The Swamp to receive state-of-the-art Wi-Fi technology in 2019

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[Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent]

Special to Gatorsports.com

Starting in 2019, Florida football fans will see a dramatic upgrade on how they can share all of their gameday experiences socially in real time and stay connected through all of their wireless devices, as the University Athletic Association has begun installing equipment for high-density Wi-Fi inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

The $6.3 million project, which is in partnership with Extreme Networks and Verizon Business Markets, began in July with conduit, wiring and under seat enclosures that will house more than 1,100 wireless access points throughout the seating bowl.

“We’ve had a variety of upgrades to our connectivity systems over the years, but this will truly be a game-changing experience for our fans,” Athletic Director Scott Stricklin said. “We are making a significant commitment so that fans will be able to enjoy the game and stay connected with their friends and share all of the great experiences that come with being at The Swamp on a Saturday.”

Fans may occasionally experience active WI-FI during the installation, tuning and testing of the system in 2018, before the system is fully operational for 2019.

Extreme’s software-driven, secure, and smart network infrastructure is purposely engineered to meet the unique, demanding requirements of high-density public environments. Their solutions consider the strategic goals of the organization and the specific physical characteristics of the venue, delivering robust Wi-Fi solutions to meet the expectations of highly-connected fans and to support the mission-critical operations of the organization.

Extreme is the Official Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Analytics Provider of the National Football League, including 11 NFL venues using its stadium Wi-Fi technology and an additional 17 NFL teams using their Wi-Fi analytics technology.

14 COMMENTS

  1. I didn’t realize you can’t already share videos and such with current 4g lte.. 5g will be out this next year as well so why do we need wifi?

    • Because no cell phone coverage can meet the massive needs for such an event. NASCAR had some special equiptment when a cell provider sponsored them. Perhaps if we had 5G today this system might not be required.

  2. Oh great. I can see it now. Franks tosses a 75 yard TD pass to Cleveland this year to beat LSU with just seconds left on the clock and everyone in the stadium is looking at and working their cell phones and no one sees the catch or reacts to it.

  3. I realize in today’s world I’m an old geezer…but it never ceases to amaze me at sporting events, concerts, etc, how people are more interested in looking at their phone than the actual event. Why bother going? When I’m standing in front of Geddy Lee, I want to watch Geddy Lee, not Geddy Lee on a 4″ screen. The young world is more interested in sharing and being noticed in a cyber world than they are with just enjoying all that life offers. Yes, I’m old but I just don’t get it.

    • Rog, I don’t even understand what the hell they’re talking about or why I should be interested. If having high density Wi-Fi makes people happy, fine by me I guess. Just thankful that fudging their undies doesn’t make them happy, especially if I’m sitting next to them.

  4. Excellent upgrade….I traveled to Missouri last year and Texas (Austin) and their stadiums have big old fashioned …clear crisp sounding P.A. speakers….will the Gators throw in some new speakers clear enough to hear for a few bucks. The P.A. system in the swamp is awful. Think of all those athletes and old rich boosters who are introduced On the field during timeouts and you can’t hear diddly squat over the P.A. system. What you do hear is delayed like an echo. Can’t be hard to deliver clear low tech sound

  5. Foley: What’s a wifi? What’s a facility? What does upgrade even mean? Anyway, have you seen the cute new helmets and uniforms i’ve been designing? Cute helmets are what make for football winnerfication! That plus illiterate coaches who suck at footballs!

  6. If you spend all your time documenting the event you are at, can you really enjoy the event? I sit on row 2 west side and I am often amazed at how many people are looking to my right to watch the play on a jumbo screen or on their phone texting somebody about where they are. Row 2! If I were any closer, I would get dirt on my hat! I guess I am old as well watching a live game live, and not reaching for my cell phone unless I am broke down in the parking lot or to tell the wive my son and I are stopping for food on the way home. Young whipper snappers!

  7. How is the UAA going to make the $6.3M back with profit? Increase ticket prices (everybody pays)? Pay individually for access (like on flights)? or will it be free Wi-Fi (like at hotels)?

  8. I agree with all the other old geezers. Why not just make it a wifi free zone and people simply go and enjoy the game? Save some money while you’re at it. I love the internet and things like Facebook, but I find it bizarre and kind of sick that people can’t be away from it for a few hours. Trust me people, you won’t die if you are disconnected for a little while.

    • If you had a product (Florida Football), and thousands of people wanted to share their experience (free advertising for your product) to tens of thousands not at the game, would you want to assist them in promoting your product? BTW, it doesn’t matter if you find it desirable to capture, view or share the experience digitally, because the WiFi is being added for those that value doing just that.

  9. Ok so let me get this straight – the lower bowl of the basketball arena gets equipped with nice wide comfortable chair back seats and sells out within a year but the UAA spends $6.3 million on WIFI at BHG Stadium so we can continue to sit on metal bleachers packed in like sardines – but hey we can text each other faster. Can’t we just do that anywhere? I thought the idea was to sell more season tickets…Am I missing something here like the top of peoples heads while they remain glued to their phones?
    Sorry gotta call BS on this one.

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