Fans at Etihad Stadium will be better connected from next year thanks to a five year, multimillion dollar technology partnership with Telstra.
Etihad Stadium, Melbourne’s state-of-the-art multi-purpose sports and entertainment venue, will become one of the most technically advanced stadiums in the world after engaging Telstra to provide in-stadium wireless and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) network solution.
Telstra has selected Cisco Systems as its technology supplier for its Cisco Connected Stadium WiFi and Cisco Stadium vision solutions, which have been deployed at more than 200 sports venues around the world.
The IPTV system will power 1,600 high definition screens around the venue allowing spectators access to content and competitions and provide sponsors with advertisements and personal messaging opportunities.
Using the high speed WiFi network, fans will be able to use their personal devices to get instant access to the internet, their social media apps and a free Etihad Stadium App, which will provide dedicated content such as AFL game day coverage and news in real-time, as well as event information and tailored offers, all free of charge.
Etihad Stadium CEO Paul Sergeant said by taking the in-Stadium fan experience to a whole new level, it was an exciting time for the venue’s major partner the AFL, all partner clubs and sporting codes, their members and fans, stadium sponsors as well as venue employees.
Telstra’s Group Executive of Retail Gordon Ballantyne said Telstra was delighted to be entering into a long term partnership with Etihad Stadium and help fans to be better connected with their favourite sports and musicians.“This is a multi-phase technology solution, and once complete, it will put Etihad Stadium on a par with the best stadiums in the USA and Europe,” Mr Sergeant said.
“Technology for fans at a footy match used to be a scratchy transistor radio with an ear piece. The announcement of the connected stadium means attendees can now have a better experience with social media, watch streamed video and access statistics in real time,” Mr Ballantyne said.
“The WiFi solution will take the event or match day experience to an exciting new level. We’re delighted to partner with Etihad Stadium in their vision to be one of the best stadiums.
Mr Ballantyne said there was an increasing need for venues ranging, from shopping complexes to stadiums, to engage patrons and improve their experience.
The AFL has also announced its support for the Etihad Stadium/Telstra project.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan has congratulated Paul Sergeant and Gordon Ballantyne for what Mr McLachlan says is a major step which will continue to enhance the match-day experience for fans.
“The AFL is determined that AFL fans remain at the forefront of new technology to access our game in every way possible and Etihad Stadium and Telstra are showing the way for the next generation of fans in enjoying our game. Our supporters will be more in touch than ever through both the AFL Live App and the Etihad App, the perfect companions at a game or anywhere else,” Mr McLachlan said.
Following the installation of two state of the art scoreboards at Etihad Stadium, the IPTV and WiFi solution is scheduled to be completed by February 2015, in time for the start of the start of the 2015 AFL season.