Etihad Stadium integrates Wi-Fi to complement existing signage
Sports venues have relied on big screen displays to showcase replays, information and advertisements during major events, but now the Etihad Stadium could be ushering in a new era, with its plans to roll out a Wi-Fi service which will be available to thousands of fans.
The stadium is famous for being the home ground of Premier League side, Manchester City and it already has large scale LED displays which can be viewed by the crowd.
However, these screens will soon be complemented by a high density Wi-Fi solution from Cisco, which will harness thousands of mobile devices in use by fans, to provide even more engagement with different aspects of the match day experience.
For example, it is expected that the Wi-Fi service will have a dedicated data channel which makes it possible for visitors to stream replays direct to the handset or tablet of their choice.
This means that even if the main LED displays are not in view, or are too far away, there will be a way for fans to review the most recent passages of play.
The Wi-Fi network will also be able to deliver a variety of other information, ranging from match statistics and competitions, to real time multiplayer games, according to TechRadar.
This will ensure further engagement with visitors to the Etihad Stadium and mean that advertisers and sponsors will be even happier about putting their cash into the ground.
Of course, there will be those who dislike the idea of football spectators looking at even more digital screens during the course of a match, rather than training their eyes on the actual game itself, as it goes on in front of them.
Hopefully, the right balance will be struck and improvements to replays and signage will be welcomed.