where this article gets interesting. The reason why is that the 49er stadium seat up to 60,500 people in it. Their goal is to make a Wi-Fi that can get everyone to use their phones at the same time be able to connect to it. That is ridiculous that just sounds crazy. For those either don’t know if you walk into a stadium trying to use yourself with their Wi-Fi it won’t work it just is overpopulated with him and the people in the stadium. It never works. But the 49ers goal is to get all 68500 people in the stadium access to their Wi-Fi. That will make the greatest Wi-Fi in the world. But the craziest part is that they just had the Super Bowl and that is the worlds largest watch game on TV. Imagine them being able to all use Wi-Fi. I don’t know if it was accomplished for the Super Bowl but if it was it would’ve been a great help to all those fans were trying to post pictures at the halftime show. If the 49ers are able to do this for the stadium just imagine where technology will take us soon.

  29. Matthew Ehrhardt February 9, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    The 49ners’ advancements in technology could lead to a potential domino effect throughout all of professional sports, revolutionizing the in-stadium experience. From personal experience I can attest that being able to watch your favorite team in person is quite an exciting experience, but there are always some things about the experience that leave some fans unhappy. When you walk out the gates of any stadium after any game you can always find a fan that has something negative to say about the stadium, and in today’s digital age, it is usually something about the terrible network. I have never personally been in an NFL stadium, but I attend MLB games quite frequently throughout the year, especially Yankee games. This past season I attended the Wild Card game at Yankee Stadium and the game was great to watch, but in between innings there was some needed time to fill. Snap chat, Twitter, Instagram and other networking apps are always the go-to time fillers, especially if the stadium uses te platforms to interact with fans in the stadium. Unfortunately at the game no snap chat would send, twitter wouldn’t load, and Instagram pictures would only show the dreaded loading circle. With a sold out crowd in attendance this was the first time that I truly realized how hard it was to provide internet access to a whole stadium. This article stood out for that reason. Since this article was written in 2013 before the stadium opened, the plans were all speculation. Now that it is 2016 we can see that the network had great success throughout the 2015-2016 season. The stadium even hosted the super bowl this year where the analysts of the game even attested to the strength of the Wifi within the stadium.
    This expansion of stadium wifi accessibility is mostly exciting for the fact that it can act as a catalyst in the technological movement towards a better stadium experience. With the abilities of live replays and different angles on apps offered by the stadium, the fans can now feel even more of a connected experience at the games. With ticket prices and food prices at stadiums being so high it is relieving to know that at least a few sports teams (The 49ners and Patriots from the article) are trying harder and harder to tailor the stadium experience to benefit the fans.
    What did intrigue me about this article however, was that there was no mention of any dollar amount spent by the 49ners on this intricate stadium network. The article did say at times that it was a costly process, but that seems like it should be the most important question to ask. This design shows a stadium with over 1500 access points to the network that is big enough to provide full speed downloading for 65000 people at once. With three pages in the article shouldn’t at least one paragraph have asked how much this part of the stadium construction this would cost? The article dives into the struggle of providing for both 2.4GH and 5GH devices, following the network regulations of an open stadium due to radar interference, and other very delicate details in the process of creating this network, but no questions about the dollar signs. People may think that sports teams have this unlimited stream of revenue from ticket sales and TV deals and other things, but most professional sports teams do not even finish the season with a profit. This being said, the price of this network should be a big deal. Maybe this article chose not to harp on this factor so that it could focus more attention on the amazing thing the team is doing for the fans, but I feel like that was a big piece the article was missing.

