anOSU installs WiFi in stadium and sees record usage.

https://www.mobilesportsreport.com/2019/10/ohio-state-breaks-wi-fi-recor...

It turns out those were all warm-ups to the biggest Wi-Fi day so far, which came during a prime-time TV contest against Big 10 foe Michigan State. With 104,797 fans in attendance for homecoming, the approximately 2,000 Wi-Fi access points were humming from the time the gates opened. According to statistics provided to MSR by Ohio State, the network saw an astonishing 74,940 unique connections during the 34-10 Ohio State victory, many of those on a separate SSID for Verizon Wireless customers. According to Ohio State, the peak concurrent connectivity number of 45,200 users (also a record) was seen five minutes before kickoff.

Hopefully Whit and Co. Are seeing things like this work at other stadiums.

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Comments

I know I'm in the minority, but unless it's an emergency, I don't see the point to use your phone at a game. As much as I love technology, I guess I'm just a traditionalist when it comes to things like this. Just enjoy the game and yell loudly when your team is on defense. At halftime and before the game, meet people around you.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

FOSTERS: Australian for defense

Probably checking scores of other games.

I mean you could make a game app to add to the experience of being at the stadium. Enhance the experience.

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That's the thing they already have a game experience app and they want people to use hashtags and post pictures etc, have contests all during the game using your phone?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

To tie into our conversation from yesterday. You have 60000+ of your target market in one place at the same time, with an in-game app.

If you are the marketing department of the Hokie Club and are connected to these people via wifi and an app, maybe you recommend becoming a Hokie Club member for as low as $2.50 a month on the jumbotron and push notifications.

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Wifi would give them the ability to tell those captive at a game hey check out HokieClub.com or whatever it is on the jumbotron, and the ratio of people that would actually go there would probably be pretty high,

Condition the fans to go to HokieClub.com for something and then keep them there, and eventually some of those people will convert to paying customers. Though they need to fix the website.

The wifi in the stadium is a no brainier from a marketing and sales aspect.

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. Enhance the experience.

OKAY

Let's Go

HOKIES

Um...wtf?

See now that's what I'm trying to get at!

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

Let's Go

HOKIES

basketball halftime show when Red Panda retires!

Go Hokies

I've seen her countless times and never once dropped one.

I will say that I enjoy this at other games I don't care too much about, i.e. Buffalo vs. PSU, but even as a millennial student way back in 2009, I didn't really use my phone any. Also, I was often drunk and didn't know where it was.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

Easily the worst trait of mine is losing my phone every time I drink. It's always a wild goose hunt the next morning.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

How the hell do you post your Fire Fuente (or give him a raise, depending on how successful the game is going) lines on TKP during the game without wifi?

We put the K in Kwality

It's been well established that Fuente & Co. read TKP on Monday mornings after their 9:15 am staffer, so I wait until then ๐Ÿ˜‚

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

Check scores. Ask wife how she and kids are doing 3 states away while I'm gone. Interact with game experience app and contests they have during many many timeouts and game stoppages. Call in air strikes to nuke paper airplanes throwers. Emergencies. Update friends on things you can only see from inside the stadium while they are at home or they updating me on things they see on TV we don't see in stadium. Find friends inside the stadium. Food ordering.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

So...basically live in this century?

We put the K in Kwality

Cell phone towers have a limited bandwidth and number of connections, and there are not enough of them in range of Lane to service a sold out crowd. I've had trouble getting text messages out, let alone one with a picture attached. When there aren't games it's arguably enough towers, so carriers are not going to install more of them for the ~6 weekends a year they can't handle it.

Dedicated Wi-Fi would bring "this century's" experience to a lot of people who already live in it, as well as relieve a ton of bandwidth burden.

That damned curvy VT's gotten into you all. INVENT THE FUTURE PEOPLE

There is a DAS (Distributed Antenna System) inside Lane (for one carrier - I'm not sure if its ATT or Verizon) and over the parking lot next to Cassell. I've done measurements on them.
The thing with DASs is they dont help capacity much, they are designed mostly to provide coverage. As a result, the data throughput improvement is marginal.
That's why we have the limited overall throughput we have at football and basketball games.
An increase in capacity is more expensive. I think its time to rethink the Network plans over the entire sports complex area around Beamer Way.

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

Correct, and even with that- it's cellular service not public wifi, which is what we really need.

Before last season, I upgraded from my ancient VZW unlimited data plan to their mid-tier modern unlimited data plan (the one that claims it doesn't throttle data on congested towers until you got 23GB or something), to save about $70/mo for our two lines, and never had an issue connecting during the three games I attended. Those were the first 3 times in my life that I've had a consistent signal at a college football game.

I have a fairly new verizon unlimited plan and I can't send a text once thew game starts. It's a joke. Would love to know your secret. I have an iphone X if it matters.

There are multiple tiers of the VZW unlimited service (I know, you'd think "unlimited" would actually mean "unlimited", but here we are). The base tier offers unlimited 4G LTE data, but your connection will be throttled (or practically shut off) first in times of heavy network congestion. If you upgrade to the next tier, you get about 25GB of "premium data", which means you'll only be throttled if you exceed 25GB in a month, or if the amount of people with "premium data" exceeds the capacity of the nearby tower(s). I've had occasional blips in data availability in Lane with this plan, but for the most part I've been able to get score updates and whatnot at will.

My bill is expensive as shit.. I think I have the top tier or close to it.

VZW has a pricing structure that depends on the number of lines on the account. It's cheaper per line until you hit 4 lines, when adding additional lines costs the same amount. We have 5 on our account (wife, me, MIL, FIL, SIL) so all the following prices apply for people with 4+ lines.

When I signed up, it was $40/line for the base tier, $50 for 25GB of Premium Data, and $60 for 75GB. I just checked and they've switched up what the tiers are, but now it's $30/line for the base tier, $40 for 25GB, $50 for 25GB with some added features, and $50 for 75GB. You'd have to check your billing statement or log into "My Verizon" to find out which tier you're on.

Um...get on TKP. Hello!!!

Edit: I don't really toot my own horn in pursuit of legs, but I would have thought pointing out that HF laid out seemingly every excuse under the sun for why one would need wifi inside the stadium, but somehow left out logging in on TKP would have elicited more of a response.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

That's the most millennial thing I've ever heard you say on here. Kudos brah.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

Also, what do you have against the paper airplanes? I think it's a really cool gesture by the students. There must be some sort of misunderstanding.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

Counterpoint: being on your phone means you can't keep your head on a swivel for the paper airplanes.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

You forgot live betting your ass off when you realize you suck at predicting spreads.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

Interact with game experience app and contests they have during many many timeouts and game stoppages.

That's where airplane bottles of Jack Daniels and Coke come in. I guarantee you that a few good friends, a few doubles of Jack & Coke in the big plastic Hokie cups, and putting your phone on airplane mode will enhance your in-game experience and who knows - maybe you'll even have the chance to learn how to design and softly launch the perfect student ticket themed aircraft down towards the field. Now.....could you do all of that if you were buried in your phone?

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

I think you're preaching to a small choir, Ernest, but count me in your congregation.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

If you've seen some of the NFL 5G AR plans I think you might change your mind. Some of this stuff has the potential to be really really cool and change the entire experience of gameday. It's best to get out ahead of the curve than play catch up.

While the tech might continuously change the infrastructure will remain about the same so if you can get in and spread the costs out overtime rather than catch up with a huge bulk project I think that's the way to go

(add if applicable) /s

"If Fu goes to 2 acc champ games in 4 years, I will never criticize him again." - dcwilson

Lot of online ticketing opportunities (mid game seat upgrades, last minute ticketing, loyalty programs, etc) that we can't execute without service in the seats. Also, it provides an opportunity for a lot of 'free marketing' by way of user generated content.

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I gamble college football, also, my wife has gotten mad for me not sending pictures that I tried to send with absolute shit service. This is not an old crowd vs. new crowd, this is a necessity and isn't up for debate. It is embarrassing for a tech school.

@hokie_rd

Easy there Tiger, I hear you.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

We can't get ours to work when it is actually an emergency though :(

Man, I agree this would fantastic, but this is lower on my priority list, behind funding upgrades to the staff, and major overhauls to HokieClub. This would be a huge effort (financially and in terms of man hours), and there's stuff that's more pressing IMO.

