Stanford University fell behind in 2017-not in academics, or in athletics (they are consistently ranked #1 in the Learfield Director’s Cup for best overall sports program), but in stadium Wi-Fi performance. In 2011, they were the first FBS stadium to install the technology, and by mid-2017, they were falling behind. The tech was working fine—it’s just that more was being demanded—more video uploading, more selfies, more downloading statistics, etc.
The University of Notre Dame undertook a massive project in 2017. Called “Campus Crossroads”, the $400 million project took a very creative approach to putting in public Wi-Fi in their upgrades—through placing handrails in lower bowl seating areas (required by the Americans for Disability Act), they were able to create 1,096 new Wi-Fi access points inside the stadium. Notre Dame Senior Associate Athletics Director Rob Kelly told Edscoop in 2018, “We didn’t have handrails in the lower bowl (originally), because the construction happened in the 1930s; the handrails helped accomplish distribution of the access points throughout the lower bowl. The connectivity has been one of the top three positive customer feedback items throughout the season.”
Baylor University upped the in-game experience one step further. Add an app to your phone (Baylor In-Game App), and you will be able to see the replay of that touchdown run before it’s up on the Jumbotron. Baylor was the first school to add this personalized replay option for both football and basketball. Other schools with newer facilities are adding more to their in-game apps like wayfinding, social media integration and customization (like adding you to the Kids Club or upgrading your seats on site).