Incorporating State-of-the-Art Technologies to Boost Fan Experience

Incorporating State-of-the-Art Technologies to Boost Fan Experience

Summary

Customer

Large multipurpose sports and entertainment complex

Challenge

Improve event attendance by enhancing fan experience through the construction of a state-of-the-art stadium

Solutions

  • Fiber network 
  • Distributed antenna system (DAS)/Wi-Fi 
  • Video surveillance system integrated with the local police department 
  • POS system 
  • Professional A/V
  • Supply chain solutions
    • Anixter Inventory Management Solutions 
    • Staging 
    • Kitting 
    • Labeling 
    • Serial number capture 
    • Product reporting

Results

  • Time and cost savings 
  • Smooth deployment 
  • Single-source solution 
  • Increased safety and security 
  • Greater fan engagement 
  • Solid infrastructure to support future technologies 
  • Three percent increase in average attandance

What Do Fans Want?

In a world of 4K Ultra HD televisions and ever-growing in-home conveniences, event venues are challenged with getting people out of their homes and through the doors at live events. One venue looking for innovative ways to get more people in its seats was the new $1.4 billion multipurpose venue that would be home to an NFL team and a professional soccer club. The venue would also host a variety of events year round, including concerts and NCAA football games.

Among the reasons event attendance is declining is simply that fans can watch the event from home, and for a much lower price. Not only has this led venues to seek out ways to create one-of-a-kind experiences that cannot be replicated at home, but it has also led them to find solutions to the challenges of attending a live event, such as traffic and long restroom lines, and incorporate more of the comforts and conveniences of home into the venue.

Driven by the demand and expectation for enhanced fan experiences—and by the potential revenue that analytics have proven such experiences can generate—the end user wanted to incorporate state-of-the art technologies that would appeal to fans, including advanced Wi-Fi and cellular networks to keep them connected, an engaging audiovisual system and advanced security measures to provide a safe and pleasant environment.

A project of this size and scope is inherently challenging. However, it is made even more complex when being constructed in a busy urban environment with little space for staging and storage. Additionally, cities impose strict safety, delivery and noise regulations, requiring more oversight and planning than would be necessary in a rural construction project. The stadium needed a partner who not only understood and had experience with these challenges, but could also ensure the project complied with city-mandated regulations.

Building the Stadium of the Future

After initial discussions about the project, the local Anixter team began building relationships with local engineering teams and learning the logistical landscape of the area, so when the project was awarded, they were ready to hit the ground running. Anixter worked in tandem with the IT general contractor to win the project by offering an all-inclusive fiber-based solution that offered both time and cost savings. Anixter’s ability to supply the complete bill of materials enabled the contractor to provide a single-source solution with advanced supply chain capabilities, putting them ahead of the competition. 

Anixter leveraged its supplier relationships to source products to build a proof of concept network that would simulate the stadium environment to demonstrate to the customer how the solution would work. Furthermore, Anixter provided recommendations for expert wireless contractors in the area to test the design and made product and infrastructure recommendations to help the stadium become LEED certified.

With products from industry-leading manufacturers, Anixter supplied the complete infrastructure and connectivity network materials for the stadium, including:

  • Fiber network, passive optical LAN equipment hardware, cable, racks and cabinets 
  • DAS/Wi-Fi hardware, antennas and infrastructure
  • Security cameras, video surveillance system and video storage system which are critical to the safety of fans and personnel 
  • POS systems for shops and concessions, the stadium’s main source of revenue 
  • A/V cabling and connectivity to provide fans with the highest quality video and sound available

As logistics was key to the success of this project, Anixter provided a project coordinator to be an inventory management and logistics liaison between the IT contractor and numerous subcontractors. Being in the middle of a big city, there was no storage at the job site, so Anixter staged and managed inventory out of its local warehouse to feed the job. With such a large volume of material--900 different products--being delivered to the job site, it would be easy to lose or misplace material, therefore delaying construction and racking up costs as installation crews wait for items to be found or reordered. Anixter provided kitting, labeling, serial number capture and regular product reporting to simplify installation, keep track of material and ensure it would be delivered to its intended location within the stadium. These efforts, along with maintaining open communication with all parties involved, helped ensure a successful deployment and kept the project on track.

Delivering an Immersive Fan Experience

The stadium was completed on schedule, just in time for the kickoff of the NFL season. With advanced networking capabilities, a state-of-theart audio/visual system and even an app that can tell fans the quickest traffic routes and where the shortest restroom and concession queues are, the stadium offers an enhanced fan experience that draws people out of their homes and into the stadium. These technologies are having a positive impact on revenue streams and profitability from sales, merchandising, advertising and more. The new stadium saw a 3 percent increase in average attendance over the previous year in the old stadium.

By partnering with Anixter, the contractor saved time and costs associated with sourcing, inventory management and logistics. Anixter provided immeasurable value for the contractor by recommending and sourcing products for the various applications and obtaining samples for the proof of concept network. Anixter also assisted with research on what local resources were available to help manage fan data traffic that comes from each game. Additionally, Anixter introduced the contractor to the local police department to ensure they could seamlessly integrate their security system into the stadium’s system.