EDIT: I've done more research, and no longer think that stadium wifi is a 'nice to have;' it's a must have. I still think it needs to be prioritized carefully, but I've been flipped; it's important.

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From what I can tell on reddit anOSU isn't the only school to have WiFi. As for other things neither is fan experience related, this is the kind of upgrade that helps keep butts in seats.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I hear ya. I trust Whit to make the right decision, but I think the fan base at large has to understand that it's going to be tough to fund a revamp of up HC, bring Wifi to Lane, and make staff changes in a single year. That's one big organizational change, one big infrastructure change, and a high visibility staff change, all at once.

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WIFI in stadiums around the world show greater returns.
How?
concessions: can be purchased in the stadium app. Delivered to your seat number. No waiting time at concession stands means no lines, mean more game time to enjoy. Increases sales.

Impulse purchasing of Merch. Merchandise sold at stadiums can be purchased on app and either picked up or delivered to seat. Again increase sales.

Promotions. Merch, sponsors, tickets, etc can all be in game promotions that can attract increased revenues.

Fan interaction equals fan enjoyment. Crowd sourced, in app voting of play of the game. Raffles. Give aways. Etc

Fan loyalty. Fans after wins buy tickets and pledge money. Get them when they are most obliged to purchase/give while basking in the immediate glory of a win.

Mobile Wallets. Less cash needed on person.

Emergency Contact. Obvious.

Security Alerts

Requesting police at seat. Perhaps to deal with unruly / drunk fan to avoid altercations.

Just a few reasons why stadiums should have WIFI.

All of this!

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Yeah, I don't understand how you wouldn't be for it, except for "traditions" sake which I just don't understand.

I can attest I've bought branded merchandise after a win before, but if I have to wait to leave and celebrate I forget the next day or the impulse is worn off.

I just think fans are distracted enough from the actual game. We need the fans to be engaged with what is happening on the field. All points made by Fernley are valid and hard to disagree with, I just hate to see our fans completely disengaged from the game every single TO with Hokie Vision and now WiFi.

A bunch of fans are already disengaged.... I've brought a few people to games who don't give a rat's ass about college sports. They were just bored. A few of them eventually did get really into it after being in the atmosphere. There are also many people who don't go because they can't get a signal and want to keep an eye on things. Adding WiFi would probably get them to go more often and could turn them into avid fans.

Even if they check Instaface all game, they'll fill seats that we can't fill and won't be at many games.

Any person physically in the stands is already far more engaged with the stadium atmosphere than anyone anywhere else. So at that point if you are making it harder to want to be there its not helping encourage a great homefield.

We need the fans to be engaged with what is happening on the field.

Why? The goal isn't to get as many fans 'engaged with what is happening on the field;' it's about building an emotional connection with the team and program. That connection is so much more that just what's on the field.

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Heck, if they would have delivered the $70 sweatshirt to my seat on Saturday I would have ordered it.

I am responding to this comment 4 days and 20 hours after it was posted. Sorry, I was on vacation.

This guy markets ^

I don't think any one realizes the concessions issue properly. Credit card in the app = lots of drunken nachos. Or if you need another coke with a little bit of room left at the top. That room left at the top of the cup can be a selectable option! Pay by app with vendors walking around, popcorn comes by and you press a button and its paid for and the guy/girl gives you popcorn. Heck it takes me 20 minutes to find out where to get a turkey leg, now it tells me or comes right too me. Then we tie purchasing to seating to make more efficient use out of our concessions (though 7 games is not a big sample). Though this could screw over the group's that do concessions as fund raising, but that can be figured out for increases in drunken sales.

I never purchased food because I would miss the game, but now!

Same. I always try to get into the stadium as early as possible and get my food and drink before the pageantry. I hate missing the game because I'm in a concession line. I come to watch football, not eat.

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

It will increase wing draft for paper airplanes.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I don't see one valid reason/argument against installing WiFi other than: "it costs money!"

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

I don't see the need in adding one more thing to distract fans from participating in the game. They have added so many distractions already with all the Hokie Vision games and nonsense that fill the timeouts. I think some of that is needed to make it more family oriented. But I can't stand it when a critical 3rd down is coming up, a TO was called, and Hokie Vision distracts the fans from the game. That is the TO when the fans need to get loud. I miss the Terror Dome, and all these distractions are only taking us further away from what it used to be. That and losing of course.

I guarantee that winning will help with fan participation with or without a network improvememt.

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

You need to change the culture of an entire generation, then, instead of just those at the game.

ESPN. The coverage is excellent, you'd be surprised at how much you can pick up.

This is a fallacy. WIFI increases fan participation not detracts from. There is a study in European stadiums that tracked it. WIFI provides options for sports teams to capture interest of distracted fans as well as provide heightened experience to those fans who don't get distracted by allowing them to be in their seat longer (eg. Concessions ordering)

The fact is that fans change with the generations. Used to be fans were good without jumbotron screens. Used to be you only needed the school band. Used to be... Used to be...

By not adapting to how fans of the future prefer participating in sports you lose fans that otherwise want to be at the game, but want to be connected. Which, whether you like it or not, is growing exponentially.

Additionally despite costing bucks to install it increases revenues and has a steep upward trajectory due to the fact that we know the usage and revenue options will only increase over time.

Regarding your point about 3rd downs. This is a programming issue not a technology issue. VT could program their stadium experience to get crowds loud on 3rd downs, rather than offer side entertainment.

Personally I agree with your sentiments. But I don't feel technological upgrades are the root of the issues you are concerned about.

If people are distracted by other things in the stadium the data collected via wifi can be analyzed to figure out if there is something maybe the athletic department can do about it to align their marketing with what the user is doing.

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VT is on one of the main trunks of the internet infrastructure.
VT is IPv6 enabled.
VT's Network Infrastructure & Services says they do these three things:

  • providing reliable, resilient, secure, high capacity I.T. infrastructure services
  • applying design thinking to customer challenges for optimal solutions
  • providing excellent service design and delivery

There is no reason we shouldn't be leading the way on an upgrade like this.

Look for lane to have free, reliable, actually working wifi in Lane around 2030 or so.

Bitter's most recent article in the athletic was about how, for the first time since he was in college, he went to a football game as a fan, not a member of the press. His biggest complaints were the amount of downtime in the game (TV timeouts, replays, etc), and the lack of wifi. It was a really interesting read; he hits on a lot of the pain points discussed here.

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In down time I'd like to check other scores, text updates to my Dad and look at the replay of that last play. what just happened?

This is going to be great for the ACC.

my only exposure to foosball before VT was high school foosball, and there were no media timeouts. I was shocked by how often we sat around waiting for something because of media timeouts. Watching on tv can get just as painful, with intermittent tv timeouts when they've just come back from break. Kickoffs are a big complaining point for me. TV will show the kickoff after a touchdown, after a commercial, then go back to a commercial. WHY?

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

What do you mean sat around? You're supposed to stand the entire time!

Dude, most people under 30 are probably instagramming/snapchatting the game. If you want 20 somethings at the game, you need strong WiFi in the stadium.

A lot of college students get more gratification from having jealous-inducing Instagram stories than, you know, actually living life.

When I worked at CNS at VT, we looked at this. The financials just don't make sense for less than 10 uses of the stadium per year.

This is easily a $10 million dollar project or more and would need to switch out the access points at least every 5 years for another couple million dollars or so to stay up to date.

Right now, they just continue to keep the WiFi up to date in the suites and other indoor parts of Lane.

How long ago did you work at CNS? While I imagine the costs haven't changed, I wonder if the potential upside (or downside from not installing) has changed?

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This was back in 2012 but now I work for a large IT VAR doing work like this.

So I just looked up the number for OSU's project. They spent $10.5m on the stadium WiFi so looks like I was pretty close.

Most of the cost is going to be running all of the cable in the stadium. They ran 47 miles of copper and fiber cabling for the OSU WiFi project.

To pay it off from ticket sales assuming 60,000 fans per game and 6 games per season and 5 years, you're talking about adding $5.83 per ticket.

Trying to do paid WiFi works out even worse because such a low percentage of people would pay for WiFi and you still need the same infrastructure.

I don't think most NFL stadiums even have full-coverage WiFi.