  30. Alaina Piszczek February 10, 2016 at 5:17 pm #

    Although it is a genius idea to add that huge of a Wi-Fi network to a stadium, how well will it really work when 60,000 people are trying to connect simultaneously during a game. Free Wi-Fi is a blessing but a good majority of the time you’re trying to connect, it doesn’t work and you’re stuck using data anyway. It seems like the more logical approach would be charging people to use the Wi-Fi if it is that efficient. By charing people they could add that cost right towards their tickets or their package if they have season tickets. It could be much more convenient for fans and it may even attract some new fans. However how much time would a fan honestly spend on their phones during a 49ers’ game? Using this big of a Wi-Fi network could change the face and technology of the NFL and everything attached but the money going into this project, not every organization could afford. Not to mention the fans, San Fransisco normally has decent weather to watch a game, but on the other hand Green Bay Packers fans freeze during the later games in the season. I’m guessing a good majority of those fans aren’t going to take off their gloves to connect and watch replays from that game or possibly another game.
    Even though the technology coming out is very impressive, sometimes people need to slow down or learn when to put it down. When going to an NFL game you’re there to watch the game and experience the crowd and the energy in the stadium, rather than sit on your phone to check emails. If stadiums along with the NFL come out with the technology to be able to watch different angels, or a more in depth view of the game the Wi-FI would be a great business opportunity for fans and organizations.

  31. Parth Parikh February 18, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

    I like the idea of stadiums having wireless internet access at the venues for the fans to use. After hosting the Super Bowl this year, it is fair to say that the Levi’s Stadium wireless internet network must have been used tremendously. Before Levi’s Stadium was built, not only were stadiums without wireless internet, but you had to hope that the seat you had at least gave you 3 gigabytes or 4 gigabytes of mobile data so you can access the internet. With the idea that the 49ers created by giving internet access to all the fans makes the game-day experience that much better because now on top of going to the game and seeing the two teams play, fans will basically have to leave their seats so they can go to the bathroom. With the game on, they can order food, take part in sweepstakes and participate in other mobile games and features while at the game in their own seats. This idea was primarily created to get the fans to leave their couches and to come to the game. Fans have recently opted to just stay home and watch the game on their television because at home, you could get wireless internet while getting food from the kitchen all without leaving your eyes from the screen, not to mention the travel of going to the game and then back. The stadiums see this as a problem as ticket sales have dropped in recent memory, so as a rebuttal to the drop in ticket sales, stadiums are now trying to bring that in-home feeling to the stadium. The introduction to wireless internet in stadiums has the power to advance the appeal of attending a sporting event in person rather than at home.
    Of course with all new technology and innovation, there will always be downsides and places of improvement, as many stadium-goers have complained about slow internet and lack of stability in specific areas. Now of course being the first stadium to implement this there will be problems and some system failures (besides, a stadium of that magnitude and trying to get sufficient internet to all is a large task). One solution for the slow internet is to implement faster internet or the incoming Google Fiber technology. Google, a San Francisco-area-based company, has created a faster internet network called Google Fiber which has been introduced in the Midwest and the coastal states like North Carolina and South Carolina. By trying them in NFL, NBA, NHL, and NBA stadiums would be a great way for Google to put their product out there and see if Google Fiber needs more work or are they ready to unleash superfast internet to the rest of the nation and to the world. If Google wants a platform to show that their internet access will top whatever endeavor Apple puts out, putting their network in stadiums and venues of sporting events would be a great way to have that proving ground.
    But progress has to start somewhere and with the 49ers new stadium, Levi’s Stadium, and their pioneering of wireless internet, we are assured that there will be more stadiums that will have internet access and there will be more amenities and features that an in-game experience will have that you will not find in an at-home experience.

