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Extreme Networks, Carousel Industries power 2016 NHL Draft through advanced Wi-Fi, analytics at First Niagara Center


Mon, Jun 13th 2016 11:05 am

First Niagara Center marks the companies' second joint Wi-Fi solutions deployment in Buffalo

Extreme Networks Inc. has announced a strategic relationship with the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres to deliver pervasive and secure high-density Wi-Fi in First Niagara Center ahead of the 2016 NHL Draft. The event will take place June 24-25, and is expected to attract more than 20,000 attendees, including the teams, press and fans.

Extreme Networks and partner Carousel Industries have implemented two large-scale venue Wi-Fi deployments in Buffalo: Ralph Wilson Stadium and First Niagara Center.

To implement an arena-wide Wi-Fi solution, Extreme sought to meet specific operational requirements that would deliver reliable mobile connectivity for stadium operations and an interactive experience for fans. The Buffalo Sabres deployed Extreme's full connectivity and analytics solutions, which included 450 ExtremeWireless access points and wireless controllers, ExtremeManagement, ExtremeControl and ExtremeAnalytics to enhance Wi-Fi connectivity, improve game-day operations and support mobile services such as ticketing and concessions. The deployment serves as the industry's first 802.11ac Wave 2 implementation to be completed in an arena environment.

In 2015, Extreme Networks and Carousel Industries completed a similar project for the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. This implementation exceeded performance and adoption rates typically seen across large venues nationwide, with over 37 percent of fans adopting the new network to take advantage of free, uninterrupted Wi-Fi service.

On game day, Ralph Wilson Stadium has as many as 24,000 fans accessing the Wi-Fi network concurrently and transfers over 3.4 terabytes of Wi-Fi data on the network deployed by Extreme and Carousel.

First Niagara Center was outfitted with Extreme's flow-based 802.11ac Wave 2 technology, including new access points that deliver location-based application analytics and upgraded speed, as well as additional capacity and enhanced security.

Michael Gilbert, VP of administration for the Buffalo Sabres, said, "After seeing the impact of the wired and wireless solution at the Bills' Ralph Wilson Stadium, we opted to deploy Extreme's wireless and analytics solution at First Niagara Center to support our team and fans during the upcoming NHL draft and season. As a host arena, First Niagara Center is responsible for meeting very specific requirements that ensure coaches, players, press and fans have the reliable Wi-Fi they need to stay connected. We're confident that we'll meet this goal with the help of Extreme and Carousel."

John Brams, director of sports and entertainment for Extreme Networks, said, "As the industry's first Wave 2 arena implementation, we've deployed the most advanced wireless technology available in the industry, tailored specifically to the environment of First Niagara Center (and) keeping in mind the necessary requirements of hosting the NHL draft. Through our experience in large-scale stadiums and venues, we understand the importance of connecting fans and providing them an engaging experience that enables them to seamlessly interact with the team."

James Marsh, chief revenue officer at Carousel Industries, said, "Carousel Industries is proud to be a part of this exciting project with the Sabres and to continue offering our large-scale sports facility project management, implementation and integration expertise, as well as ongoing on-site support at First Niagara Center. We look forward to seeing the technology at work to help deliver a world-class fan experience during this year's NHL Draft and throughout the 2016-17 season."

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