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The Wireless Challenge at Petco Park

December 7, 2012 at 10:17 am PST
It was way back at Interop in Las Vegas this year where one of our PR guys, Ben Stricker, asked if I would be interested in the tour of Petco Park coming up as part of CiscoLive in San Diego.  I said ‘yeah!’ for a number of hopefully obvious reasons and then volunteered to have our team shoot footage of the event.  We planned and worked back and forth as the event got closer and I had been working on a storyline that focused on the amazing things that MLB Advanced Media was doing with their streaming media empire.
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Stirring Up a Magic Brew at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park

Costumes, painted faces, chants, drums, dances, and the color blue EVERYWHERE – welcome to LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, where fans pack in to cheer on the Sporting Kansas City soccer team! The new LIVESTRONG Sporting Park caters to the tech-savvy, culturally diverse, family-oriented crowd. Built for fans that refuse to be spectators.

On a visit to LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, Executive ViewPoints talked to fans and ventured into the Kansas City Cauldron – a sea of blue and the liveliest and loudest seats in LIVESTRONG Sporting Park – to find out how they feel about their stadium experience.

I love the KC Cauldron! KC Cauldron is considered the most vocal supporter of Sporting Kansas City and they lived up to their promise on our visit. The singing (and drumming) never stops! So you can prepare for your own fan experience at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, we’ve listed a few of the KC Cauldron songs:

Home

Here We Go

Sporting, Sporting KC

Till the World Ends

We Love Ya

Carefree SKC

Mighty, Mighty Wizards

Vermes’ Army

We Love You Sporting

Which one is your favorite?

(Note on how they do it: With Cisco Connected Stadium Wi-Fi and StadiumVision solutions in place, fans enjoy a state-of-art sports and remain immersed in all of the action throughout the stadium. These offerings are built on top of a Connected Stadium network, which serves as a single platform for innovation and growth.)

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LIVESTRONG Sporting Park – Built for fans who refuse to be spectators

Nearly, twenty thousand fans in seats, all connected, all sharing the same exciting sports experience. Taking and posting pictures to Facebook throughout the game, using Smartphones to stay in touch with friends and tweeting exciting game moments. They use free mobile apps to play team trivia games and earn points at the concession stands. They look up sports stats, check traffic, and buy tickets for the next game. Never a dull moment.

Located in Kansas City and opened in 2011, LIVESTRONG Sporting Park is an innovator in every sense of the word. It is home to a sport that is a relative latecomer in the U.S. – soccer – and it features the world’s most advanced technology – to enable the fans who refuse to be simply spectators. Read More »

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Finally! Great Wi-Fi at Big Events

Today, you may be able to walk into in a convention hall, or university classroom, or baseball park and connect your mobile device.  Maybe.  But you’re likely competing for that connection with all the people around you.   Can you join an online conversation while attending  a large class at school?  Can you view a live stream of the keynote address while sitting in a convention hall, or see the homerun hit while in line at the beer stand?

Today, chances are the answer is no.  But that’s changing.

The reason that the answer is no, today, is that you’re sharing a finite cellular or Wi-Fi connection with all your fellow consumers in that train, convention or stadium.  If you’ve got 50,000 fans, and off-the-shelf access points with “floodlight-like” unidirectional coverage areas, you’re likely sharing your one AP with 1000 other people!  And if you simply put more of those APs in, the overlapping airwaves would all be competing for the same limited number of Wi-Fi channels.  And when that happens, performance gets much, much worse.

But luckily, Cisco is announcing a brand new solution that addresses this issue, called Cisco Connected Stadium Wi-Fi, and it’s debuting in the Sporting Kansas City stadium.  We’ve got the new Aironet 3500p access point with a very special antenna with a directional, “spotlight-like” coverage pattern.  This means each AP has minimal interference with the AP next to it, and is shared by fewer fans.  Everyone gets a bigger piece of the pie – and therefore more predictable levels of performance to run cool new video apps.  Translation:  twice as much video-viewing, iPad-carrying  performance for you and me!

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