Extreme Networks Wi-Fi Solutions Provide Network Insights at Super Bowl LV

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Extreme Networks, Inc., the Official Wi-Fi Solutions Provider for the NFL and of Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay, has revealed the results of wireless usage at the most unique Super Bowl in the League’s history.

Super Bowl LV marked the eighth consecutive year Extreme delivered Wi-Fi network solutions and Wi-Fi analytics technology for the championship event. This was the first 100% cash-free, mobile ticketed NFL game in history. Though fan presence at Raymond James Stadium was limited to 25,000 fans, Wi-Fi usage demonstrated those in attendance were more connected than ever, while network operations behind the scenes reduced operating risk and aided the safety of everyone in the stadium.

Network Infrastructure
Data revealed approximately 80% of in-range devices were connected to the Wi-Fi network, up from 71% during Super Bowl LIV. Average usage per device has more than doubled since Super Bowl LI, with fan devices this year consuming 587.8 MB of data compared to 253.7 MB in 2017. Additionally, peak network utilization hit 7.9 Gbps, a 2.5 Gbps difference from last year’s peak at 10.4 Gbps but with a crowd half the size, illustrating the increased reliance on Wi-Fi connectivity for fan engagement at Super Bowl LV.

Super Bowl LV Deployment Facts:

Unmatched Connectivity: 1,440 ExtremeWireless™ access points (APs) are installed throughout Raymond James Stadium to ensure fast, secure connectivity during the regular season, with 950 APs installed in the bowl of the stadium. An additional 83 APs were installed just for Super Bowl LV to support fan access to mobile tickets, use of mobile ticket scanners, the media tent, and VIP areas. Stadium Wi-Fi was specifically optimized for bandwidth-hungry applications used by fans and stadium personnel, including social media apps and tools for crowd management.

Unparalleled Insights: ExtremeAnalytics™ software provided real-time insight into how users, devices, and applications interacted with the Wi-Fi network to assist in delivering a more robust fan and staff experience during Super Bowl LV and future NFL games. While the circumstances of this year’s game will not all be applicable to future events, the introduction of touchless and cash-free technology is likely to expand, and data from this year’s game will help provide insights on how to improve experiences for all.

New Standard in Mobile Ticketing: ExtremeWireless APs deployed at each gate ensured a seamless, all-mobile ticketing experience. Wi-Fi connectivity extended beyond the gates, broadcasting wireless connectivity to fans just outside the stadium so pre-game ticket transfers could take place without delays.

100% Cash-Free Interactions: To improve service and safety, this was the first Super Bowl to move solely to cash-free transactions. Fans paid using valid debit or credit cards or mobile wallets, and those who brought cash used reverse ATMs to convert cash to prepaid Visa cards. ExtremeSwitching™ technology and Extreme Management Center™ software deployed at Raymond James Stadium allowed IT administrators to closely monitor the network, ensuring secure cash-free payments and enabling fans to safely access banking and financial applications using stadium Wi-Fi.
Super Bowl LV by the Numbers:

Game Attendance: 24,835

Data Transferred: 13.97 TB
Before Kick-off: 2.58 TB
After Kick-off: 11.39 TB

Network Spikes
Peak Concurrent Devices: 12,288
Peak Network Utilization: 7.9 Gbps

Fan Engagement
Number of Devices: 23,776
Adoption Rate: 80%
Average Usage Per Device: 587.81 MB

Most Popular Apps
Most Used Streaming Apps:
Apple Streaming
Most Used Social Apps:
Most Used Sporting Apps:
CBS Sports
Yahoo Sports
ExtremeAnalytics gives the NFL real-time visibility into network performance, as well as performance of devices and apps running on the Wi-Fi network. These insights allow the NFL to make data-driven decisions, improving fan experiences at every game. Additional statistics are available in Extreme’s eighth annual Super Bowl Infographic.

Michelle McKenna, Chief Information Officer, The National Football League, said, “This game proved to be an excellent case study as we look toward the future of the NFL and the Super Bowl. It has always been our goal to integrate additional technology like mobile ticketing and cash-free payments into our operations, and while we faced many challenges this year, we were able to successfully accelerate our plans and allow fans to safely attend this year’s game. We are thankful for everyone who was part of planning for and organizing this year’s game and we are excited to see what the future brings as we continue to introduce cutting-edge technology into our stadiums.”

Aaron Amendolia, Vice President of Information Technology Services, The National Football League, explained, “We have increased our technology usage at each Super Bowl for the past several years to enhance the fan experience and ensure the best possible game day, but COVID was a huge forcing function during the planning of Super Bowl LV. We had to pivot to a totally mobile ticketing strategy and were heavily reliant on network technology to be flexible and adapt. The success of this game will be reflected in our plans for next year, and we anticipate that fans will continue to see increased mobile ticketing and further technology deployments at Super Bowl LVI and beyond.”

Norman Rice, Chief Operating Officer, Extreme Networks, said, “Being trusted to provide Wi-Fi network solutions during the Super Bowl for eight consecutive years is a privilege. We know that many people have faced difficulties over the past year, and the NFL has given us all a positive outlet to focus on. This year’s Super Bowl provided the foundation to deliver even more innovation to support the fans and staff in attendance and the bandwidth-intensive applications they use. We look forward to our continued partnership with the NFL and to advancing in-stadium connectivity for all users.”