When they upgraded their Wi-Fi network, the National Hockey League's Minnesota Wild doubled the number of access points within their arena, the Xcel Energy Center, to more than 450.
Here are three pointers for placing APs in large event venues:
Consider unique locations for the APs: At Xcel Energy, the IT team placed several APs around the ice rink in the dasher boards. “We really had to think about the aesthetics and design of the APs, especially in the bowl,” says Jim Ibister, vice president of facility administration for the Wild and general manager of the Saint Paul RiverCentre complex that’s home to Xcel Energy.
Tuck antennae in the ceiling at the top of the bowl: It protects the devices and improves access. “They do a great job,” Ibister says. “The signal’s really strong at the top and the bottom.”
Ensure coverage at gates: The Wild installed dedicated APs for ticket scanning so gate staff wouldn’t have connectivity hiccups while getting fans into the facility. “If you have issues with tickets on game day, you’re in a whole heap of trouble,” says CDW Advanced Technology Account Executive Amer Harb.
For more on how the Wild retooled their technology, check out, "Minnesota Wild Scores Technology Hat Trick with Wi-Fi, Core Network and Displays."