#TeamHenderson attended the Sports and Entertainment Alliance in Technology (SEAT) Conference at the Daytona International Speedway. Our telecom experts shared their top takeaways from sessions that focused on technology, venue design, and data security in the sports and entertainment industry.

Investing in Infrastructure

  • When it comes to venue design, analytics teams like real-time numbers. For most businesses, infrastructure can be a high-cost investment which can be difficult to fund. That means most venues have physical network architecture that needs attention. On the storage side, it’s important to first sort your data, and after a hard look, you may determine cloud solutions can help offset some of the onsite limitations. Typically, the examination will be focused on two buckets: budget and technology. The budget bucket is going to primarily revolve around the cost of building and/or expanding local data storage. This should include first cost evaluation, ongoing utility costs, and periodic software and hardware maintenance costs.
  • This should be contrasted with the cost for data storage in the cloud and the cost of adequate bandwidth to send and receive that data. The technology bucket is going to revolve around making certain that there are appropriate service-level agreements (SLA) for the cloud storage bucket, and language regarding their requirement to support you, should you ever decide to move your data to another provider, and bring it back to a local storage situation.
  • If you decide that cloud storage is appropriate for some or all your data, spend time on tagging with appropriate meta-data, so the material is more easily retrieved. Additionally, C-suite needs to be aware that the cost of cloud storage is likely an operating expense, rather than a capital expense. No data center equipment means less to depreciate for tax purposes. Before you make the move, talk to your stakeholders to make sure you’re considering their needs for searchability and accessibility.
  • Collecting this data isn’t always easy. With a multitude of vendor systems like parking, ticketing, and concessions, data ownership can be a complex issue. Add in any sports league managed applications, and data within your venue could be collected by any number of invested partners. When negotiating licensing agreements, attention to detail will help make your data more accessible for analytics.
  • It’s important to be aware of the internal challenges facing infrastructure investment, as well as the external challenges. In the coming years as colleges transition to a paid player system, eventually, the distribution of funds within an athletic department will undoubtedly adjust. Renovations and system upgrades may take a back seat to player compensation when budget time comes, which can have a big effect on the investment in infrastructure. Planning to invest in your infrastructure now can save time and money in the future.

Innovating the Industry – The Digital Shift

  • It’s crucial that 5G, the fifth generation of cellular network technology, be a part of any venue’s integrated network system moving forward. The evolution of 5G speeds is on the horizon, which means venue design needs to be ready to meet the expectations of fans and provide efficiency for media personnel and facility staff. Investing in 5G now, and the infrastructure upgrades to support it, will propel your venue into the future and create an immersive fan experience.
  • What we know about the current fan experience is shifting. Not wanting to miss a minute of the action, fans are opting to stay home, order-in, and catch the game from the comfort of their couch. To offset this, ghost kitchens are becoming a new trend in venue design, offering fans the ability to order and receive food directly in their seats.

Interested in updating your venue’s infrastructure? Our telecom experts can help!

About the Authors

Julie LeClair

Director of Network Design | Associate
Julie is our director of network design. She leads a team of highly-skilled professionals who knows what it means to build relationships, generate the best project outcome, and most importantly, work as a team. For Henderson’s technology group, Julie provides specialty network design consulting for various higher education, sports, and recreation facilities. She leads our team in providing structured cabling, Wi-Fi, distributed antenna systems, and network electronics. As someone who has always been hungry for more knowledge, Julie will ensure her colleagues consistently seek new ways to enhance their specialty.