  32. Gregory Doyle February 26, 2016 at 6:10 pm #

    Sports have essentially consumed the lives of Americans, more so now than ever before. With no stop in sight, sports have sailed to become a top priority for Americans due to their high intensity, grounded in American history. The NFL has even booted the Catholic Church as claiming the throne for Sunday afternoons! Smartphones have also grown exponentially, occupying the time and money of Americans in a fashion that almost emulates sports. Is it any coincidence that the two are so similar? Absolutely not. People can use smartphones to check scores and watch games, and now stadiums are providing fans with Wi-Fi so they can use smartphones while at the game. Without a doubt, the smartphone and sport markets are working together to orchestrate some sort of domination of Americans’ money. Yet, I am torn about the issue of the San Francisco 49ers boasting an amazingly fast Wi-Fi network at their field, Levi’s stadium (Home of Super Bowl 50).
    On one hand, better Wi-Fi will allow for a great overall experience for fans. Since the 49ers operate as a business, one of the organization’s biggest concerns should and will always be the fans. The 49ers would not be the organization that they are without their large number of loyal fans, who have been strong in numbers for quite a while. By providing strong Wi-Fi, this serves as an incentive for fans to come see games. Whether it be in between plays or during halftime, fans can freely surf the internet or check notifications without having to worry about utilizing their data plans, which are generally finite and expensive. It makes sense from a marketing stand point to provide fans with good Wi-Fi to provide a better overall game experience.
    However, a strong Wi-Fi network will promote fans to use their phones, which is not what the players or the league would want. The 49ers are most likely blinded from their increase in revenue, but most players would be impacted if fans begun using their phone during the game instead of cheering. This brings rise to a much bigger issue of over using smartphones, which has been present worldwide since the inception of smartphones. It would be an absolute shame if fans begun surfing the web and checking notifications during plays, and a strong Wi-Fi signal would only promote this. For example, at an Arizona Diamondbacks game, a group of girls were recorded taking endless selfies during an at bat. The TV commentator mentioned that after at least two minutes, he rarely saw any of the (at least) ten girls look up from their phones. Link:
    Whether people over use smartphones or not is clearly not the issue here; the issue lies in the result of providing fans with a strong Wi-Fi signal. Since the NFL is an entertainment business, it is their duty to provide their fans with an amazing overall experience, which doesn’t just include a football game. This also includes access to food, comfy seating areas, and other various fan luxuries (obviously depending on ticket prices and options). The 49ers can provide excellent Wi-Fi in order to give the fans another luxury to improve the fan experience, but they will risk creating a distraction for the fans, which may result in players experiencing a less lively crowd. I think it would be wise to run the risk and provide better Wi-Fi since fans can be distracted regardless of Wi-Fi. Besides using smartphones, there are a plethora of distractions that a fan must face during the game. It is up to the fan to resist or indulge in any distractions from the game.

  33. Eric Foley April 8, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

    The article discusses eventual creation of a large WiFi network within the newest NFL stadium for the San Francisco 49ers. It was interesting to learn the background of attempting to create reliable WiFi networks for fans that want to watch the game and be on their mobile device. I was not aware of the attempts of the recent Super Bowl hosts to attempt to increase their capacity. One would think that the fans going to the Super Bowl would only want to the watch the game, but there is a lot of down time within the game so the need for reliability is necessary. Stadiums need to increase their overall capacity on their networks to fill the needs of most if not all of a full stadium. The reason being that it offers the fans a connection to the game and their own mobile device; stadiums could do specific advertising or deals for those connected to the network and therefore gain more attention. The popularity of any sports game will eventually rely on how it can fit into the mobile world. As the technology of virtual realities becomes more prevalent, the need to attend sporting events will become more and more obsolete. Therefore stadiums might not be necessary in the future, only a field which could display the reality to the fans watching far away. Still these ideas are long from being a total reality and for now it is just important that stadiums can compete with web based streams of sporting events by offering better accommodations to their fans that pay to sit in their stadium. I have always found that stadiums over charge and do not offer an amazing experience besides the excitement of the game. The stadium boxes have long offered WiFi to their fans and offer experiences beyond the standard. I find this to be particularly troubling for the average fan, who pays good money to watch their team play, and is not offered any of these “exclusive” benefits. Stadiums cannot lack behind in this regard and must keep their fans happy before attendance drops to the knees of television and mobile devices. Connecting will become more important for the average fan more than ever in the next couple of years. It will almost become a test for these fans to see if their own team’s stadium can keep up with their growing mobile needs.