Usually basketball/multi-purpose arenas work best for this where you are having dozens of events per year to help distribute the cost.

Expanding cell coverage in the stadium is probably a better investment and VT has been making some progress there with additional mini cell towers and such. They were pushing on Verizon/AT&T to pay for better coverage but the finances didn't make sense on their side for the 6 or so events per year either.

Social media was big in 2012, but has exploded since then. I would say the benefit for the younger generation has definitely increased.

I think the benefit is definitely higher. Not being able to send Snapchat videos until well after the game definitely sucks. Center Street area has barely any cellular service at all once you get about a couple of hours before gametime due to over-saturated cell towers. I'm just not sure anyone is willing to increase ticket prices. And I don't think we'll see any big donors caring about this issue since they have great WiFi coverage in the indoor areas.

Maybe Whit waits until we have a great season again, then increases ticket prices by $6.00 each. Well worth it IMO. I agree that it doesn't need to be Wifi, but there needs to be cell coverage. If Verizon/AT&T won't pay for it, then VT should do it themselves.

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Yes. It's a lot of money, but from what you say here it seems like you are looking at straight up and down numbers. That's not how infrastructure pays out though. You need to look at the growth in value overall. Not just everything I mentioned above but how WIFI can capture current lost revenues in tickets sales with younger generation not wanting to go to a stadium without connection and how that trend will only increase. You also have to look at how WIFI can increase brand value. How you can leverage it in apparel deals, concession deals with coke/pepsi, etc.

The growth curve on overall value pays for WIFI.

Um Lane already has wifi. lol My son, wife and I all three hooked onto it on the home side. We had to enter our name, email and phone number and was granted 24 hour access. It was listed as Virginia Tech Guest and worked very well.

Hokies fan since 1998

You must have been within the signal range of the suites. I know for a fact that most areas of the stadium don't have coverage.

I'm pretty sure that's campus internet and no idea how you got it to work in the stadium.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Or somebody's hotspot to steal you personal info.

Put in email, name, address, SSN, mother's maiden name, seems legit!

I think Virginia Tech is missing out on a huge opportunity by not installing Wifi into the stadium. Many rock concerts use apps to engage the audience. I could see an app at night game where all the phones produced a maroon or orange light depending on if you were in the east or west stands of the stadium. Many other cool effects and crowd participation could be choreographed.

If there is no enemy within the enemy outside can do us no harm.

It's not just a straight comparison. Lane is used maybe 8 times a year? Spring game and possibly 7 home games. Concert venues are used, what, 200 times a year?

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Again they already have this but few people can get it to work inside Lane.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I just don't think the cost of major WiFi upgrades to Lane is worth it honestly. All of this to me just reflects people's continually shortening attention spans and need for constant pacification and gratification through their phones or other entertainment. I get the convenience of being able to get a text to family or friends off more efficiently, but that doesn't justify the cost. Finding new ways for people to be distracted from the game isn't beneficial to me. I just think people generally can't sit and pay attention to a football game for four quarters anymore, which is sad. Students show up to jump for sandman and then bolt. When I was a student everyone was completely dialed into the game and screamed their lungs out and rattled their keys until the final whistle. If you're coming to the game to sit and play on your phone all game, why even bother at that point?

Well stated. It's nice to know I'm not alone in this line of thinking, but I know it is out of step with what things are becoming. I care about financing WiFi in rural areas for the benefit of a community at large, but to have to have it at a 3-1/2 hour football game is the height of...no, I'll stop there before I offend 90% of the TKP community, or the few I haven't already offended by my old man shit.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'm pretty young and I love your old man shit. Goals.

You aged out of the market. They aren't targeting your demographic anymore and they really shouldn't. Your demographic has less money because you are at retirement age and more health issues. So your discretionary money as a demographic is drying up. Need to attract that younger demo to make up for it.

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You are absolutely correct. I would, however, like to know a breakdown on donations from the various age groups. As for the stadium experience, I know getting the younger demo into it is important, but to what extent will the expenditure be worth it in the long run?
I'm just curious, and won't expect an answer, but it's been several years since I've gone to a movie theater and I wonder if people are able to watch a movie without playing with their phones?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

You have to start getting that demo now or you won't have any new donations coming in. The younger demo doesn't have much discretionary income either due to things like student loans.

Micro payments and donations are what key to this demographic and gamifying the experience. Small payments that add up overtime. This just gets them used to paying the Hokie club and then once they finally have a better discretionary income they become bigger donators.

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Sooo, how did Clemson do its IPTAY thing so efficiently without freakin' wifi? Are people that different today? No phone, no wifi, no interest? I'm not being snarky, I just don't understand.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

The IPTAY thing has been around almost as long as the program itself, so it benefits from the strong Word of Mouth marketing from its entire existence, and is ingrained as a staple of the program. IPTAY at its core is a micropayment strategy that gets a donor to start donating in hopes that they one day will become even bigger donors.

We do not have this great luxury, as we have never been as storied of a program as Clemson has until recently.

They also do things mobiley that is engaging the younger demographic and getting them to contribute. For instance, the IPTAY website is mobile friendly and easy to use for the user to signup and pay for something on their phone. I wouldn't be surprised if they did some marketing via the jumbotron at their stadium to promote it, so that they drive more traffic there to convert more people to IPTAY payers. If they added wifi to their stadium, they could generate more conversations as they will have a captive audience with phones in their hands ready to do what the marketing team is telling them.

I'm not sure how the wireless towers are at Clemson, but its located right off of a major highway, so I would guess it would be pretty good just because of that, and they might not need the extra help from wifi.

They also do things like the Clemson All In app, which gamifys the experience, by allowing them to accumulate points by connecting social media accounts, and attending all types of Clemson sporting events. Each account that is connected gives them more data on their user and what drives motivates to attend sporting events, and this gives them a better look at who they are marketing too.

This is all how you market to the new target demographic. You are not the target and really should not be. If you are a donor, then they already have you in the part of the marketing funnel they want you in. The younger demographic is not there yet and needs to be.

To answer your question YES people are different today. I don't expect you to understand this, but GenZ and Millennials view their phones as almost an extension of who they are. The data in their phones actually knows them better then the user will ever understand themselves. That's why giving wifi to them is very crucial.

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Thanks for your detailed reply. I understand it all, and I know, folks stopped riding horses when the auto came around, so I get that times have changed. I do understand what phones have become for so many, I'm just not so sure that I understand why. It is clearly addictive, though, and not age specific. I'm not trying to battle this stuff, I know the war is already over and phones have won, but since I'm not in the "hot" demographic, I guess there's no need at all for anyone to care what I think. I have a cell, it's even a smart phone, but it sits on a shelf in a cabinet until we travel or I go out on the water, and I've never been tempted to do much more with it than call or text while traveling. I must admit, I'd like to get the Uber thing figured out someday, but haven't had to yet, and I do use my computer daily, but never even think about opening it up during a football game.
I was at the service desk at Lowe's a while back standing behind a man and his daughter. She was trying to get a job there and they were talking about the job and her application. Or daddy and the service rep were. The daughter just stood there messing with her phone the entire time, never looked up or said a word. Stuff like that I most certainly do not understand, but I felt at that moment more like daddy was screwing up than the girl. Oh well, either way she wouldn't have gotten a job at my store.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I wouldn't be surprised if they did some marketing via the jumbotron at their stadium to promote it,

They literally used to paint it on their field. This picture is at the 50, but years ago, it was on each side of the field across from the ACC logo

That is great marketing. You have your audience captive for close to 4 hours, and they are literally looking at something that is telling their honed in target market what to do.

They could take this a step further and make it QR (Thanks for the correction) code, that people could use their picture function on their phone and automatically direct the user to the membership sign-up page, with cell tower connection or via wifi!

If they broadcast the game, they could even do it over the TV and that would get even more conversions to the website.

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*QR Code

But also, it would likely have to be fairly sizeable for a majority of people within the stadium to be able to scan it properly.

You can make QR codes with logo's in them. Why not make the center field logo image a QR code?

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Here is an active QR code I just created. Take your phone camera out and give it a scan

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hash tag er something I'm with IfishVTIam and I'm not that old yet, however I feel a rant from my experience on Saturday coming on...

