M&T Bank Stadium

August 28th, 2014 by admin

Mid Atlantic Contracting Scores a Touchdown, Gives Fans a Multifaceted In-game Experience Through Ubiquitous Wireless Coverage at M&T Bank Stadium.

Background
In keeping with M&T Bank Stadium’s commitment to technology — and the NFL’s desire to provide fans with a unique and comfortable game day experience – stadium officials wanted to provide enhanced, “always-on” wireless coverage throughout the stadium. They decided to install a state-of-the-art distributed antenna system (DAS) and fiber optic cable network that would enhance cellular coverage throughout the stadium while supporting today’s fast 4G LTE data networks. The system would allow fans to take advantage of the fun, unique benefits being offered on-site, including the ability to order concessions through their smartphones, receive play-by-play updates via a special website only accessible while at the game, and more.

The Challenge
Football stadiums, like other sports arenas, are competing with many fans’ desire to watch the games in HD TV in the comfort of their own home; thus, they need to provide value-added services to entice fans to see the games in person. As a result, the NFL encouraged places like M&T Bank Stadium to provide unique in-game experiences. These include the ability to order food wirelessly without ever visiting a concession stand or view specially designed, interactive and frequently updated websites offering statistics, highlights and replays that can only be accessed while at the game. A DAS at M&T Bank Stadium would be instrumental in providing these services by supplying enhanced wireless coverage and capacity throughout all areas of the stadium, including typically cellular dead zones across widespread areas and within enclosed spaces, providing one more reason for fans to show up on Sundays.

The Solution
Verizon Wireless chose Mid Atlantic Contracting, an organization that specializes in wireless site construction and maintenance, to install the solution. Verizon selected the company based on a number of criteria, including the expertise of the Mid Atlantic Contracting team and their reputation for quality.

Mid Atlantic Contracting optimized the DAS design based on the unique limitations and conditions within the stadium. However the entire process, from site walk to installation, proved intensive due to the schedule and size of the deployment, and work continued throughout the football season. The effort involved not only the installation of the DAS, but the laying of significant amounts of new fiber to create an “all-in-one” solution that could easily handle high-bandwidth data without compromising performance.

To ensure the project was completed on time given the rigorous schedule, Mid Atlantic Contracting teamed with Ridge Equipment Company Inc. and TESSCO. Ridge Equipment Company, which provides field engineering services from design and installation through commissioning and testing, was chosen by Mid Atlantic Contracting to serve as the engineering arm of the operation and manage the equipment installation. TESSCO, supplier of an array of wireless communications products and services, managed overall logistics, including product cycle time management, specialized bundling, project staging, and more.

The entire DAS became fully operational in December 2011, just before the season’s first playoff game and fitting well within the stadium’s timetable for completion. Fans who attended the game were not only treated to a win over the Houston Texans, but also fast, uninterrupted wireless access that allowed them to flawlessly talk, text, post status updates and enjoy the stadium’s game day wireless amenities.

“Our team worked very closely with the management at M&T Bank Stadium to provide fans with a seamless, effective wireless experience,” said Fred Chandler, Vice President and Senior Project Manager Mid Atlantic Contracting. “Although it was a challenging job due to time constraints and the need to work around the home game schedule, by partnering with Ridge Equipment Company, TESSCO and Corning Cable Systems, we were able to optimize and install a powerful, scalable DAS that will suit the stadium’s needs for the foreseeable future.”