  34. Stephanie Nwaiwu April 8, 2016 at 8:30 pm #

    No one cares about the 49ers’ if you can’t post to social media about them. If you can’t show off your favorite team, while enjoying a good game, honestly what is the point? Everybody knows when going to a stadium you are either going to have horrible service or no wifi. It is a problem and it really should be fixed as soon as possible. The 49ers’ plan, is to treat the wifi network as a data center. Ticket holders get access to special features like whatching plays again and seeing instant replays as soon as possible. That requires alot of cellular or wifi connection, especially if upwards of 60,000 people are using it at a time. By giving each person the ability to stream similarly to LTE data streaming. The IT directors at the 49ers’ say that it is actually the design of the stadium that counts the most when trying to give a large amount of people adequate data experience. If you strategically place wireless access points in prime locations to maximize their use, you can exponentially increase the bandwidth and access people get. That is what many stadium’s have been lacking which has significantly limited how much data each person gets. Accounting for weather and the movement of the fans is also important to consider. Lots of stadiums just add lots of many different access points to the front and back of the arena in order to increase signal strength, but it really isn’t that simple as the 49ers’ found out. It is important to evenly distribute the access points around the fans.

  35. Kevin A April 10, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

    I think this article is good but I really don’t see why having a good wifi connection at a football game is such a big goal for the 49ers organization. I find more and more that when it comes to sports people are no longer attracted to the actual game. For example The Yankees built a new stadium under 10 years ago with new features no sports fan had ever thought mattered. I understand that from a business standpoint this is good, because it draws in new customers you wouldn’t ordinarily have, but at what cost.
    How far should a sports franchise go to gain new customers? In my opinion as a sports fan, all of these new attractions force franchises to lose their identity. But there is nothing that can be done. People often say that sports need to evolve to remain relevant, maybe the same can be said for sports business. In the end it is disappointing to see that attention is being taken away from the game, but if it is what is best for the business side of sports so be it.

  36. Matt Resende November 5, 2017 at 12:13 pm #

    The idea that close to 70,000 people are able to use Wi-Fi from the same source while all in one place is crazy to think about. What makes it even more crazy is that a football stadium is the host of the Wi-Fi. When the San Francisco 49ers decided it was time for a new home, they packed their belongings up in Candlestick Park and headed for the brand-new Levi Stadium in Santa Clara. This stadium at the time was going to be the newest in the NFL, so they wanted to go above and beyond for the ultimate fan experience. The need for in game fan experience is at an all-time high. Fans no longer see the need to spend hundreds of dollars to go to the stadium for a game when the at home fan experience is improving every year. As advances in technology are made, NFL teams and their stadiums need to keep up with the times. Anybody who has ever been to a live sporting event knows that it is impossible to access the internet. Good luck trying to send that Snapchat or post your selfie to Instagram, it will not happen. Current stadiums are just not equipped with the right technology to host NFL sized crowds on a Wi-Fi network, until now. What the 49ers are doing will put more people in the seats, because it allows them to use their phones without interruption. This generation of fan is stuck to their phones, no matter where they are. If fans are unable to use their phones during a game, whether it be to check other scores, watch highlights or replays, or simply scroll through Twitter to see what the beat writers are saying about your favorite player not being in the game, then they will simply just stay home.