I took a different route to the stadium than my normal walk, and ended up getting stuck in the student entry gate area. Discussion of the guidance received from two different rhino and PD folks to go this way can be had later... suffice to say never again will I listen to them or use this entrance again
.
Going in through this entrance was quite the experience. It took forever to get in. Part of the reason was not all gates had two ticket checkers. Part of the reason was too many folks for the number of gates, which is related to the timing on when the students decide to leave center street and head to the gates... Part of the reason was the number of students that were trying to get in with falsified tickets (at least in my line) that they had to stop and have turned away by security.

There was much complaining in this sea of mostly intoxicated students, which turned into pushing as the time for enter sand man came. I heard complaints of how much they pay for tickets and they deserve to be in for enter sand man and more (suggestion: maybe get in line a little earlier, eh?) In my experience in this mass of students, the entitlement culture is alive and well. So I was surprised when by halftime most of the students were gone from the stands! Such hyperbole from the students about their deserved access and then to not even stay a whole half of the game? Count me as a somewhat embarrassed alumnus.

Lane has lost it's terror dome aura. Some of this loss is due to the product on the field, but a lot of it has to do with removing fan participation and replacing spontaneous or cheer leader led cheers with digital visual content. There are times when our team is down and needs the full support and help of the fans, and that is when we need to be there to cheer, yell etc. and give them that extra little push to compete. We learned in the late 90's and 2000s that we as fans can really affect the other team's performance with our participation! We can't expect our players to compete at the highest level when we won't even stay there and support them! If we demand the best, then we must also show our best the whole game. Lead by example.

I do understand some of the benefits to maybe adding wifi, but I don't think the ends justifies the means. I believe it will further lessen the home field advantage as fans go from participating in the game/on-the field content to merely showing up for digital content. I see no reason to reward student behavior (adding wifi) when they can't even plan to show up on time or stay for the whole game. How will wifi get them to the gates earlier and stay the whole game? A few contests during commercial breaks? We already have that on the HokieVision!

Promising wifi to get students to attend and stay at the game will not solve the low participation rate. Will it keep them in the seat longer? Maybe. But the main goal here is to cheer for and make Lane stadium the terror dome again. wifi = passive participation, what we need is active participation. Support the Hokies because you are a Hokie, not because there is now connectivity at the stadium. Students should not need rewards created for use with wifi just to participate in something that they can get to, and engage in, with proper planning and intentional participation. Surely they can last 3.5 hours without wifi and enjoy their friends around them and converse with other fans and play an active role in supporting the players on the field?

Tip-o-the hat to the students that started the stick it in cheer on Saturday. That's more like it.

/I'm getting older rant end

You know you described a couple issues that can be fixed with wifi right?

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Which ones? Do they need wifi to fix them, or perhaps another way to fix them with out wifi?

Here's just a real simple one. Maybe wifi isn't necessarily needed for it, but a digital ticket. You can't counterfeit them. Make all student tickets digital not printable which would eliminate the counterfeit problem.

Why? They are on their phones all day. No need to have them even waste any paper. They have their phones they have the ability to just pull it up scan and go.

Add the wifi in and Tech could develop a heat map you could pull up on your phone to tell you where the high traffic is getting into the stadium.

Don't want to wait on a longer line fine, now we have data to tell you exactly when the best time to enter is and where to enter.

Without wifi you can't do any of that. That improved your experience as much as the GenZ ers. (Yes new students are actually GenZ not milenialls).

Or hey, you see a way to intoxicated person, you can take a pic and send it to security in an instant I your wifi enabled phone.

I probably could go on and on. Those are just a few that help everyone's experience.

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Or hey, you see a way to intoxicated person, you can take a pic and send it to security

Sooooooo, half of the stadium?

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I was referring to this complaint:

There was much complaining in this sea of mostly intoxicated students, which turned into pushing as the time for enter sand man came.

My whole point being, if there is someone that is way too intoxicated to be in public, or a dangerous situation, wifi could give you the ability to snap a picture of the person, and send it to security in real time in hopes to stop the problem guest from becoming an even bigger problem.

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I know, I forgot to put the /s in there

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Or you could go get security, or help the person, or security could do their job....any number of options.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Gobble Till You Wobble

Eh, I think that's the wrong way to go about things. I don't want WiFi helping people to turn in drunk college kids. These days with smart phones, a picture of you doing something dumb can follow you for the rest of your life/career. Then couple an embarrassing misdemeanor public intoxication on your record. Friends need to do a better job of being friends and getting someone out of the stadium if they are way too drunk. If someone is by themselves and dangerously inebriated I support getting security involved. But man WiFi to turn in drunk college kids? That's just some ridiculous Hokie Respect hotline stuff.

It was just an idea about how wifi could help a problem he was describing. Doesn't mean it needs to happen. Just one of the many possibilities.

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Pretty sure that most people escorted out of their seats for intoxication are tossed in the drunk tank under the stadium and sent on their way after the game is over. It's happened to a couple of my friends over the years, as well as some people sitting near me.

Maybe that happened in the past, but several instances I've heard of people are cuffed and put in the paddywagon and taken right to Christiansburg to be booked. There is no drunk tank or any detention facility in Blacksburg, so you go straight to Montgomery Regional.

Well that certainly sucks.

Had friend that severely intoxicated when he entered North Endzone, started to dip for the first time, and he puked and cleared at least 2 rows in front of him.

He was taken to the Christiansburg Police station until he got sober.

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I feel like everyone has a story of that friend who hurled in the NEZ and cleared some bleachers.

They must have been more forgiving in the past. I think these days you are spending the night in jail until the magistrate releases you on recognizance the next day and getting a nice DIP charge to go along with it. It's easy revenue. Your word vs the police and most people just pay it online to avoid court. Unfortunately it is a Class 4 misdemeanor that goes on your record.

So it's hard for a ton of people to understand how quickly a business can be pivoted out of a market and not even realize it. Technology grows exponentially, and so does the marketing that comes along with it. That's why it's important to catch up because it gives you an opportunity to pivot the others out of market.

I bet you can imagine a sealed tight football field with a pipette, that drips one drip at a time. If your sitting at the top of the stadium in the nose bleed seats, I bet you could realistically estimate how long it takes to fill that stadium ONE DRIP at a time from the center of field

Now here is how that would look if the drip grew exponentially.

"Imagine a magic pipette. It is magic because every drop of water that comes out of it will double in size every minute. So the first minute there is one drop, the second minute there are two drops, the third minute four drops, the fourth minute eight drops and so on... This is an example of exponential growth.

Now, imagine a normal sized football stadium. In this stadium you are sitting on the seat at the very top of the stadium, with the best overview of the whole stadium. To make things more interesting, imagine the stadium is completely water-tight and that you cannot move from your seat.

The first drop from the magic pipette is dropped right in the middle of the field, at 12pm.

Here's the question: Remembering that this drop grows exponentially by doubling in size every minute, how much time do you have to free yourself from the seat and leave the stadium before the water reaches your seat at the very top? Think about it for a moment. Is it hours, days, weeks, months?

The answer: You have exactly until 12:49pm. It takes this tiny magic drop less than 50 minutes to fill a whole football stadium with water. This is impressive!

But it gets better: At what time do you think the football stadium is still 93% empty? Take a guess.

The answer: At 12:45pm.

So, you sit and watch the drop growing, and after 45 minutes all you see is the playing field covered with water. And then, within four more minutes, the water fills the whole stadium.

This means that you think you are safe because it seems that you have plenty of time left, whereas due to the exponential growth you really have to take immediate action if you want to have any chance of getting out of this situation."

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VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

So it's hard for a ton of people to understand

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

It is because of how fast technology evolves that we are actually having this conversation to begin with.

It polarizes the population, because some people understand it and where it is going, and others do not.

Meanwhile, everything keeps evolving.

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Its a very condescending statement, especially to start a long post. And makes a lot of assumptions. The majority of the posters here went to Tech, and understand a solid level of technology. That doesn't polarize the population, broad brush assumptions and bold statements about their understanding polarize it.

B. You state that everything keeps evolving, but are pushing for a $10mil wifi type project to be installed in Lane. Is that money that could be used elsewhere, you know, in like human capital? Will that technology be useful in 5 years even at the end of the pay cycle? And so on and so on. Just because one of the top earning and top tier football programs installed something doesn't mean it's a direct fit for VT.

