Is it inappropriate to publish an article on Manchester City the day Sir Alex Ferguson announces his retirement? Not sure, but I am doing it anyways. Etihad Stadium is set to be the most technologically fan friendly stadium.
The 47,000 seat capacity stadium, which has been frequently commended for its leading facilities, will see the installation of Cisco’s Connected Stadium Wi-Fi solution in the coming weeks.
The proven technology delivers high speed wireless Internet access to thousands of mobile phones and tablets and will change the face of match-days for City’s legions of supporters.
The intelligent High-Density Wi-Fi network, which will be delivered by O2, will be available in and around the stadium footprint, and will allow fans to use their mobile devices to surf the web to share their live event experiences and to interact with football fans around the world via their favorite social media platforms.
In addition, Manchester City will be offering StadiumVision Mobile to all fans in the near future to enjoy one of the most immersive, video-rich experiences in sports.
StadiumVision Mobile is capable of delivering live video and relevant event information to fans’ mobile devices with minimal delay and can offer multiple channels of unique content, which could include a replay channel, an alternate angle view channel, and a dynamic data channel (for stats, trivia contests and multi-player games).
As part of the relationship with O2, the Etihad Stadium will also be equipped with technology that significantly improves mobile phone connectivity, allowing fans to make calls and send / receive text messages, and virtually eliminating the frustration of not getting reception on match-days.
Whether from the comfort of their seats, in the stands, buying food in the stadium concourse or enjoying entertainment in the Club’s outdoor fan-zone, City Square – Blues fans will be able to access high density mobile data and voice services, making for a far richer match-day experience.
Commenting on the news, Tom Glick, Chief Commercial & Operating Officer for Manchester City Football Club, said:
“As a Club that is passionate about innovation and prides itself on constantly looking for ways to enhance our supporters’ experience at the Etihad Stadium, we feel we have found the perfect solution with O2 and Cisco.
Live games and concerts are highly enjoyable social events and we are delighted to be able to offer supporters a system that allows them to better utilise their own mobile devices when at the Stadium.
“With the ground and its immediate vicinity offering ubiquitous connectivity, we will soon be able to provide full talk and texting capabilities, while paving the way for exciting new mobile data applications and services – such as mobile video – that will ensure a visit to the Etihad Stadium continues to be one of the best sports experiences available anywhere in the world.”
Paul Lawton, General Manager of SMB at O2 said:
“We are delighted to be working with Manchester City and Cisco to deliver a UK first in the form of High Density Wi-Fi at the Etihad. The underpinning ICT delivery is something we are really excited to be working on, and will result in the provision of high-speed connection anywhere in the stadium for fans, allowing them to capture and share their experience in a digital way – something we are passionate about as a business.”
Phil Smith, CEO Cisco UK & Ireland said:
“Cisco is all about connections. Fans at a premier venue like the Etihad Stadium expect premier Internet connectivity. I am thrilled that Cisco, O2 and Manchester City are jointly leading the field with a media rich environment that is unparalleled in the Premier League. With Cisco Connected Sports solutions football fans can now get information at their finger-tips and share their match-day emotions and thrills without worrying about mobile connection issues.”
The Etihad Stadium becomes the first in the Premier League and the latest elite sports stadium in the world to install the cutting edge wireless technology, joining the likes of Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu and the Brooklyn Nets Barclays Center. [Source: mcfc.co.uk]