COLUMBUS, Ohio – Texting with friends and family and posting on social media inside Ohio Stadium is about to become a reality for more than 100,000 fans. The project to improve high density wireless connectivity is expected to be completed in time for the season opening game Aug. 31 against Florida Atlantic.
“The contractors working on behalf of the Department of Athletics and the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) have worked above-and-beyond to get us to this point of having stadium-wide Wi-Fi in time for the first game,” senior associate athletics director/chief information officer Jim Null said.
“Those involved – the Design Team, Osborn Engineering, Smoot Construction, Ohio Electric, Kastle and Ampthink – knew how important expanded coverage in the stadium was for our fans and they have worked efficiently and quickly to get this installation completed. Performance is important, as well. The first game will set a baseline for Wi-Fi that will help us make adjustments and fine-tune performance for each subsequent game.”
Workers will have pulled 47 miles of copper and fiber wire throughout Ohio Stadium when the project is completed. The wire is connected to a massive number of access points – 2,009 – that have been installed since the project began in January of this year. The installation of 4,018 antennas is also included in the project. Equipment has all been seamlessly placed to blend in and to not disrupt the iconic integrity of the facility.
“Ten access points could typically cover an area the size of the stadium,” Null said, “but we needed significantly more to service the Wi-Fi needs of so many fans in close proximity, plus ticketing functions and the press box, suites, club rooms, concourses and outdoor areas.”
The $10.5 million project, which includes work to expand Wi-Fi connectivity in the Jerome Schottenstein Center in time for the start of the basketball seasons this fall, is part of a larger, $18.6 million campus-wide project that was approved by the Board of Trustees in April 2018. The expansion project includes the installation of more than 23,000 access points across the state in over 500 buildings and 180 outdoor spaces, providing mobile access to teaching, learning and research resources across all campuses and extension offices.
Coming next week: information on wireless networks to use at Ohio Stadium and additional new items to look for in The Shoe for the 2019 season.