MetLife Stadium ‘unprecedented’ network lift


Network upgrades at MetLife Stadium Image: MetLife Stadium, All-Pro Reels, CC BY-SA 2.0

Frustrated when trying to post that selfie during a National Football League (NFL) team New York Jets game? Thanks to the wireless carrier company Verizon, that’s going to be a lot easier in 2024.

‘NJBIZ’ stated that on August 31st, the New York City-based communications company announced a deal with the MetLife Stadium to provide major network upgrades for 2024 and beyond to accommodate the increase in data customers use during stadium events.

The New York Jets are a professional American football team based in the New York metropolitan area (US). The Jets compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league’s American Football Conference East division.

The 82,500-capacity MetLife Stadium is an open-air multipurpose stadium at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey (US), five miles West of New York City. Opened in 2010 to replace the now demolished 80,242-capacity Giants Stadium, it serves as the home for the New York Giants and New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL).

New Jersey (US)-based Verizon is an American wireless network operator that previously operated as a separate division of Verizon Communications under the name Verizon Wireless. In a 2019 reorganization, Verizon moved the wireless products and services into the divisions Verizon Consumer and Verizon Business, and stopped using the Verizon Wireless name. Verizon is the second-largest wireless carrier in the United States, with 143.3 million subscribers at the end of Q4 2022.

‘NJBIZ’ further stated that the company is also extending its long-term cornerstone partnership with the stadium, as well as with the New York Giants and New York Jets, which both call the East Rutherford venue home.

Although terms of the deals were not disclosed, Verizon said the investments and network improvements were “unprecedented”.

Observed Lynn Cox, Verizon’s Senior Vice-President of Access Engineering and Operations, “As technology evolves, customers want to do more with their wireless technology at games, concerts and other events. When large crowds of people gather in a place like a football stadium, network resources can be strained. So, we are very intentional about upgrading technology and infrastructure in places like the MetLife Stadium to accommodate our customers’ needs.”

Named ‘Highest Grossing Stadium of the Year’ nine times by Billboard, the MetLife Stadium is one of the largest stadiums in the NFL, with capacity for 82,500 during a football or soccer game and about 50,000 for concerts. In May, the stadium hosted three nights of American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, which is on track to be the biggest tour in music history. And in July, the American singer-songwriter Beyoncé’s loyal following – aka the ‘BeyHive’ (fandom) – packed the venue for two nights of her Renaissance world tour.

New York (US)-based the National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league that consists of 32 teams, divided equally between the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference.

The venue also will hold the National Hockey League (NHL) Stadium Series in February 2024 and serve as a host stadium for the FIFA 2026 World Cup™.

New York (US)-based the National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional ice hockey league in North America comprising 32 teams – 25 in the United States and 7 in Canada.

The Stadium Series is one of the series of regular season outdoor games played in the National Hockey League (NHL). This event is distinct from the NHL’s other two series of outdoor games, the NHL Winter Classic played on New Year’s Day in a different NHL City every year, and the NHL Heritage Classic.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup™, marketed as FIFA World Cup 26, will be the 23rd FIFA World Cup™, the quadrennial international men’s soccer championship contested by the national teams of the member-associations of FIFA. The tournament will take place from May 31st-July 19th, 2026. It will be jointly hosted by 16 Cities in three North American countries: Canada, Mexico and the United States. The tournament will be the first hosted by three nations. Argentina is the defending champion.

Ron VanDeVeen, President and head honcho of MetLife Stadium, said Verizon was a founding cornerstone partner when the $1.6 billion stadium opened in 2010 and that the venue was “excited to extend and expand on that partnership with this renewal. The Verizon upgrades will enhance the overall fan experience and our stadium operations, and are integral to attracting future major events such as FIFA World Cup 26™.”

Some of the upgrades include Verizon’s new Distributed Antenna System, a wireless network of antennas throughout the stadium allowing for better performance and greater capacity. The new system will cover the field, bowl, concourse (including the four gate entrances), all clubs/suites, and the ticketing areas. The company said it’s also increasing capacity on the fiber connections in and out of the stadium so that they can carry 10 times the amount of data.

All of this means fans will be able to do more on their mobile phones during games and other events, including posting on social media, getting refreshments, navigating the stadium, and placing bets.

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