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University of Pittsburgh improves fan experience

Sports venues are searching for new and inventive ways to attract fans to events and engage them during games through digital technology. The University of Pittsburgh’s Petersen Events Center has taken a major step forward by choosing Extreme to deliver a professional-grade, high-density Wi-Fi network capable of simultaneously supporting venue operations and the digital appetite of 13,000 attendees, while providing a robust foundation to create next-generation fan experiences like augmented reality.

The Petersen Events Center hosts more than 100 events each year, including basketball games, concerts, and graduations, and the network is essential to powering its wireless ticket scanners, merchandise sales and myriad connected devices. It previously relied on the University’s campus network to deliver Wi-Fi access. However, the overtaxed network did not offer sufficient capacity or scale to meet the University’s needs and the event center’s game-day demand for secure and reliable service, resulting in complaints from fans and the media.

Working with Extreme Networks and deployment partner, Ideal Integrations, Petersen Events Center built its own separate network, which seamlessly sends traffic back to the campus network in order to rapidly authenticate users. The new network supports the high bandwidth demands of spectators and media, and quickly resolves bottlenecks to ensure a quality, interactive fan experience. Leveraging a combination of Extreme Elements™, Petersen Events Center now has the building blocks in place to enable future digital innovations such as interactive scoreboards, an advanced game-day application equipped with mobile ordering services – supported by geofencing and beacon technology – and augmented reality experiences.

Key benefits:

High-density, professional-grade Wi-Fi network: Leveraging ExtremeMobility™ access points and ExtremeSwitching™ technology, Petersen Events Center has the scale and capacity to provide a frictionless game day experience. Students and fans can share their experiences on social media, instantly access real-time statistics and commentary, and stream instant replay videos on their mobile devices, while media can upload high-quality photographs and video during games without jitter or latency.

Streamlined network management: Petersen Events Center’s IT staff of three needed a network solution that was easy to implement, so IT can focus on forward-looking initiatives, rather than troubleshooting and device management. With Extreme Management Center™, the IT team can automate and manage the network with a single pane of glass and ensure smooth operations during events.

Full control and granular visibility: Combining ExtremeControl™ NAC software with Extreme Management Center™, Petersen Events Center now has centralised, end-to-end control of its network with granular visibility of all guest and IoT devices to ensure simple and secure onboarding and reduce security vulnerabilities.

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