What's great is that on TV (and thru some statements made after the game) Lane sounded engaged and LOUD this past weekend versus UNC. How does being all-in on wi-fi and altering the current low level connect ability status affect that noise? More people that are less engaged potentially. What does that solve? The "visual" that attendance is down. (When it's actually not, just look at the numbers reported and that I posted below.) And so what? Alabama has struggled with this for several years. I don't see it affecting viewership on TV, recruiting, or the most important thing, winning on the field.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

So you suggest we get disrupted again? Stay stagnant and let the big boys push us further down the totem pole of winning.

All over this thread, I have talked about how it could help us on the field as well as off the field, by enhancing the fan experience, and in the process the Hokie Club could make more money theoretically.

If they were to do a wifi install in the stadium, I am 100% sure they would plan for future upgrades to 5G or whatever is even after 5G. Most smart businesses do when they are taking on the extra cost of upgrading their network.

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All over this thread, I have talked about how it could help us on the field

I'm looking...but not seeing how spending $10mil on wifi is going to win more games. Or score touchdowns. Or lead young men as a team that are suiting up for VT. Maybe I'm just naive...

And get disrupted again? What are you talking about? Disrupted how? What is being disrupted? It remains as-is for the players on the field no matter what.

ONE of THE biggest of big boys, with a truly storied football program, and twice the enrollment (so basically double the alumni base) with a longer football history than us, who owns the state for football, and has national titles dating back nearly 70 years and a capacity in their stadium that is 60% bigger than Lane puts in a $10mil upgrade and we should jump? No. That is not what VT football is about. Never was. Isn't now. And should never be in the future. We aren't a football mill. And shouldn't act like we are.

Put it this way, if Wake were to spend $12 million on some tech upgrade to their stadium, we would be all over it. We've shown either in this thread or another that we are similar programs over the past 6-8 years. Why would we go down that path? Once ever single one of the blue bloods has wifi, then we can get in line with things. But just because one of the biggest of the bigs does it doesn't mean we should. Heck, our next DC's contract isn't going to be $10mil. That's a lot of human capital. That's a lot of Hokie Club dollars that can be spent on ALL sports under the VT umbrella, not just something held on campus 6 times a year. Yes, the wifi and cell signal sucks in Lane. But I get over it and still go to games and it doesn't affect my experience one bit. Jack my ticket $20 to gain wifi...and for a family of 4 or 5 with $100 extra for wifi ONLY, they might not go.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I'm looking...but not seeing how spending $10mil on wifi is going to win more games.

Wifi will put (slightly) more butts in seats, and a proper app will sell way more concessions, because people won't have to miss any of the action while standing in long lines to get their food. More revenue means better chance for success in the long run.

Once ever single one of the blue bloods has wifi, then we can get in line with things.

Uh, seriously? You don't see the benefit in being at the forefront of innovation? Why should we just sit around and wait for everyone who already has more resources than us to add to it before we even consider it?

IF implemented properly, maybe the concessions work that way. The next complaint will be that they don' deliver beer, which isn't sold in the stadium anyway. They just won't be happy, and I don't see spending $10mil on something when there's a slight bump in hot dog sales. And being at the forefront of tech? So what. Will it score moar touchdowns??? No. It will bring a few more dollars into the club, but as has been sorted out in this thread, those that use the tech the most won't be the targets of the donor dollars. Those that have the dollars don't care about the wfi, and wouldn't support a large capital investment like this when the entire athletic department can be helped with those funds.

We shouldn't play big boy when we aren't one. Everyone who has more resources than us has more money and history than us. It's have's and have-somes. We aren't the have's.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

A) Your not looking at this holistically. The Hokie Club, Fan Experience, Technology, all have a direct correlation to the product we have on the field. Those other things help make us money that helps us recruit better talent and win more games.

B) I look at 2011 season as the point we got disrupted out of being a contender. Clemson brought the new offensive system with them and beat us in the ACC Championship. They took that distruption and used it to start a snowball effect of getting bigger and better donations because they have better marketing then us. Plain and simple, and now they have way better recruits because they can financially support a better recruiting branch of their football operations.

C) We need to evolve our entire football operations so that we don't get caught further and further behind. We need to catch-up and then distrupt ourselves. Right now Clemson is the in the driver seat, they can look a few steps ahead and be fine. We don't have that luxury, we need to get caught up or we are going to keep falling.

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You say we're falling. Falling how? The % gap is still the same. 10% of 100 is 10. 10% of 500 is 50. Just because the number looks bigger doesn't mean the gap is bigger...it's not. Are we loluva in football? Are we Maryland in football? No. We are way above them.

In order to compete with Clemson, it takes something other than money. Entirely different than money. And throwing money at it won't solve the problem. Wifi doesn't bring recruits. Wifi doesn't win track and field championships. Wifi doesn't support the soccer program. Or boost the wrestling. Or send the tennis team to regionals. Wifi is a bigger hood ornament that does nothing for the entire program as a whole. And doing that will not win ACC titles, or National Titles, or create a dynasty. It isn't happening in Blacksburg. We are what we are, which is a fine damn institution where young men come HOME to play football for a great school. Without buying a championship (and not via wifi, but straight cash homie) it's not showing up in town. And I'm ok with that. Because This is Home! And we build young men that go off into the world and respect it while doing VT proud.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

So let me ask you this, as a civil engineer, do you use some form of Civil CAD or Heavy Bid on a regular basis?

If so, could you perform your day to day job without it?

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I don't use HecRas, which it top end modeling software. But I get by.
I've hung up with Civil3D days, but can still lay out a site with basic cad with the best of them. And can run hydraulic calcs by hand that will produce the same results as a program. I'm taking home great pay and my clients are happy.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Great then as a business owner, when the next whatever Civil3D releases, thats making your competitors more money and helping them to produce things more quickly, and you start losing more market share are you just going to keep using Civil3D or are you going to adapt and evolve your business to be competitive, so you don't go out of business?

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Personally, I'm hiring someone who understands Civil3D and still producing clients and maintaining the relationships that I have. Just because someone has civil3D doesn't mean they produce good work. Or cost-effective plans. It's only a tool. You still have to deliver a buildable product at the end.

I'm at a firm where I'm a manager and I have worker-bee engineers for cad design. But it still has to be engineered properly. That's my role. Client management and oversight of the product going out the door. I'm not spending money on the "next" thing if the current thing is working great, I'm winning jobs, have return clients, and are known for creating buildable and efficient designs. Just because the cad is new, it doesn't come with a magic bullet or ring of knowledge.

In VT football/Lane stadium terms.
Just because you have a marketing team it doesn't mean that they understand the game. And giving them more resources to continue to be Pete doesn't change a thing, except I spent more moeny on them reaching a broader audience.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

BUT let's say that Civil3D users can complete their design work in 40 manhours, while someone equally as proficient in HecRas can complete their work in 20 manhours. The latter person/company can do twice as many jobs in the same time period.

I know nothing about these softwares or civil engineering beyond the classes I took in undergrad, but I think the point stands: Advanced technology can help organizations and individuals perform more efficiently.

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And if you don't keep up, you risk being put out of business.

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If they were comparable programs, yeah that's a difference.
One is hydraulic modeling. One is drafting. Apples and strawberries.

But once you are efficient in Cad, you are efficient. It's sorta like the iPhone. It opens an app a split second quicker, but once you know your way around it, you're humming along. The newer ones are shiny and the new thing, but the old ones are familiar and efficient on their own; without the shell out of money for the upgrade.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

That's why companies like Microsoft are moving to a subscription model. As tech changes every 18 months, they can just upgrade the technology through an update and you don't have to dish out 50k every 8 years or whatever it is. Tech changes so quickly, that it's really the only way to keep up.

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I'm looking...but not seeing how spending $10mil on wifi is going to win more games. Or score touchdowns. Or lead young men as a team that are suiting up for VT. Maybe I'm just naive...

