In a bid to create a digital-first sporting venue, West Texas A&M University has deployed Wi-Fi 6 solutions at its newly opened Buffalo Stadium, becoming the first US university to do so.
With modern sports fans wanting more connected experiences during gamedays and engaging with an increasing number of mobile devices, the university’s students took it upon themselves to launch the tech-forward initiative to bring Wi-Fi 6 to the stadium.
They chose to install a high-density, professional-grade Wi-Fi 6 solutions from Extreme Networks, which will allow the University to use its Wi-Fi network to streamline game day operations at the new stadium, and offer digital fan experiences, such as social sign-in, mobile ticketing, access to real-time stats, and the ability to stream video. It will also power new HD digital scoreboards.
“In deploying Wi-Fi 6, West Texas A&M is the first University in the nation to deploy this next-gen Wi-Fi technology in its stadium, joining a select group of forward-looking organizations that are pushing the boundaries of fan experience and reinventing in-stadium connectivity. With professional-grade, stadium-caliber Wi-Fi 6, West Texas A&M now has the capacity to support more devices and applications, and the foundation to offer cutting-edge new digital fan experiences including 4K video broadcasts, biometric payments and seamless augmented reality and virtual reality experiences moving forward. We’re excited to help put West Texas A&M on the map for having one of the top collegiate sports venues in the country,” John Brams, director of hospitality, sports and entertainment, Extreme Networks.
Its new 8,500-seat stadium opened in September 2019. In addition to working closely with the college’s administration during the planning phase and funding nearly 75 percent of the renovations via an increased athletic fee, students are playing an active role in deploying Extreme’s stadium technology solution. The University has also started a Wi-Fi coaching program to help fans get online during the games, and is tapping 10 to 15 students within its Computer Information Systems program to manage the infrastructure year-round in exchange for academic credit through the program’s network curriculum.
“This stadium renovation is by students and for students. We knew that bringing this project to life would require a state-of-the-art network that has been battle-tested in the toughest environments. Extreme’s NFL-caliber solution is just that. With Extreme’s Wi-Fi 6 technology, we now have the infrastructure to future-proof our sports stadiums across campus and support the future-looking, immersive experiences students have been craving. We are also able to provide our students with experiential learning opportunities, as they’re the ones who get to deploy and manage this new network technology on a day-to-day basis,” said James Webb, chief information officer, West Texas A&M University.