Five NASCAR Speedways Now Delivering High Capacity Wi-Fi to up to 125,000 Fans Simultaneously, Improving Raceday Experiences
Extreme Networks, a leader in cloud networking, today announced that it has completed Wi-Fi 6 network deployments at five NASCAR racetracks, including Darlington Raceway, Daytona International Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Richmond Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway. Verizon Business is the technology integration and managed services lead for the project.
NASCAR’s U.S. racetracks are some of the largest sports venues based on fan capacity. Daytona International Speedway is a venue that encompasses a 2.5-mile racetrack and required nearly 2,100 access points (APs), making it one of the largest U.S. venues with outdoor Wi-Fi.
High-Capacity Wi-Fi 6 Connectivity: Some of NASCAR’s venues are located in rural areas and previously did not offer Wi-Fi. In addition to mobile concessions and social media activity, fans use their mobile devices to access real-time, live-streamed video and audio feeds from drivers and race officials – an essential part of the raceday experience. However, that live video traffic can create a huge strain on the network. With a new Wi-Fi 6 network from Extreme, these racetracks can now offer fans the high bandwidth, high-performing Wi-Fi necessary to ensure fans can seamlessly stream content as desired without missing key moments.
Network Insights for Data-Driven Operations: With ExtremeAnalytics™ and ExtremeCloud™ IQ, IT teams at each NASCAR track will have full visibility into network activity and performance, giving them access to insights that will help venue officials make data-driven decisions to improve operational efficiencies. This includes identifying bottlenecks in venue foot traffic, when it’s necessary to open new concessions due to crowds and detecting the usage of popular apps that could lead to commercial or marketing partnerships.
Seamless Behind-the-Scenes Optimisation: Beyond Wi-Fi for fans, NASCAR is also improving fan experiences with digital amenities, including mobile payments, digital ticketing and updated contactless point-of-sales systems. These are also supported by the new Wi-Fi 6 network from Extreme, ensuring enough bandwidth for both operations and high-quality audio and video broadcast systems in addition to fan access.
“With Extreme, we are changing the way fans experience the race. These five racetracks now have a network that can support adding more amenities for fans like in-seat concessions ordering, and our venue IT teams have confidence that they can easily monitor everything happening over the network so we can make real-time adjustments and ensure a seamless experience for everyone using a Wi-Fi device. Bringing technologies that enable connectivity, including 5G and high-performance Wi-Fi, to our racetracks is the type of investment that will help us keep growing and modernise experiences for the next generation of fans.” (John Martin, VP of Media & Event Technology, NASCAR)
Extreme is a member of the NASCAR Technology Partner Platform, an exclusive community of technology companies working together to evolve the racing industry to new levels of innovation and success by pushing technological boundaries.
“At a venue with 125,000 fans, there is no room for error. The Wi-Fi has to be able to support everything happening simultaneously and without interruption. The network is the central nervous system to power these next-generation services and the insights that NASCAR and our other customers can gain from our network analytics will enable them to make better decisions when it comes to improving the consumer experience and streamlining operations. Our experience deploying these large scale networks provides Extreme with a significant advantage across other industries that require connectivity in high-density settings, including healthcare, manufacturing and smart cities.” (Norman Rice, Chief Operations Officer, Extreme Networks)