It could increase revenue in a variety of ways:

  • Improved fan experience (purely by having wifi access) resulting in more tickets being sold and people spending more time in the stadium
  • Allow us to embrace electronic ticketing, which can drive revenue from things like mid-game upgrades, last minute ticket, loyalty programs, and less paper airplanes. Here's a list of case studies from a company that builds mobile ticketing technology. The pocket pass (UK case study) is something that appeals to younger people who want to be guaranteed a seat in the stadium each game at a reasonable price. Ohio State did something similar in basketball, where fans are guaranteed first level tickets to at least 6 games, and 2nd level tickets to all others.
  • Allows us to create fundraising opportunities before, during, and after the game.
  • Allows us to collect data on fans/donors, increasing fan experience and fan connection with the program.

Increased revenue = more money for staff and facilitates.

Once ever single one of the blue bloods has wifi, then we can get in line with things.

OSU, Nebraska, Stanford, Notre Dame (WHO DIDN'T EVEN HAVE A VIDEO BOARD IN 2016!!!), UMD, Kentucky, Baylor, Iowa, Wiscy, TCU, Penn State, Auburn, Alabama, and more have Wifi in their football or basketball stadium.

While I fundamentally disagree that we shouldn't adopt new technologies until they have become 'table stakes,' the reality is that we have already crossed this threshold; Wifi, or at least cell service, is an expectation at professional and college sporting events across the country.

Twitter me

Your missing the most important thing that wifi will provide us..... DATA.

The data that can be obtained from the Wifi system is going to give the Hokie Club and Football Ops such a better look at their core demographics and it will help them figure out how to get the people on the wifi to spend more money as part of the Hokie Club.

60,000+ on our network a few days out of the year is going to be a great sample size, to setup key performance indicators and see what kind of things are working and not working.

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I did hit on this:

Allows us to collect data on fans/donors, increasing fan experience and fan connection with the program.

But I strongly agree. It's public knowledge that HC's biggest struggle is fan outreach. If we can implement targeting advertising for our fans, I expect to see our donations increase significantly.

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We can also do some targeting advertising on what for it....... RECRUITS

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That's not something wifi will solve. Seriously, do you want our currently marketing efforts getting out quicker, faster easier, more often????

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Sure will. You don't think every recruit is going to be on wifi down the field broadcasting the entrance to enter sandman? Gets us more eyes on the experience, more over all exposure from more trusted sources.

I would even tell the recruits that they have their own wifi, to give them better connections, that way when they are down on the field, on their own dedicated wifi we get data on what is making each recruit tick, so we can really get down to what is motivating them and personalize the experience to an extreme level.

If you don't think places like Ohio State are doing that I don't know what to tell you.

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Missed my point. Do you want VTFootball's twitter to have a bigger role to reach people quicker.

And let me say, spending $10mil so a cruit can post something on twitter.....well, I'd rather be SMU and just stuff pockets. That's a lot of cabbage that can be better spent athletic department wide.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I absolutely want them to Tweet, Instagram, Facebook, TicToc, whatever it is. It gives us an insight into what makes them tick, what motivates them, how they feel, etc.

As someone who manages clients wants and needs in order to do that don't you need to have an understanding of who the client is? Don't you take them on golf trips like the one in your profile photo to build a relationship and better understand them, so when you have to have a tough conversation, it's easier to do since you have a relationship with them.

That's what giving Wifi to the stadium does. It gives VT an even better look into everyone that goes to the stadium. It's going on a golf trip electronically with 60+ people all for the same 4 hr. period of time. VT learns what makes their people tick AND will then curve their message to personalize it as much as possible to generate more revenue and more money.

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Slow down...do you want OUR FB TWITTER PAGE, as it stands now, which is not top notch, to have a new ferrari to drive with recruits in town? I sure don't. I'm not happy that it's run the way it's run now.

And with the information gathered, utilizing the current social media staff of VT....you want them to do more of what they are doing now?????

Understand your client at games. There are 2 of them. One young, on the phone all the time, no disposable income. Data gold mine. The other, donates to HC, has season tickets, doesn't touch phone entire time during a game.

Personally, I go on golf trips with guys that want to be on golf trips. I don't float their way, they don't float mine. I'll play a round here and there, but I know my clients well enough over a glass of bourbon that I'm doing just fine. And I don't have a problem with telling them facts or the truth. I don't need a several thousand dollar get away for that ability.

(Fwiw, that's St Andrews, and a personal trip that I won from Golf Digest. Check out the golf thread...)

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

"OUR FB TWITTER PAGE" certainly already has an internet connection in whatever spot they're set up in. Just like there's internet available in the coaching box, suites, and press box.

This means that you think you are safe because it seems that you have plenty of time left, whereas due to the exponential growth you really have to take immediate action if you want to have any chance of getting out of this situation

That's where we are as a complete system including our current social media program, the hokie club, and football.

The Twitter Page or whatever social media, and or Hokie Club Website we have can be updated and pivoted before the Wifi system is even installed.

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This definitely occurred to me. Create an Instagram ad that will be shown to anyone under the age of 18 who logged on to the VT wifi in the last 2 years that redirects to a Bleacher Report article about how UVA is falling apart. This is the same way that cambridge analytica targeted voters in swing districts, and influenced the outcome of multiple state/federal elections. It's been proven to be effective.

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Ding ding ding

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And can be done on the side without spending $10mil on stadium wifi.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Really, how do we get the data you are asking for?

The data that VT will own if 60k VT Fanatics are on VT owned wifi for 4 hours.

Are we going to go pay verizon, AT&T, sprint for that data? The specific data that currently cannot be captured because the cell system in general around VT sucks?

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One alternative would be to award Hokie club points for members who share their social handles with Hokie Club. However, that's not nearly as scalable/effective as the wifi network would be.

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No it can't, not at scale. IF we get someone to log on to our wifi, we can see everything they do; every facebook post they like, every tweet they favorite, how long they engage with a tictoc video, etc.

Using this data, we can start to do cluster analysis and group these people into common personas; we can predict (fairly accurately) their age, home state, if they're a student or working, income bracket, spending habits, etc. From here we can target people accordingly; we can target older wealthier people with facebook ads telling them to donate to VT. We can direct younger people to news stories about how the hokies are on the up and up, and other schools are on the way down.

In order to this level of analysis and targeted advertising across the whole VT fanbase, we need them to provide information to us. A wifi network is the easiest way to do this.

Twitter me

A number of those basketball stadiums can be outfitted for less than the amount for a much bigger outdoor stadium and are used a lot more times throughout the year, either for basketball home games (18 versus 6) AND for other events that would require such access to be booked. How many concerts are in JPJ a year? Lane isn't going to be used for outside events.

Cell service is bad in Blacksburg doing non-game days. A basic upgrade to that system may boost enough for some to be happier...

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

A number of those basketball stadiums can be outfitted for less than the amount for a much bigger outdoor stadium

Of the schools/sources I listed, only Maryland and Kentucky were implementing the wifi tech (exclusively) in their basketball arena. Every other school listed was upgrading their football stadium.

[basketball stadiums] are used a lot more times throughout the year, either for basketball home games (18 versus 6) AND for other events that would require such access to be booked. How many concerts are in JPJ a year? Lane isn't going to be used for outside events.

I recognize this argument, but I'd counter by saying that revenue resulting (directly or indirectly) from those 6 events funds nearly all of Virginia Tech athletics. It's important to capitalize on those opportunities.

Cell service is bad in Blacksburg during non-game days. A basic upgrade to that system may boost enough for some to be happier...

I agree, and I think that improving cell service in the area would suffice as a valid alternative (from the fan's perspective), however, that's out of the control of Virginia Tech; they'd probably have to work with local governments, as well as cellular service providers to actually make it happen. I imagine it would be quite difficult and time intensive, and possibly more costly than just installing wifi.

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Yeah, well, Virginia Tech doesn't control the cellular infrastructure in Blacksburg. We are beholden to the whims of Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, and those four companies have demonstrated over the years that the lower network congestion for about 30 hours per year (6-7 games for 4-5 hours per game) isn't worth the added expense of expanding their cellular network in Blacksburg. You know what VT does have control over? Their own wifi network.

As for cell service on non-game days, I've never had connection issues with Verizon outside of buildings, and VT has wifi available in the vast majority of buildings on campus.

This is a general reply to the comments made in your discussions, not directly just at vtnerf.

First off, let's dispel the myth that concessions is what pays for installing WIFI in stadiums etc. It's a benefit to revenues for sure. It increases fan enjoyment and game participation by keeping butts in seats as well.

But these things are benefits of, NOT what repays the cost.

