‘The Chairboys’ home gets digital edge



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Wycombe Wanderers FC tech upgrade for Adams Park Image: PRiME Media

The English professional association football club Wycombe Wanderers F.C. (UK) and Landways have announced that the new high-performance digital audio, Wi-Fi and security systems for the former’s home – Adams Park Stadium – are now ready for service.

The ‘Landways’ stated that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the club engaged Landways to design, fund and install these new systems to help realize Wycombe Wanderers F.C. owner Rob Couhig’s ambitious vision for a great matchday experience.

The Wycombe Wanderers Football Club is an English professional association football club based in the town of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire (UK). The team will compete in League One, the third tier of the English football league system.

The 10,137-capacity Adams Park Stadium is an association football stadium in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England. Built in 1990, it is the home ground of the local Wycombe Wanderers of the Championship division.

London-based Landways design, fund, build, and operate digital and power infrastructure and mission-critical technology systems for high-density venues, logistic sites and other buildings.

The ‘Landways’ further stated that with the welcome return of fans to Adams Park, all visitors can now enjoy a new, concert-quality digital audio system throughout the stadium, high-performance Wi-Fi, and a number of new systems to improve ground safety and security – all supported by a long-life digital and power infrastructure delivering guaranteed levels of performance.
 

Digital audio

Wycombe’s new digital audio system is an industry first. Designed using optical fiber and a new low power infrastructure, it distributes high quality digital audio streams to a series of amplifiers located at the edge of the network, adjacent to more than 250 powerful new speakers to serve every seat and public space in the stadium.

This unique approach combats the challenges of audibility, speech clarity, music quality, and volume found in so many stadium audio systems. It enables Landways to deliver specified levels of speech and music quality depending on the needs of different areas of the stadium – all of which are precisely measured to give guaranteed levels of performance throughout the system’s useful life.

The installation incorporates a fully IP-based Praesensa public address and voice alarm system by Bosch. Control and audio distribution is courtesy of Dynacord MXE5 performance audio matrices. TPC-1 touch panel controllers provide a simple user interface, multiple inputs and easy integration with video sources. Landways has installed the touch panels in all hospitality and event spaces, allowing the club to control each area centrally or to offer private guests the ability to customize their entertainment experience on matchdays or at other events.
 

High-density Wi-Fi

Landways has also rolled out a high-density Wi-Fi system throughout the stadium, providing market-leading and guaranteed network speeds for fans, staff and other visitors, throughout the contract term.

Careful radio planning and the same powerful digital infrastructure ensures that, even in a packed bowl, fans can seamlessly stream content to their smartphones and take full advantage of mobile apps such as the club’s new Fetch service for ordering food and drink.

The Wi-Fi system already supports other digital services around the ground, including the club’s new digital ticketing system, connectivity for staff and media, and electronic payment devices in support of the club’s plan to go cashless, with more to come in the future.
 

Security and safety systems

Behind the scenes, Landways has also deployed a series of other systems to make sure that Adams Park is a safe and secure environment for fans and to comply with the requirements set by both the English Football League (EFL) and the local Council for ground safety and survivability in the event of an emergency.

This includes:

  • A new high-resolution 48 camera surveillance system;
  • Emergency phones throughout the stadium, run over a separate network; and
  • A new voice announcement system in all public areas, with guaranteed clarity for ground evacuation.

 

Digital infrastructure

Behind all these new systems is a long-life, future-proofed and scalable digital and power infrastructure, which includes a groundbreaking series of technical innovations. These enable Landways to meet the guaranteed performance standards, upgrade the various systems quickly and with minimal disruption and launch new digital services in the future at much lower cost:

  • 200 km of optical fiber, replacing old, capacity-limited and unreliable copper cabling;
  • Stadium-wide ducting for fiber and power cabling using Landways’ new Induct system (patent pending);
  • The first DC microgrid in a European commercial venue (reducing energy consumption by 15 percent and helping carbon reduction);
  • A secure on-site data center for critical network and power equipment, providing a three-hour standby time for all systems; and
  • A private optical fiber network to an offsite data center.

 
Rob Couhig, Chairman, Wycombe Wanderers, said, “I am delighted that Landways’ digital infrastructure is now fully in place and available for everyone inside Adams Park to benefit from. Through our partnership with Landways, we are making a long-term investment in digital technology to improve the matchday experience, reduce costs and help our business continue to thrive. The first services using the new Wi-Fi system are already up and running and we plan to introduce more in the future.”

Added Couhig, “It is great that the same underlying energy-efficient infrastructure that delivers our incredibly fast Wi-Fi can also be used to deliver high-quality stadium audio and new safety systems, at the same time as being ready to handle data growth and new digital services in the future.”

Chris Smedley, Chief Executive, Landways, stated, “We are extremely proud to work with Wycombe Wanderers and play our part in the digital transformation of Adams Park. We would particularly like to thank the Couhig family, the club’s staff and the Wycombe Wanderers Trust who have been a pleasure to work with throughout this very challenging period for us all. We are delighted that the club’s fans are now back at Adams Park and we look forward to making sure these new systems deliver to them for years to come.”

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