By Craig Leddy
When the Las Vegas Raiders debut in their sleek new NFL stadium in 2020, their fans will be treated to a connected experience of video, multiple gigabit-speed Internet and advanced Wi-Fi, courtesy of Cox Business. Under construction, Las Vegas Stadium will be a fully enclosed and climate-controlled 65,000-seat venue that’s already being billed as a technologically advanced stadium.
It’s just one of many examples of how Cox Business has become a leading service provider in stadiums, arenas and convention halls — more than 35 large public venues in all. In Las Vegas, where Cox Business and its Hospitality Network affiliate serve the Las Vegas Convention Center and more than 90 percent of the hotel and convention space on the Las Vegas Strip, it’s a safe bet at nearly any sporting event that Cox is a service partner.
Cox is the exclusive technology integration and telecommunications services provider at T-Mobile Arena, home of Vegas Golden Knights hockey, and the technology sponsor at Las Vegas Ballpark, home of the minor league baseball Aviators. It provides services for UNLV basketball and other events at Thomas & Mack Center and the adjacent Cox Pavilion, where it’s owned the naming rights since 1999. In its other service territories, whether it’s the Arizona Cardinals, Wichita Thunder, Providence Bruins or Tulsa Oilers, Cox is there.
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“Cox Business and Hospitality Network realize strong revenue from these venues, which is coupled with attractive branding opportunity in recognized venues,” said Larry Steelman, VP of Cox Business New Business Ventures.
The venues showcase the Cox Business brand for the company and its channel partners, while Hospitality Network “partners with best-in-class organizations to deliver an unparalleled experience for our guests. These partnerships are diverse and all provide a piece of the puzzle needed to find the ultimate success,” Steelman said.
Typical venue installations include 10 Gbps internet connections and hundreds of Wi-Fi access points to keep fans’ smartphones humming throughout an event. Nowadays, giant video screens, hundreds of HDTVs, digital signage, family amusements, social media and event-based apps are the norm. In addition, teams require reliable sideline communications, while performers may bring their own requirements for a customized, rich-media experience. Location-based services, such as heat mapping of Wi-Fi usage and attendee traffic flow, provide data to improve venue advertising, merchandise sales and the fans’ experience and safety.
“Requirements are different for each venue,” Steelman said. “Every site install is unique. Cox Business and Hospitality Network build the networks to accommodate the future needs and demands of the venue, and in many cases, these large venues are delivering anywhere from 10 Gbps to 40 Gbps.”
At T-Mobile Arena, Cox Business and Hospitality Network installed more than 700 Wi-Fi access points (APs), diverse and redundant 10 Gbps internet connections and digital signage at 800 locations using Cisco Vision. Even with fiber connections and hundreds of hotspots, managing broadband demand can be tricky and any interruptions must be fixed immediately. After all, nobody wants to disappoint a die-hard fan of the Golden Knights, Taylor Swift or …