I mentioned this in another comment, adding WIFI is an infrastructure project. Running numbers straight up and down for an ROI is not appropriate for infrastructure. Infrastructure gets paid by increasing the value of what it serves.

Take for example a bridge. The value of that bridge to the cities it connects is what pays for that road. Increasing property values, economic development, etc. Decreasing travel times, gas consumption, etc. That pays for the infrastructure.

WIFI in stadiums are no different. So whatever the cost, let's say 10 Million, the added value it creates to VT and VT FOOTBALL the brand is what pays. How?

Data. Which can be farmed, sold, used to acquire research grants.
Increased value in our media kit
Increased value for apparel deals
Increased market exposure
Increased value to students, attracting more to VT. (Ironic since we are overbooked, but if we are following the Sands expansion plan then this is important)
Better infrastructure for WIFI increases small businesses economics as well. For example, why couldn't downtown BBurg be app'd for gamedays and allow for better access to table reservations, take out orders, etc from people leaving the stadium. Just one example.
Social media value. This you are wildly underestimating. As others suggested the value of having recruits posting on social media during games directly impacts recruiting future prospects. The value of students, alumni, fans in general posting during games increases overall brand recognition and value.
Safety and emergency infrastructure is vastly improved. Something noted below regarding our shared history with mass shootings.

All of this and more is what pays for WIFI Infrastructure.

Put it this way, if Wake were to spend $12 million on some tech upgrade to their stadium, we would be all over it.

Once ever single one of the blue bloods has wifi, then we can get in line with things.

That is not what VT football is about. Never was. Isn't now. And should never be in the future. We aren't a football mill. And shouldn't act like we are.

I don't understand this mentality at all.

We pioneered a focus on playing our best players in all facets of the game, called Beamerball and that that became our identity before anyone else. We didn't wait for the big boys or Wake to do it. And that got us to the big show which put VT, not just football but as a school, on the damn map with national recognition. And now many if not most teams have followed us.

When we built the Indoor Practice facility we built the tallest facility to accommodate kicking, which has now been copied. Wasn't our field and turf tech pioneering back in the day in regards to flood management and the grass itself? What about our helmet impact studies and rating system? That was first of its kind right? The notion that we only follow and don't pioneer in football is false. The notion that VT, despite no longer inventing the future, does not pioneer is also false. It's never been what VT or VT football is about.

Also why do we want the mentality of following blue bloods on everything? Let alone Wake Forest. If there is one area a school with "technology" in its name and lifeblood should be at the forefront in it's obviously technology. It gives a competitive advantage to perhaps not be a blue blood ourselves but to lead the pack of the "everyone elses". That would directly impact VT football.

Finally, for the argument that we should wait until next gen tech to be more economical. This is false logic. You never know what next gen tech is and what it will ultimately cost. The jump in cost for infrastructure is ALWAYS high no matter when it is built. Waiting for later may reduce costs in one facet, but may result in added costs in others. For example, having to pay for improvements for related older infrastructure to integrate new tech.

Does VT need to finance and build WIFI immediately. No, perhaps not. But to dismiss it and it's real benefits to VT and VT football because of costs, the notion that we never pioneer or that we should only follow is false logic and historically inaccurate.

Solid response. Thank you for staying on point and not just posting 1. Buy wifi. 2. Install wifi. 3. ? 4. Win more games.

As I understand it, what's being discussed in only wifi inside Lane that would be utilized 6 times a year to those in the outdoor seats since those in the boxes already have wifi access. Not a university-wide upgrade. Not a 250-times a year interactive monster that can be utilized for hundreds of things. Just a (to dumb it down to the basics) simple repeater inside Lane for gameday improved connectivity.

Following that thinking, this is no where near a bridge. That gets used every day and by everyone. It's a static thing that isn't going anywhere. The wifi in Lane would only be used a few times a year. Similar value-added to what you explained, but the value itself is on an entirely different scale.

As to the Beamer pioneering on-the-field approaches. I whole heartedly agree. However, it's been stated in here (and that's what I'm trying to get an answer to) that installing wifi will win us more games. All I've done is ask HOW? Yes, Beamer played the best athletes on special teams ON THE FIELD. Yes, we built the Beamer Barn to practice everyday (and utilize for other sports as well) to improve performance ON THE FIELD. We tested turf to improve THE FIELD. How does wifi improve the product ON THE FIELD.

The reposnse has been we'll have tons of data. Great. We could get that now at a fraction of the cost. We could do a lot better in our social media presence/timing/marketing. Let's focus on that before overwhelming someone who can't handle what they have now with a bajillion times more data to cull thru.

The Hokie Club is reworking they interface. Let's see how that plays out...and how fundraising goes following that roll out. The new wifi system has been touted as a source to prompt more donations...but let's try what we already have in the works before a large capital improvement renovation.

My point bout Wake Forest was more for the reverse look. If Wake sees us putting a large cost wifi system inside the stadium, they will scoff and move on. Won't blink an eye. We see anOSU do it and loose our minds because we have to have it. It's the perspective, and the fomo effect. Let the big boys buy their toys. We need to roll up our sleeves, grab the lunch pail, and put in work to win games.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

It's not a Cartman profit model, no. That's for sure. But let me offer a better explanation to the point you are making.

There's no need to rehash my comments on infrastructural value so lets focus "on the field" as you put it.

rhetorical question, do apparel contracts have impact on the field? The answer: Yes, it does. Good apparel and uniforms attract recruits, improve player satisfaction while on the team and create additional purchasing from fans wanting cool merch. Attracting recruits helps our overall recruiting efforts that help improve on field performance by getting better players, so check. Improving player satisfaction with uniforms, etc also results in on the field impact, so check. Fans buying more merch means more money going to our Athletics department that can mean larger budgeting for things like recruiting, so check again.

(Not saying it's all about recruiting, just using it as an example)

It is clear that an intangible asset like an apparel contract can have impact on the field. The same is not only true for WIFI but WIFI also accelerates the value curve of these type of assets exponentially.

For example, with WIFI recruits can now flood social media with pics/videos/tweets/tik toks/etc of them in said apparel at game day during the greatest opening in college football or after a great win like last week. That in turn attracts other recruits attention as well as increases our overall brand awareness in the market that can translate into increased market capture. More brand awareness means we can (finally) leverage a higher profile apparel deal which will mean even better apparel for recruits to post on social media further attracting additional recruits, better uniform designs for players to feel proud to play in and better/cooler merch for fans to buy more of which increases take home revenue to be used for things like recruiting budgets. All of that means the impact on the field is exponentially increasing due to WIFI access.

Now apply that to all the things WIFI can interact with, those I mentioned and haven't mentioned and all of those things that we don't even know will come, and it all can translate to impact on the field. Not just as an add value but exponentially increasing that value curve of each of those things like apparel above.

Lets get to your point about the numbers now in regards to data an how that translates. I know, it's just 6 games. So lets average the attendance not in suites to 50k per game, making it 300,000 people per year. I know that doesn't seem like a lot but in actual fact it is. And the value of data isn't based primarily on the amount of people but rather the diversity of people in the captured data pool. Stadiums have enormous big data potential due to its large variety of population in the pool. Rich to poor, young to old, student to employed to retired, alumni to non-alumni, ethnic backgrounds, gender, where they are from, all of the independent data analytics farmed from their individual social media and accounts. For big data that is an absolute gold mine.

How do I know this is true? Because I am low key one of the top consultants on Smart Cities in the world. I have been and am now hired by governments all over the world to help them assess and setup Smart City programs and developments, including how to capitalize on big data. (Hint: do not trust the tech companies) A population of 300,000, which is larger than most Smart City developments, that is as diverse as a stadium is an absolute gold mine.

That data can be sold or used in research, but more to your point it also allows us to create data analytic packages for marketing to leverage companies like say an apparel company. Nike drools over having this kind of market info with a captured population. That desire allows us to renegotiate an even better deal with them next time which in turn exponentially affects everything I listed above that has real on the field impact even more.

Hope that better explains it.

So like I said, I am not calling for it immediately, but there is a lot of misconception about how it can benefit the program. No matter it is just money or results that impact on the field WIFI can directly be used to do that.

