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Golden State Warriors and Chase Center elevate immersive fan experiences with Aruba Wi-Fi 6E

Golden State Warriors and Chase Center elevate immersive fan experiences with Aruba Wi-Fi 6E

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Photo Credit: Jason O'Rear

As part of its commitment to providing modern, immersive experiences for fans and guests, the seven-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Champion Golden State Warriors have deployed Aruba Wi-Fi 6E access points (APs) at Chase Center. This ensures ample bandwidth for stadium operations, IoT implementations and experience-related services such as in-seat ordering and contactless payment.

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, has announced that as part of its commitment to providing modern, immersive experiences for fans and guests, the seven-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Champion Golden State Warriors have deployed Aruba Wi-Fi 6E access points (APs) at its world-class live entertainment venue, Chase Center, located in San Francisco.

This implementation marks the first Wi-Fi 6E network at a live entertainment venue in North America and significantly increases available bandwidth in the arena as fans embrace streaming, uploading content and other high-bandwidth activities during events. This also ensures ample bandwidth for stadium operations, IoT implementations and experience-related services such as in-seat ordering and contactless payment.

Chase Center becomes the first arena in North America to deploy Wi-Fi 6E, enabling fans to connect and share moments from games, concerts and events. Photo Credit: Jason O’Rear

Chase Center seats more than 18,000 for Warriors games. The arena also hosts concerts, comedians and other events. Additionally, the complex boasts Thrive City, 100,000 square feet of restaurant and retail businesses and 580,000 square feet of office space across two buildings. As the first arena to deploy this technology in North America, Chase Center currently has over 250 active Wi-Fi 6E APs in the bowl seating section of the arena. The Wi-Fi 6E APs were first live with the venue’s Alicia Keys concert on September 3, 2022.

“The Warriors are obsessed with creating world-class experiences and providing fast, reliable connectivity for sold-out crowds of 18,000+ fans at games and events at Chase Center is an incredibly important part of that,” said Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer, Brandon Schneider. “With the addition of Wi-Fi 6E Access Points in the arena bowl, we can provide fans a more immersive experience that we believe is unmatched by any other professional sporting venue.”

Chase Center’s adoption of Aruba’s enterprise-grade Wi-Fi 6E solution set, which was the first Wi-Fi 6E solution introduced to the market, includes Aruba’s patented ultra tri-band filtering that dynamically adjusts the available channels to eliminate signal interference and performance degradation. The new Wi-Fi 6E APs allow the arena to centrally configure and automatically enforce role-based policies across the wired and wireless networks. Additionally, the APs are IoT-ready with integrated Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Zigbee support to make it easier to deploy and manage IoT, including asset tracking, security solutions and sensors.

Chase Center has hosted numerous sold-out events since its opening in 2019, including every Warriors game and the 2022 NBA Finals, which saw a peak of over 3.80 TB in use, with over 10,000 unique devices. During the venue’s host duties of the 2022 NCAA Western Regional, the arena experienced a peak of over 4.05 TB.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Golden State Warriors and Chase Center on a world-class, future-ready network that delivers an unparalleled fan experience,” said Stuart Strickland, Wireless CTO at Aruba. “With Wi-Fi 6E, the Warriors and Chase Center can take advantage of the increased capacity, wider channels and significantly reduced signal interference of 6 GHz and the location-aware infrastructure of Open Locate. Visitors will enjoy higher bandwidth, lower latency services and applications such as HD video, next-generation unified communications, AR/VR, IoT and more.”

We asked Brandon Schneider, the Golden State Warriors’ President and Chief Operating Officer, further questions about the project.

Why was it so important to increase bandwidth at Chase Center? 

Consumer behavior is changing with the rise of streaming, sharing content on social platforms, AR/VR, fans being hungrier for more player data and more. We strive to provide the most connected experience for fans, and that all starts with connectivity. Having more bandwidth for fans, especially in the bowl, is critical in providing that best in class experience our fans have come to expect from Chase Center.

What has the reaction been from Warriors fans to the increased bandwidth? 

We have heard all positive feedback. We listen to our guests through surveys that track customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Score (NPS) after every event. We are excited about the potential of more devices being able to connect to WiFi 6E and take advantage of the 6 GHz spectrum that comes with it. It also positions Chase Center’s network as future proof for many years to come.

Has the increased bandwidth facilitated an increase in commercial opportunities at Chase Center? 

More bandwidth equates to more immersive experiences, which is something our partners are coming to us with. How can we continue to enhance the in-game experience, while also providing more opportunities to connect with a highly engaged and motivated audience. 

The new Wi-Fi 6E APs allow the arena to centrally configure and automatically enforce role-based policies across the wired and wireless networks. What benefits does this bring? 

This is not new functionality that comes with the new 6E APs but rather something we’ve had since the building opened using Aruba’s ClearPass solution. These core parts of our Aruba network infrastructure provide network segmentation leveraging a single SSID and colorless ports. Using a zero-trust security model, we’re able to identify users and devices in order to dynamically assign them to various role-based networks while limiting access to only the resources they need. For example, our fans and guests would only have access to public resources such as the Internet while our internal staff would have access to enterprise applications and systems in addition to the Internet.

The APs are IoT-ready with integrated Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Zigbee support to make it easier to deploy and manage IoT. What advantages has this brought you? 

Location is incredibly important as we think about providing a unique experience to every guest that comes to Chase Center and Thrive City. Utilizing the integrated BLE beacons enables us to send targeted push notifications to guests at Chase Center that have the Warriors + Chase Center app. Notifications such as: ‘Welcome to Chase Center, connect to free WiFi using #[email protected]’. You should only receive that notification if you are actually at Chase Center, not just following along from elsewhere.

Why is it important to eliminate signal interference and performance degradation? 

By limiting signal interference and performance degradation, we can provide more bandwidth, with lower latency, to more fans and their devices. Especially in an environment like the seating bowl at Chase Center, we are always looking at providing the most bandwidth possible with the least amount of interface.

Why did you choose to work with Aruba? 

As an organization, we are always strive to align ourselves with the best company in every category. Early in the design process of Chase Center, it was made abundantly clear by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber that Chase Center and Thrive City needed to provide a connected experience from the minute a guest stepped foot on our property. With that north star, we needed to find a partner who aligned with that same vision, but who also was ready to push us from a technology standpoint. We have found that, and more, with HPE and Aruba. We are constantly co-innovating, pushing each other and providing the best experience for our fans. That is the definition of a true partnership.

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