By Jaclyn Marciniak,
Sports Business Assistant Editor
The Pac-12 conference is making strides to improve technology within their stadiums and arenas. On September 16, the conference announced the agreement they had made with AT&T to provide all Pac-12 football stadiums and basketball arenas with full wireless capabilities.
The big name Pac-12 schools include; University of Arizona, Arizona State University, University of California Berkley, University of Colorado, University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Stanford University, University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California, University of Utah, University of Washington, and Washington State University.
The wireless network will be set up in all Pac-12 facilities using AT&T’s U-verse technology. Part of the deal also made AT&T the main corporate sponsor for the conference’s 12 schools. The conference believes that providing fans with wireless capabilities will enhance the fan’s overall experience of attending the event.
As of now a timeframe has not been determined but the league does expect Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) to be installed by the 2014 football season. According to Sports Business Daily, all other conferences typically leave these matters up to the individual schools, but the Pac-12 is the first to do so as an entire conference.
According to league commissioner Larry Scott, “We are looking down the road and how technology continues to change. The next generation is growing up in a world where they are connected to multiple devices at the same time and we need to accommodate these technological advancements.” The conference’s decision to provide WiFi is a good investment in the future due to this day’s ever changing and advancing technological world.
The new capabilities will also provide fans with a better game experience. Scott says that the Pac-12 plans to improve their in-stadium programming. The conference’s end goal is to have better replays and highlights mimicking the NFL’s Red-Zone style.
Scott refers to the Louisville game when Kevin Ware broke his leg in the NCAA tournament this past spring and many fans in the stadium did not know what was going on. Most found out from people watching at home or from social media sites. Scott wants to prevent further situations similar to Ware’s injury. In Scott’s opinion, the spectators at the event should be the first to know what is going on.
With the plans set in place, this is a big step for the Pac-12 and advancing their facilities’ technology. They are paving the way for the rest of the NCAA to do the same and make every fan’s experience the best it can be.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Sept. 24 print edition.
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