Last week, Spark came on board with Westpac Stadium as official technology partner, and has been awarded the initial groundwork of a stadium-wide technology upgrade. The upgrade is part of the stadium’s revamp, in which it is redesigning not only the spaces visitors enter but also the broader experiences they have before, during and after attending an event.
Stadium Chief Executive Shane Harmon said they were delighted to be able to partner with Spark in order to provide better experiences for event attendees at Westpac Stadium.
“Connectivity is important for fans and their phone is part of any game day experience, whether sharing a moment via social media or looking up information related to the event, and this project will take that to a whole new level”.
Spark, with partner Huawei, will be installing high density WiFi access points throughout all areas of the stadium, to cater for the growing need to share experiences socially as they happen and to open opportunities to use connected technologies to enhance the overall stadium experience. Huawei has successfully delivered similar upgrades for Borussia Dortmund in Germany and for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
The Westpac Stadium upgrade will see 24km of new cabling laid, along with the installation of around 300 access points. The entire seating area is being covered by 350 directional antennas, allowing around 20,000 people to connect to the WiFi concurrently, supported by a 20 Gb/second fibre backbone running around the stadium. The rollout is expected to be completed in July.
With partner Eyemagnet, Spark will also be delivering internet protocol television (IPTV) and content management to the WiFi services. The upgrades will provide the foundation for a more fully-fledged fan experience, which Westpac Stadium plans to deliver over the next year.
Spark’s GM Enterprise Commercial & Trans-Tasman, Vanessa Sorenson, said that competition was tight to become the official tech partner at Westpac Stadium.
“We competed against global companies to be Westpac Stadium’s official technology partner and for us the biggest driver in this was the opportunity to help craft awesome experiences for stadium-goers.
“We’ve seen connected technologies used in amazing ways to enhance stadium experiences overseas, so we’re thrilled now to be involved in bringing this to Wellington.”
The upgrades will provide the foundation for a full-fledged fan experience, which Westpac Stadium plans to deliver later this year. In the meantime, as official technology partner Spark is developing a mobile site that will make immediate use of the upgraded network with some initial experience features.
Spark has also taken over naming rights for what was previously known as Vector Arena. It will also now become the official technology partner for Spark Arena.