The Challenges of Modern Sports Venues

Roback Headshot 2013lo Jennifer Roback July 14, 2015

Stadium-compressedToday’s modern sports venues have many operational challenges. They often host multiple activities including sporting events, concerts and even the circus and rodeo. Most venues are designed to quickly change in layout and function for these different events. The faster and more efficient these changes can be made, the lower the operational costs and maybe even the more events it can host.

Fans have high expectations for using their mobile devices when visiting arenas. Almost everyone has a smartphone and expects to be able to upload pictures or even shop if the event gets boring. We all expect our mobile devices to work as data devices and be able to access all that the world offers all the time, and being at an event is no exception.

On top of this is the fact that it takes a lot of financial resources to build a facility that meets all the needs of the stakeholders. The owners have built large, sophisticated, multipurpose venues that must realize returns on their investments. Security is an important design consideration. How to keep the fans safe, protect valuable property and mitigate risk are all concerns for the modern stadium owner.

All of these challenges have a common thread, and that’s the infrastructure that supports these systems. Digital signage, cellular coverage and security are all seemingly disparate technologies yet they all get connected via structured cabling. The modern stadium must have a flexible, standards-based design that allows the stadium owner to use current technology but also be prepared for future needs. With a connected digital platform, all signage can be easily changed for the current event taking place.

These are some of the challenges and opportunities that I will be discussing at the SEAT Conference in San Francisco on the panel “Smarter Stadiums: Strategic Systems of Engagement & the Future of Enterprise Technology in Sports & Entertainment,” held July 20 at 11:15 a.m. in Victor’s Room on the 32nd floor. Michelle McKenna, SVP, chief information officer of the National Football League will host the panel where I will discuss sports venue infrastructure challenges along with representatives from IBM, EMC, Iron Mountain and the Alpha Video Sports & Entertainment Group.

I hope to see you there. If you have any questions in advance or after, feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll be sure to reply.

About the Author

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Jennifer Roback

Jennifer Roback is a Regional Technical Director at CommScope. Prior to joining CommScope, Jennifer spent 15 years with Praxis Computing and PlanNet Consulting in various IT Management, Sales Engineering, Project Management and Infrastructure Design positions. She has also served on advisory boards for Cisco Systems, Ingram Micro and Apple Computer. She is a Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD), a Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).  She has written and presented on various topics in the IT industry including Intelligent Infrastructures. Jennifer holds a bachelors degree from the University of California, Riverside.