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Comcast Breaks Records at SunTrust Park Stadium

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Comcast Breaks Records at SunTrust Park Stadium

April 20, 2017
By Frank Griffin
Contributing Writer

The new Atlanta Braves SunTrust Park Stadium was built at a hefty price tag (News - Alert) of more than $670 million. For this price, fans of the Braves will have a state of the art venue, which is being called the most technologically advanced stadium in the world. The tech side of the contract was given to Comcast (News - Alert), and the company went all out to ensure everything would go according to plan on opening day, and by all accounts it did. The company said its multi-gigabit Ethernet lines, the 800 Wi-Fi access points inside the stadium and the additional 320 access points across the entire 60-acre mixed-use complex were responsible for around 8.5 terabytes of data being used over the weekend by attendees.

Comcast Business said there was more Wi-Fi data per individual on opening night over the high-speed network than at Super Bowl 51, by as much as 20 percent, which came to nearly 3.4 terabytes on opening day. Some of the additional data includes 21,000 connected devices that were engaged in more than 61,000 sessions throughout the weekend.

SunTrust Park Stadium is one of four venues in which Comcast Business provides Wi-Fi services, with Levi Stadium, NRG Stadium, and Sports Authority Field making up the remainder.

For SunTrust Park Comcast deployed two 100 Gbps Ethernet lines, which, according to Comcast Cable director of product management Eric McLoughlin, is enough for everyone at the stadium to watch a video, upload images and talk at the same time. Just in case you are wondering, the stadium has a 41,149-seat capacity. This multi-gigabit Ethernet capability is much higher than Levi's Stadium, which was considered the most advanced sports venue in the U.S. when it was built in 2014 with 40 gigabits of available bandwidth.

This type of technology might sound like overkill in a stadium, but professional sports team owners are experiencing low attendance levels across all leagues. By engaging fans with a technology they use daily and the infrastructure to deliver the services without any glitches, it can fill the empty seats in these very expensive stadiums.

The SunTrust stadium has 250 miles of fiber optic cable throughout and The Battery Atlanta, a 121 feet wide and 64 feet tall video board called BravesVision, two 90-by-6-foot displays above the bullpens as well as a giant baseball sculpture wrapped in a spherical LED display.

As Derek Schiller, the Braves’ president of business, told Tim Tucker of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “We’re still exploring how to do all these things. We’ve got this great new ballpark with all these bells and whistles, and we’re still trying to figure out how to use them effectively. … The technology here is extremely complex.”

This multi-gigabit Ethernet technology is going to be competing with 5G when it comes along in the next three to five years. And while what Comcast has deployed at SunTrust Park Stadium is impressive, it will have to do much better to compete with 5G.

Edited by Alicia Young

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