By Kash Shaikh, vice president of marketing
Out with the old, in with the new. It’s a familiar phrase that still holds true. Civilization around the globe has drastically changed due to one thing: Wi-Fi. Something we lived without for so long, people can’t seem to be without for even a moment. Many companies, even those you wouldn’t expect (such as sports stadiums), now see Wi-Fi as table-stakes, and the services available through Wi-Fi as a competitive advantage.
As recent as a decade ago, nobody would have thought accessibility to the Internet would be a competitive imperative at a basketball game. And a few years ago, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he wanted fans off their phones to focus on the game. That mindset has since changed. Stadiums are on the race to digitize. Pro sports teams are taking notice of the changing demographics of fans. Millennials and younger have the need to stay connected. It’s come to an age where fans are leaving the college games during half time because they can’t connect to the Internet or upload pictures to social media. The younger generation has an expectation to be connected anywhere at any time. Therefore, stadiums are on a mission to bring in the new, a future proof infrastructure.
To keep fans connected, Ruckus Wireless and a number of other technology companies are teaming to provision Sacramento, California’s Golden 1 Center, the new home of the Sacramento Kings, with the most connected indoor sports and entertainment venue in the world. Slated to open in time for the 2016/17 basketball season, this venue will feature state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor Smart Wi-Fi system based on the newest 802.11ac Wave 2 standard. The network will enable the Kings to deliver a variety of new value-added and location-aware services, including multicast replays from exclusive arena camera angles, seat upgrades, real time statistics, enhanced fan engagement and wayfinding services – all at exceptional speeds.
Ruckus Wireless will be deploying next-generation Wi-Fi access points, placed to maximize efficiency and connectivity throughout the arena, public plaza and surrounding mixed-use development. Providing unprecedented Wi-Fi coverage with the highest density of access points per fan, this venue will have a strong and reliable connection no matter how many people are using the Internet. So let the games begin! With Wi-Fi, that is.