Score one for the home teams. MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford is about to get a major network upgrade-thanks to Verizon, which on Friday announced a deal with the home of the New York Jets and New York Giants to provide major network upgrades for 2024 and beyond to accommodate the exponential increase in data customers use during stadium events held throughout the year.
“As technology evolves, customers want to do more with their wireless technology at games, concerts and other events,” Lynn Cox, senior vice president of access engineering and operations for Verizon, said. “When large crowds of people gather in a place like a football stadium, network resources can be strained. So, we are very intentional about upgrading technology and infrastructure in places like MetLife Stadium to accommodate our customers’ needs.”
MetLife Stadium is heading into the NFL season with back-to-back national night games — Giants-Dallas Cowboys on “Sunday Night Football” on Sept. 10 and Jets-Buffalo Bills on “Monday Night Football” on Sept. 11.
With these network enhancements, customers will be able to do many more things on their mobile phones during games and events. From sharing their experience in the stadium to using their phones for getting refreshments, navigating the stadium, participating in fan experiences like sports betting, fantasy leagues and looking up players’ stats, gaining entrance to the stadium and more.
“Creating a memorable, positive experience for everyone who comes to MetLife Stadium is a critical part of our mission,” Ron VanDeVeen, CEO and president of MetLife Stadium, said. “Verizon was a founding cornerstone partner when the stadium opened in 2010 and we are excited to extend and expand on that partnership with this renewal. The Verizon upgrades will enhance the overall fan experience and our stadium operations and are integral to attracting future major events such as FIFA World Cup 26.”
The investment and network improvements at MetLife Stadium will be anchored by Verizon’s new Distributed Antenna System, a wireless network of antennas throughout the stadium allowing for better performance and greater capacity to accommodate fans’ needs.
The new DAS system will cover the field, bowl, concourse (including the four gate entrances), all clubs/suites and the ticketing areas. As part of the new design, engineers are also adding a performance enhancement technology that divides crowds into sectors like pieces of a pie. Each sector can be adjusted individually to handle wireless traffic. This technology gives Verizon engineers more leeway to adjust performance based on where customers move and how they use data inside the stadium.
That exponential increase in data carried into and out of the stadium will require upgraded fiber-optic cable links. Fiber-optic cables are used to connect the stadium to the rest of the network. Verizon is also increasing the capacity on the fiber connections in and out of MetLife so they can carry 10 times the amount of data.