THE event experience at Stadium Australia will be transformed forever following a ground-breaking partnership with Telstra and Cisco to provide free Wi-Fi access to the Stadium from 2014.
The internationally renowned Cisco Connected Stadium Wi-Fi solution will turn the State’s biggest venue into an interactive playground where, as part of a phased project, fans will be able to use their mobile devices to access rich digital content like replays and statistics, order food and beverages from their seats, and be rewarded for their game-day loyalty.
The new network will also simplify ticketing, help fans find the quickest way to their seats, and enable them to participate in and share live event action over social media from anywhere in the Stadium.
Stadium Australia, at Sydney Olympic Park, has entered into a partnership with Telstra to supply a five-year, customised network solution to deliver in-stadium wireless connectivity.
A crowd of 81,491 packed Stadium Australia on Sunday 6 October for the NRL Grand Final – taking the year’s fan visitation at the Stadium past 1.5 million. Future major events at the Stadium will have the benefit of a Wi-Fi network.
While other venues in Australia are preparing to roll out Wi-Fi solutions in exclusive Members areas, Stadium Australia will be the first to extend the technology to public areas of the Stadium.
Further, the NSW Government – through the Sydney Olympic Park Authority – has facilitated this Wi-Fi coverage to extend around the outside of the Stadium to further enhance the visitor experience.
Kathy-Anne McManus, Media Practice Lead, Telstra Enterprise & Government, said Telstra would provide Stadium Australia with a robust and reliable solution, as well as providing the option for additional digital media functionality – creating a whole new experience for spectators.
“This technology will further enhance Stadium Australia’s reputation as one of the world’s great sports and entertainment venues,” Kathy-Anne said.
“We’re proud to be introducing technology that will improve the customer experience when visiting Stadium Australia, and ultimately allow fans to engage with IPTV and other online content.”
Stadium Australia Managing Director, Daryl Kerry, said of the new Wi-Fi deal: “There’s nothing better than being at the game and the event experience is only going to get better for the fans.
“The new technology will allow you to enjoy the biggest events live and continue to be digitally connected.
“From 2014 we will have a more connected sporting venue – one that will enable fans to share and engage with more content and more people from any device and from anywhere in the stadium.”
Stadium Australia General Manager Event & Business Development, Greg Sleigh, said: “The opportunities extend beyond content and sponsor benefits – a Wi-Fi network is just one part of the Stadium’s plan to use technology to extend exclusive privileges to fans who attend games and to make their day run smoother.
“In the future we will be able to deliver traffic and transport tips customised to fans’ needs and when they arrive at the ground they can be rewarded for choosing to attend the game.”
Mr Sleigh said loyal sports fans at Stadium Australia would be rewarded with upgrades to seating, as well as exclusive food and beverage offers. “The fans who invest in the live experience deserve to be treated like VIPs,” he said.
The new Wi-Fi solution, to be rolled out in time for the 2014 football season, will provide fans with faster access to smartphone content and create an environment for improved audience engagement, with potential to stream live video to smartphones and high-definition screens.
Telstra is committed to its vision of streaming broadcast quality sports and entertainment content to all Australians, investing $100 million over the next four years into its media and content offerings.