Signal Iduna Park – tradition meets technology



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Borussia Dortmund partners with Extreme Networks Image: Signal Iduna Park, Arne Müseler, CC BY-SA 3.0 de

The American network equipment company Extreme Networks has been selected to deploy next-generation wireless and analytics solutions for the Bundesliga team Borussia Dortmund, one of the largest football clubs in Germany.

‘Extreme networks’ stated that the new Wi-Fi 6E-ready network, which will be deployed in partnership with the Bell Computer-Netzwerke, will modernize experiences throughout the team facilities and the stadium and create a foundation for future technology like in-seat concessions ordering and in-stadium augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR).

The Extreme Networks, Inc., is an American networking company based in Morrisville, North Carolina. The Extreme Networks designs, develops and manufactures wired and wireless network infrastructure equipment and also develops the software for network management, policy, analytics, security, and access controls.

Bonn (Germany)-based the Bell Computer-Netzwerke boasts wealth of experience in information technology (IT) projects as well as the creative ideas of its employees is a guarantee for individual and intelligent solutions. The company combines complex and groundbreaking functions with efficiency, cost-effectiveness and flexibility to create sustainable and service-oriented platforms.

The Borussia Dortmund, BVB, or simply Dortmund, is a German professional sports club based in Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany). It plays in Bundesliga, the top of the German football league system.

The 81,365-capacity Westfalenstadion is a football stadium in Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, which is the home of Borussia Dortmund. Officially called the Signal Iduna Park for sponsorship reasons and the BVB Stadion Dortmund during the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) competitions, the name derives from the former Prussian province of Westphalia.

Nyon (Switzerland)-based the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA is one of six continental bodies of governance in association football. It governs football, futsal and beach football in Europe and the transcontinental countries of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Kazakhstan, as well as the West Asian countries of Cyprus, Armenia and Israel. The UEFA consists of 55 national association members. Since 2022, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the FIFA and UEFA suspended all Russian national teams and clubs from any FIFA and UEFA competitions.

‘Extreme networks’ further stated that with a capacity of up to 81,365, Borussia Dortmund’s stadium is the largest football stadium in Germany. In addition to Borussia Dortmund’s matches, the stadium also hosts international events and will host six matches in the upcoming 2024 European Football Championship.

The 2024 Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) European Football Championship, commonly referred to as UEFA EURO 2024, or simply EURO 2024, will be the 17th edition of the UEFA European Championship, the quadrennial international football championship organized by the UEFA for the European men’s national teams of its member-associations. Germany will host the tournament, which is scheduled to take place from June 14th-July 14th, 2024.
 

Next-generation Wi-Fi to Enhance Fan Experiences

The new network will provide both the fans and the stadium operations staff with reliable wireless connectivity, delivering better experiences for training the team members and the administrative staff, enabling the fans to participate in realtime sports betting and supporting the use cases like faster mobile ticket scanning. Additionally, because the new network is Wi-Fi 6E-ready, Borussia Dortmund will be prepared to embrace the next generation of Wi-Fi and can maximize the return on its network investment as it will be prepared for 6 GHz devices and future potential use cases. The operations teams will benefit from reliable, increased bandwidth, which can support everything from the smart security cameras to cashless transactions and digital signage.

The Wi-Fi 6, or the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11ax, is an IEEE standard from the Wi-Fi Alliance for the wireless networks. It operates in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, with an extended version, the Wi-Fi 6E, that adds the 6 GHz band. It is an upgrade from the Wi-Fi 5, with improvements for better performance in crowded places.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is an American 501 professional association for electronics engineering, electrical engineering and other related disciplines. The IEEE has a corporate office in New York City and an operations center in Piscataway, New Jersey.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) proposed the 802.11ax standard so that it can couple the freedom and high speed of Gigabit Ethernet wireless with the reliability and predictability found in licensed radio.
 

Automated, Secure, Scalable Operations

With Extreme Fabric Connect, the club will be able to quickly scale its network as necessary, enabling the information technology (IT )team to automatically provision and configure the Wi-Fi Access Points (APs) in the offices and the team training rooms, as well as in the indoor and the outdoor locations throughout the stadium. Additionally, because the Fabric networks support hyper-segmentation, Borussia Dortmund can ensure its operational network is entirely separated from the more accessible fan-facing Wi-Fi network, providing an additional layer of security and preventing a lateral attack from interrupting operations or stalling a match.
 

Realtime Network Insights, Improved Data-driven Strategies

ExtremeAnalytics will provide the club with realtime insights into activity, users, devices, and applications on the Wi-Fi network. As it taps into the network analytics, the club can make better decisions around stadium staffing based on fan foot traffic, identify potential sponsorship opportunities based on what applications the fans are using, as well as make better decisions about how to evolve services in the stadium to keep the fans engaged during every match.

We want to offer our fans, as well as employees and players, the greatest possible connectivity – both for an impressive fan experience, but also for smooth processes behind the scenes. Our new Wi-Fi 6E ready network will enable us to find new opportunities for sponsorships and monetization, lean into new fan experiences like real-time sports betting, and ensure we are ready for future use cases that we may not be aware of today. We now feel that we are prepared to increase our goals for technology usage throughout our offices and team operations, and we’re excited to offer fans more modern experiences when they return to matches next season.

ExtremeAnalytics extends the value of ExtremeCloud IQ Site Engine. It enables the users to keep their network secure through granular visibility and analytics into their applications and network, from the edge to the data center.

The ExtremeCloud IQ Site Engine provides end-to-end management of the Wired and Wireless devices from the edge to the data center and across multivendor devices. It provides a centralized view of the entire network with visibility of all the network devices without having to piece together the multiple applications.

Commented Carsten Cramer, Managing Director, Borussia Dortmund, “We want to offer our fans, as well as the employees and the players, the greatest possible connectivity – both for an impressive fan experience, but also for smooth processes behind the scenes. Our new Wi-Fi 6E ready network will enable us to find new opportunities for sponsorships and monetization, lean into the new fan experiences like realtime sports betting, and ensure we are ready for the future use cases that we may not be aware of today. We now feel that we are prepared to increase our goals for technology usage throughout our offices and team operations, and we’re excited to offer the fans more modern experiences when they return to the matches next season.

Added Thomas Mehrfort, Head of Sports and Venues, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Extreme Networks, “The network is fundamental to almost all areas of a company’s business, including the stadiums and the other venues. First-class connectivity is necessary, not only for outstanding fan experiences, but also to ensure the new innovative digital offerings and services are fully supported. Borussia Dortmund’s new network will enable it to optimize matchday operations throughout its stadium and lay the foundation so that they can build toward a digitally-driven future for the club.”

Through this partnership with Extreme, Borussia Dortmund’s stadium is poised to redefine the fan experience. With a state-of-the-art Wi-Fi infrastructure, scalable operations and realtime insights, the stadium isn’t just a place to watch the game – it’s a hub of innovation where tradition meets technology. As fans eagerly anticipate the next matchday, they can look forward to an immersive, seamless experience that reflects the spirit of the game.

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