Intelligent CIO North America Issue 22 - Page 57


To continue its leadership tradition as the first Major League Soccer ( MLS ) club in the US , the Columbus Crew envisioned creating a next-generation seamless fan journey when it began designing its new stadium .

“ Providing a great connectivity experience for all participants from arrival to departure required a hyperconverged network capable of handling voice , video , audio and data ,” explains Brandon Covert , Vice President of Information Technology for Haslam Sports Group , owners of the Crew .
“ Deploying best-of-breed wired and wireless infrastructure was fundamental to running the complex applications we intended to adopt .”
Aruba is clear choice for stadium leadership
As it has for nearly 30 years , the Columbus , Ohiobased Crew took a holistic approach to designing its new 20,000-seat Lower . com Field and updating surrounding facilities . The initiative considers fans , guests , team members and event attendees from start to finish .
“ Whether its touchless ticketing and entry for fans , state-of-the-art player facilities or digitalized operations , technology is the common denominator ,” Covert said . “ All of it requires high-performance , secure , reliable Wi-Fi and wired networking .”
The Crew evaluated prominent networking options before selecting an end-to-end solution by Aruba , a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company .
“ After looking at the many technologies and solutions we needed to integrate , Aruba was the clear choice for building a foundation that enables us to deliver premier experiences efficiently and cost-effectively ,” Covert said .
Unified , intelligent and automated network delivers success
For Lower . com Field , as well as the accompanying team and academy spaces , the Crew deployed numerous Aruba ESP solutions . The Wi-Fi 6 network is comprised of Aruba ’ s 530 Series indoor access points ( APs ) under seats and in VIP suites , along with the 570 Series outdoor APs . To manage the WLAN the Crew selected 7200 Series Mobility Controllers .
On the wired side , the Crew is leveraging the intelligence , automation , analytics and resilience technologies built into the Aruba CX Switching portfolio . This includes the CX 8400 Switch Series at the core , CX 6300 Switch Series for aggregations and the CX 6200 Switch Series for edge access .
The Crew is also streamlining wired and wireless administration and , eventually , rolling out Aruba Dynamic Segmentation by implementing ClearPass for network access control ( NAC ) and policy management . In addition , it deployed AirWave for network management . To automate and co-ordinate switch configuration , monitoring and troubleshooting , the team also adopted NetEdit .
Delivering unique , experiences from arrival to departure
Exceptional network-supported experiences begin even before Crew fans arrive at the venue . Using the team ’ s unique opt-in facial recognition ticketing system fans upload a selfie to their Crew account for contactless entry . Upon arrival at the stadium , a solution by Wicket identifies the fan and seamlessly permits them to continue through the gates .
www . intelligentcio . com INTELLIGENTCIO NORTH AMERICA 57