    As the article states, of the three hours that an entire football game lasts, only 11 minutes of it have actual game action. The rest is just down time and players walking around the field. Being at the game can get boring. And if people are not able to access the internet if they so choose, then they can get restless and just choose to leave the game. With being able to host as many people on a Wi-Fi network at the 49ers hope to do, people will stay longer, which means more money spent on concessions and more people in the seats, which looks good for TV and the NFL. The fact of the matter is that yes, they want people to have a great in game experience, but in the end, it’s all about money. More fans in the seats for more of the game puts money in the pockets of the team and its executives. Unfortunately, the 49ers have been one of the worst teams in the NFL since this article was written in 2013. The money invested to the Wi-Fi network that can host 70,000 people at once is all for not, since the stadium is lucky to get 40,000 people on any given Sunday. Although other events are hosted at the new stadium, the likelihood of everyone being on their phones at once is slim, so a need for such a high-tech system really is not needed. A team that would benefit from this kind of technology would be the Dallas Cowboys, a team that fills its 90,000-seat stadium every Sunday and hosts many other big events over the course of the year. Every stadium should have Wi-Fi access for its fans to keep them coming to their games.

  37. Mark W February 8, 2018 at 6:35 pm #

    By the 49ers planning to build the greatest stadium Wi-Fi network of all-time is great for the organization. If they can be successful with this Wi-Fi network, it would bring a lot more fans to the game. Nowadays, you have some fans that are not really into watching the game, instead there are fans that go to games just be social or the fans are bored and need something to do. This great for the 49ers organization, because as of today they’re not one of the better teams in the league and most likely not attracting many season ticket holders. This is one way to create more revenue in my opinion, now every fan can have the full experience and bring their smart devices to games to watch replay’s and be able to use your favorite apps as well. I feel in the sports industry its important for your stadium to stand out and most importantly wanting fans to come back to the arena. For example, the Atlanta Falcons have just built a new stadium and they now offer the lowest concession prices for a pro sports team. They currently offer a hot dog for just $2 which would normally be $6 at any other stadium and they offer one pizza slice for only $3 where I’ve recently went to a sporting event and spent nearly $17 for two slices. This is a great marketing pitch and I’m sure this is an important reason why the Atlanta Falcons sell out every home game. Another great example for having great Wi-Fi is that sometimes fans can get bored at the game and bringing your tablet, or any other device would be beneficial when its halftime. If you have seats in a press box or suit you could even bring your work or homework to the game as well which would also be very beneficial for fans.

    This is great opportunity for the 49ers to bring another reason for fans to come to a home game and enjoy Wi-Fi like they’re back at home. Personally, if I heard a professional team is going to have the best Wi-Fi network; that still would not be a main reason to make me more interested to go. When I usually go to a sporting event I go for the game itself and I don’t need any other electronic device, however this would be a great thing for other fans around the world.

  38. Carley H March 1, 2018 at 5:23 pm #

    The fact that this article was written around five years ago really scares me because it is about adding wifi into a football stadium just so people can go on the internet while they are at a football game. I mean it is a great idea to have the opportunity for wifi in a stadium because there is a lot that is going on with social media. However, I feel like this is something that should of happened around 2018 and not 5 years ago.

    What I do not agree with is putting wifi in a football stadium because wouldn’t the team want people to pay attention to the live game going on rather then whatever is going on with their phone? In the sports industry one of the main sources of revenue is selling tickets for the games. Although there are other ways for sports teams to make money which include, team apparel and merchandise and food and beverages that are sold at the stadium, the most revenue for the team comes in because of tickets to the game. So I am not quite sure why the 49ers’ would want to draw attention away from their main attraction to people’s phone.

    I mean I do understand that because of sports, social media is trending and obviously people are going to want to be seeing whats new. To my understanding I still believe that people are spending too much time on their phones and not enough time enjoying the experiences that they are going through. I grew up with technology so I have seen the changes grow as time has gone on and I have grown older. It is interesting to see that the more and more technology advances, the more that people are becoming attached to their phones and not able to enjoy their time living life.

    Obviously times are always changing and every business is trying to be the first one to come up with new ideas, so putting wifi into a football stadium might not be as bad as I think. What is interesting is once the San Francisco 49er’s put wifi into their stadium, the New England Patriots followed the trend and did the same thing. I am positive that now that the stadium has had wifi in it for just about five years, that other stadiums throughout the NFL as well as other sporting leagues are going to be becoming apart of the trend in adding wifi.

