The Razor Goes High-Tech at Gillette Stadium
On September 13, the Patriots play their home opener against the Arizona Cardinals, and the sellout crowd of 68,756 will have a whole new way of “watching” the game. The Pats, with the help of Andover-based company Enterasys Networks, spent the summer wiring Gillette Stadium to provide free WiFi to spectators—one of just five NFL franchises to do so.
It was far from a simple undertaking: Starting in July, Enterasys workers pulled double shifts six days a week to lay down miles of wires, linking 350 wireless access points and creating enough bandwidth to move 250 megabits per second. (Your local coffee shop, by comparison, serves up about 2 megabits per second.)
Even better? The Pats’ new in-stadium-only free app, which provides exclusive Patriots content and NFL-wide video from RedZone. Now whenever the on-field action stops, fans can reach for their tablets and smartphones to research stats, watch replays, upload photos and video, or manage their fantasy-football teams. And the team hopes to someday link the app to stadium services and concessions. Can using your phone to order a hot dog or beer be far off?