Cloud Computing and the Stadium Experience

Cloud computing is more than just a new technology; it’s a new business model and an essential asset in a franchise’s playbook.

To attract fans who might otherwise watch the game or event at home, venues are finding that they must offer Wi-Fi, beacon technology, team apps and rewards programs to make the stadium experience more engaging and entertaining — all without breaking the IT department’s budget.

Smart Stadiums

Levi’s Stadium, home of the 49ers, is the most high-tech stadium in the world. It allows more than 70,000 fans to connect to its Wi-Fi and 4G networks to transform the stadium experience. Its 40 GB-per-second bandwidth and 1,700 high-tech beacons help fans find and upgrade their seats, watch replays during downtime, review game stats, get alerts on merchandise and concession specials, order food and drinks from their seats and even find the shortest bathroom queue.

Big Data, Big Stakes

These new technologies generate a massive amount of big data that allows venues to better understand their fans. It sounds like a win-win situation, but venues need to be able to deploy technology capable of handling large numbers of simultaneous users and providing resources for highly attended games or special promotion periods.

This kind of technology and big data management requires a massive capital outlay. It also needs to be capable of upscaling when demand is high — for example, during a big game or special promotion — without leaving expensive resources sitting idly by under normal conditions.

This is where cloud computing comes into play. Cloud technology allows information, applications and services be deployed and accessed remotely from “clouds” leased from third parties without having to build huge data centers to handle the volume.

Agility

Adding agility to the lineup raises the bar. By being agile, venues can upscale the resources needed during periods of peak business and downscale them when they’re not being used, while only having to pay for the active resources. In other words, by hosting apps, services and data analysis in the cloud, franchises no longer need to pay for services they don’t use all the time, but can still upscale these resources when needed. This also means that cloud resources can be used by others partnering with the third-party provider.

Cloud computing is an effective way for venues to enhance the stadium experience without massive investments of time and money while providing fans with a seamless, high-tech and high-energy viewing experience.

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