  39. Steven C April 6, 2018 at 5:28 pm #

    Today it is almost impossible to not associate technology with sports. In the article “The 49ers’ plan to build the greatest stadium Wi-Fi network of all time” by Jon Brodkin discusses how sports franchise plan to improve this technological advance for the fans. As a former athlete, I have a mixed view on technology and sports. I believe that technology can help athletes improve performance but I do not believe that technology would be better in the hands of the fans. I think that more technology in the fans hands will take away from the experience of being at a game or maybe even take away the understanding of the game. Statistics are great for understanding player’s performance but numbers also don’t show many other factors that can contribute to a player’s performance and can actually help show false projections for a player’s performance. The one aspect of technology helping fans is the development of video replay and review. We all know that the speed of the games can be fast and people can miss something big in a split second. Video replay and review has helped combat this problem but it has not solved the many rules that some sports have and have actually created a problem. For instance, the review for a catch in football, the rule is very vague and is open to interpretation. Video review can actually slow down the pace of the game and in many cases the official review can be wrong. Overall technology has a spot in the sports world and as we go through time improvements will be made to either enhance the viewing experience or improve training for the athletes and it will only get better. As long as fans don’t abuse the use of these advancements in technology to affect the overall experience of the game than the sports world shouldn’t have to worry too much about their fans losing interest.

  40. Jack P October 12, 2018 at 10:34 pm #

    This is a great idea. As an avid sports fan I have been to many stadiums and concerts. One thing that always gets in the way of the game is trying to send a text or share an image on social media. When a big play or interesting moment happens I want to send it to my friends or family. There was one occasion where I was lost, when I was younger and I could not reach my parents via phone because the service was jammed from too many people on their phones. If the 49rs decide to get this better network, it will act as a safety feature and also for entertainment.

    For teams marketing is everything. If the wifi is good and people are posting photos at the game of the stadium and what it has to offer, people will be more inclined to buy tickets and come to an event. I know when I see my friends or family at an event it makes me jealous and makes me want to go the next time. Overall, I believe the added wifi will draw in more people to the games. This is a great idea I hope they move forward and do it.

  41. Tyler s November 8, 2018 at 2:18 pm #

    What is the one thing that fans going to a professional sporting event value more than the product on the field? Wi-Fi. The 49’ers new stadium will allow a packed house of 68,500 fans to be able to connect to internet all at once with no limits or slow download speeds. This was nearly an impossible goal for other stadium designers before them but with the help of IT experts from Facebook, the 49’ers were able to create a sophisticated network for their paying fans. NFL teams have tried to do this before, but it was never used in the capacity that the 49’ers hope for. With technology getting greater and everyone having a smartphone on them at all times, the capacity will continue to increase.
    It is crazy to think that a fan who wishes to escape watching the game on TV comes to a live game and wishes for better in stadium Wi-Fi. People are so attached to their phones that teams are building around that principle. Instead of building better seating, since it seems like the seating has been the same for forever, teams are building sophisticated Wi-Fi systems because people nowadays value their phones over comfort. Studies did show that actual in game action lasts for only 11 minutes in an average 3-hour game, making for plenty of time to surf through your phone. With technology becoming more and more prevalent, it seems that professional sports teams are being forced to keep up and adapt to an ever changing technological environment.

  42. Justin T November 8, 2018 at 8:46 pm #

    I think that if you told people twenty years ago that soon you’re going to have free internet access at sports stadiums that everyone could use at once, a lot of people would look at you funny. It’s amazing how much technology has grown in sense to support this amount of internet usage at once in a confined space, but it’s also amazing how dependent we have become to our devices. Why do I mention this? Think about it, why do you go to a professional sports game? Most people go because they have a passion for the sport or the team playing, the fact that a stadium is going to be fully equipped with wifi just tells you that the 49er’s group knows how much people are glued to their phones and this is another perk to get them into the stadium.

