RFID & Wireless IoT Global, Issue 06/2021
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How NXP Technology Will Enhance the Stadium Experience of the Future

Written by David Scherpenhuizen, a member of the NXP Impact team, which provides inspiring stories about NXP's technological and societal impact. (Image: NXP Semiconductors)

How NXP Technology Will Enhance the Stadium Experience of the Future

Opening the Gates!

February 7th marked the 55th Super Bowl! An estimated 100M+ global TV audience tuned in to watch how veteran Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers hammered the Kansas City Chiefs by 31-9. But TV is no substitute for watching the game live. Worldwide sports fans are longing for the day when they can sit in the bleachers again, supporting their favorite team.

NXP is hunkering down to help ensure that when stadiums reopen, sports fans will be provided the ultimate connected sports experience.

Written by David Scherpenhuizen, Senior Writer/Editor, NXP Semiconductors

The venue, the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, usually seats more than 65,000 fans, but during this year’s pandemic-proof Super Bowl, only 25,000 fans were allowed to attend. This number included some 7,500 healthcare workers who were given free admission in appreciation of their selfless efforts.

The rest of the “capacity crowd” consisted of more than 30,000 cut-outs which were used to fill up the bleachers and to help the real-life fans maintain safe social distancing.

Crazy Crowds

Using life-sized cut-outs is one of the gimmicks stadiums used during the lockdown to keep the fans engaged. Some of the images even went viral, showing stadiums jam-packed with cut-outs of the South Park characters and Sony PlayStation 5 game characters. NXP was there in spirit as the latest PlayStation 5 contains our Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth solutions!

Opening the Gates

Besides keeping fans engaged, stadiums have been working feverishly towards the day when they can finally fling open their gates to their supporters. And when that day comes, they will be surprised and delighted by all the new contactless, connected solutions available to them.

DAS Impressive

Comprehensive 5G infrastructure should be in place when the crowds return. NXP supplies our customers with radio frequency life-sized cut-outs power amplifiers to build distributed antenna systems (DAS), which are networked and placed throughout the stadium to bring powerful wireless connectivity.

This will make it possible for fans to access 5G cellular connections with increased bandwidth at greater speeds wherever they are throughout the entire stadium and even surrounding areas.

World-Class Wi-Fi 6

An average of 45 percent of in-stadium fans want to use Wi-Fi for continuous connectivity to share their stadium experience with friends and fellow fans on social media.

NXP supplies our customers with “stadium-caliber” Wi-Fi 6 access point solutions for these networks to help ensure the fans have frictionless Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. This is necessary because according to Extreme Networks, data transferred via Wi-Fi at the Super Bowl has increased seven-fold from 2014 to 2019—and it is only expected to grow.

High-Scoring Solutions

NXP is crossing the goal line when it comes to technology companies ramping up the game-day experience with our tech empowering various solutions such as Ultra-Wideband (UWB), contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) and Radio Frequency IDentification (RAIN RFID).

  • Put a ring on it
    With integrated stadium apps such as NFL OnePass. Apps serve as a digital key for mobile ticketing and food orders, so capture that virtual photo wearing one of the 54 Super Bowl rings!
  • Smart parking
    RAIN RFID technology works over a distance of up to 15 meters or yards; embedded in a windshield label or license plate of a car, it enables smarter parking solutions and management of parking facilities, including parking fee payments.
  • Hands-free, Covid-proof access
    UWB or RAIN RFID solutions help to ensure contactless admission into stadiums and promote social distancing.
  • Reducing ticket fraud and queuing time
    A secure, contactless MIFARE chip, embedded in a ticket or loyalty card/fan card, offers hassle-free access in a simple tap to validate ticket authenticity
  • In-stadium purchases
    Contactless solutions are used to quickly and securely pay for any in-stadium purchases, so there are fewer lines at food kiosks and souvenir stores. Purchases can also be linked to loyalty programs, with earned points immediately credited to a phone app.
  • Post-game extras & merchandise
    Stay connected at home with NFC-enabled fan gear. This allows fans to access experiences such as game recap videos, simulation video games and top players’ favorite music playlists.

When it comes to providing the ultimate stadium experience of the future, NXP knocks it out of the park! With the fans return, the 2022 Super Bowl promises to be the best ever. That’s no Super Bowl hyperbowl, it’s the truth!

Click here for an interesting article on how connectivity is redefining the live stadium experience. Visit our connectivity website to learn more about all of these wireless technologies.

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Ralf Kodritsch
Ralf Kodritsch
Director Global Segment Manager RFID Solutions
Gratkorn, Austria
Michael Klein
Michael Klein
Manager, Marketing Communications
Austin, United States
Sylvia Kaiser-Kershaw
Sylvia Kaiser-Kershaw
Global Marketing - Smart Products & Services
Gratkorn, Austria
James Goodland
James Goodland
Director, RAIN RFID Solutions
, Great Britain
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