    One of the most important aspects of business today is marketing. In my mind this has taken over everything now as it seems harder than ever to get the consumer to your end goal of purchasing or in this case coming to a game. I think that this is just a great marketing idea as I think it will attract the median age of people who are going to come in and watch a football game, and it will for sure attract a lot of kids. Over these next 10 to 20 years I wouldn’t be surprised with new stadiums being built to have more technological amenities that will attract the consumers, I don’t think the 49ers will be the last to add wifi to a sporting venue.

  43. Vincent A November 9, 2018 at 1:29 pm #

    I find this article interesting because I, myself, am an avid sports fan and attend sporting event regularly. I’ve been to many different stadiums and arenas and the one thing that they all have in common is their lack if internet connection. Its crazy to think about because, even in a normal household, if say 6 people are all using the Wifi at one time there is an apparent “lag” in the connection. Now imagine a place where over 30,000 people are trying to connect to the internet at once. This is what sporting events are. If the 49ers are able to pull this off it will be ground breaking.
    What must be looked at is the financing of this project. As said in the article, the individuals working on this are not just “tech-guys”, they are professionals that have built the largest network for Facebook, they are the real deal. If anyone can successfully complete this project it is them. This will change the way fans experience a football game, though. I would assume that fans will now be on their smartphones way more, distracting them from the moment they are in.

  44. Madyson Y. January 29, 2019 at 7:50 am #

    While this article provides detailed insight into how the 49ers’ plan to bring free internet accessibility to every one of their fans within their four stadium walls, there a minor flaws within their developmental plans. It is true that in today’s day in age more and more individuals are utilizing smartphones for every aspect within their lives. Whether checking the time, talking to friends and family, or keeping score on an important sporting event; smartphones have become a part of an individual’s everyday routine. Because we rely so heavily on electronics, having slow internet is not something any individual wants. With that being said, I give all of my respect to the masterminds behind this creative concept brought to the new San Francisco 49ers stadium in Santa Clara, California. However, I have to personally disagree with Jon Brodkin’s statement that, “every single one of them will be able to connect to the wireless network, simultaneously, without any limits on uploads or downloads”. Having roughly 70,000 people connected to one internet connection simultaneously will cause the fans devices to have varying internet speeds.
    I have had my fair share of attending football games at MetLife Stadium and the first thing I always do when I get adjusted into my seat is instinctively connect to the wireless internet they offer. When I go to use the applications on my smartphone that require an internet connection, every time I cannot seem to connect to the internet or my applications run at a slow pace; resulting in me turning off the stadium’s Wi-Fi anyway. If fans have to use their own LTE as opposed to the stadium’s Wi-Fi, why would the team waste all that money on something that is not going to bring new experiences to the fans visiting? Instead, the San Francisco 49ers should invest money to bring more televisions into their stadium. No matter where the fans are in the stadium in relation to the field, they will be able to see instant replays on televisions right in their line of vision instead of having to pull out their phones and check on an app.
    Also, being on the phone while at a football game, or any sporting event in this case, defeats the whole purpose of why fans went there in the first place. I stated earlier that every time I went to a sporting event that offered Wi-Fi I would try to connect to it. However, I would never sit there while the actual game is going on and only pay attention to my phone. I usually check a few social media sites while waiting for the game to begin, then once the game has started I would place my phone back into my pocket. Most of the fans who attend sporting events are grown adults and I do believe that, not for nothing they can sit for a maximum of four hours without having the need to check their social media sites or fantasy teams every ten minutes. Tickets for a sporting event are not cheap and when you factor in all the food, drinks, and team apparel a fan spent money on, that is a pretty hefty bill for one day. Why would they want to sit on the stadium’s Wi-Fi checking their social media sites while the game is in regulation and throw all of their money that they spent right down the drain?
    In the future, football stadiums should encourage that their fans watch the game in real time instead of watching their phones.

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