And I appreciate your time to explain it better than "because!"
I'm not opposed, just think that we have better opportunities to spend those funds in building the entire department, reworking the Hokie Club, and improving our social media presence. Much of what is in the works now. Let's see how those shake out and the impact of those things, then discuss the add-on capital projects. Not a full-on wait-and-see, but there should be a tick up from these things getting revamped. And to the point of the apparel, aren't we do for a renewed Nike contract in a year or so? That could bring in a substantial increase from the current rate that could fund something this scale for both the Cassell reno and Lane.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

yeah, agree. Like I said, I definitely think it's worthy but without looking at how it would be paid for I can't say NOW is the right time. But whatever time it does come it's going to cost more than people think it should, whether that's now or 5 years from now.

good chat!

But to dismiss it and it's real benefits to VT and VT football because of costs, the notion that we never pioneer or that we should only follow is false logic and historically inaccurate.

I didn't read anybody taking any part of that stance here. All people said was "Maybe this isn't the highest priority for $10 million of VT football money right now".

As for the value of the data collection from fans during football games, I find that interesting. Is it worth $10 million (or whatever the cost of installing wifi would be)? I'd like to see that part presented in more detail. I do see the value in social media, but people can still take photos - there's a delay in sending them out along with pithy comments. I'd like to have that, but what's the value of that immediacy for VT football? Eventually, it will have to be there, but what's the value of being on the cutting edge? Part of this seems to be a "keeping up with the jones's" thing.

I see wifi at games to be a "nice to have", not a must have. Eventually, it may be a "must have", unless 5G gets here first, where I'd think that might fill the need. I just don't know what the timing of that will be, or when it will show up in Blacksburg.

What we're talking about here is the value to students and fans attending games, vs other uses of $10 million. I trust Whit to be able to prioritize that.

but are pushing for a $10mil wifi type project to be installed in Lane

Just to keep everyone honest because the $10M has been getting thrown around here a bunch, OSU spent $10.5M to install at their football stadium (almost half again as large as Lane) and their basketball arena - which is a 19,000 seat arena.

An installation at VT would clearly not be close to the same scale.

It'll be a Virginia wage-rate job, so by the end of it, it could end up being more.....

/s sort of.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

The complaints that Tech isn't keeping up with the big boys of football include doing things like this.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Kind of a rant, but for me, the sport as a whole is rapidly approaching a point where enough is enough and keeping up with the Joneses so to speak is getting ridiculous. I get major athletics facilities upgrades, indoor facilities, etc. But some of these big capital investments I just don't see the value in. There's always going to be someone with more money doing the next big over-the-top thing. Eventually (if we aren't already there) only a handful of teams are going to compete for the top recruits and a championship every year. I realize the distinct possibility that that group may not include VT. At the price tag and for only 6-7 times a year, I don't see the utility in implementing WiFi in the stadium so people can instagram and snapchat the whole time. I think there are better and more pressing ways to spend that money if we are going to spend it.

Your just saying we have been disrupted, and we absolutely have at this point. However, I would note that Tech got to this point because we used College Gameday as an excellent marketing tool that others were not at the time. It helped give us exposure that lead to landing major recruits that got us to National Championship.

We pivoted again when the conferences were realigning, but the leadership of the ACC let the conference down which saw the conference fall behind others at the time.

Tech was pivoted once again when offenses started to revolutionize more recently and the implementation of the Playoff system has really made it extremely hard to compete at the top, as teams get twice as much bowl revenue that make it to the playoffs and then the championship.

In order to get back to the top the entire football organization needs to do the things we are discussing, but I would argue try to pivot the market as well.

The Virginia Tech Football business model is broken. The root of the problem is poor donations, how can we all collectively fix that problem?

What's
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because we used College Gameday as an excellent marketing tool that others were not at the time. It helped give us exposure that lead to landing major recruits that got us to National Championship.

The first Gameday in Blacksburg was the year we went to the Natty...

And I would say, we were never at "the top". We were second tier, got a peek at the top, and aren't going to ever be a blue-blood, top tier level program. Spending money on an internal wifi system will not win games on the field. Nor will in bring that elite, program changing 5-star into Blacksburg. That's a nicety, but not a necessity. Let's focus on what's between the headsets before we go trying to send 1million tweets during a home blow-out.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

The whole department from the Hokie Club, Marketing, Sales, etc. needs to be looked at holistically. Look at the track record, we have been pivoted out of being competitors for many reasons other then just the play on the field.

If we don't catch-up with the pivot or try to get ahead of it, then just expect more of the same. kind of seasons that we have been having recently.

You have to evolve with the times or perish.

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And you have to look at the history. We did evolve. We went to the Natty. We built buildings. We were on ESPN on Thursdays every year. We did evolve with the times. And yet here we are. We will never be an elite program, or a blue blood. We can be the best of the rest, but no need to act (and spend like Bammer, anOSU, Michigan, Texas, etc.)

And we aren't dead. Hard times maybe, but far from dead.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I streamed last week's game in Lisbon, Portugal from Hulu an Ipad.

We're not dead yet.

Weird flex but okay

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I'm saying that VT football has come a long ways, and we are harnessing technology in some ways. Last year I was in Key West and couldn't get some games. This year I was able to get the UNC game in Lisbon. We are making progress.

And the idea that VT is lost in the desert because we don't have WIFI in Lane is a bit of an exaggeration.

I trust Whit to be on top of this, and able to prioritize it correctly with all the other resource demands.

From my perspective, having a donor system that I can access is a higher priority than stadium wifi for games. There are a handful of other apps that would seem to me to be more important right now than people being able to order drinks to their seats. Rack the priorities, stack them, and see where it comes out.

Bingo. And doing so will help the entire department, not just one sport.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I agree I'm just messing with you since you flexed on everyone by stating you were in Portugal lol

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Yeah, humble brag I guess (and deserves some ribbing), but the point is that I was very happy to be able to watch that game, and in even the recent past I might not have been able to.

It all needs to be done at the same time.

The worst thing you can do as a business is say hey we really need an App, but have no thought process behind it but hey we need one. How will this app enhance the user experience, and do we really need an App to enhance the experience? If you have good answers to those questions, it is yes, lets make the App.

Apps are decreasing in popularity mostly because as the internet continues to evolve websites become more like apps. So it might be better to spend those resources on something like a Progressive Web App (A website that acts like an App) then an actual App itself.

What's
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If we put in the WiFi system, my only condition is that they keep a live Twitter feed going on HokieVision during the game to capture the hot takes and critiques in real-time. Instant feedback!

This would be haute

That would be amazing actually. LOL talk about improving the fan experience.

What's
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I pay good money to go to the games to cheer on my Hokies, enjoy the competition of the game, be with my family and friends. I don't need any other entertainment/distraction/electronic device or whatever else you want to call it. All other football games going on at the same time are meaningless until after the Hokies finish playing.

What you are describing is not unique to Virginia Tech as attendance at games is across college football is down. It is just the result of canabilzation of ticket sales, now that games can be watched digitally practically anywhere. I will add though that if our team was playing better, I don't think the stands would be as empty as they are now.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the near future the stadium cater to demographic that are big spenders. The stadium is big, and not being filled up, you need to make the stadium an extension of the digital experience now which probably means higher costing tickets to the elite to makeup for the lack of volume.

Think about the problem holistically and instead of under a microscope.

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Just a note: last week's attendance was 65,632.

I'll post it again for those that missed it...

Take away the Marshall game in 2018 because it shouldn't hurt the numbers...
2018-ave 64,280 in 6 games, #22 in FBS
2017-ave 63,214 in 6 games, #24 in FBS
2016-ave 63,043 in 6 games, #26 in FBS
2015-ave 60,824 in 6 games, #28 in FBS ย 

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

What is it so far this year?

When I was in my last year at Tech one of my classes had a guest lecturer who tried to convince us that electronic messages such as emails would never overtake the importance of phone calls. That the instant need for information couldn't replace the need people have to actually hear each other. She was obviously dead wrong.

The fact is time marches on. How you enjoy games is not how I do and how I do is not how students do now. And technology goes hand in hand with that. Whether we decry the need for connection or not matters not. It just is how it is and it's not going back.

So if that is the case and the likelihood of keeping younger fans engaged decreases without connectivity then why would that matter to you and me? We want what's best for VT. We want Lane sold out. If as time marches on and WIFI in stadiums is the trend, and it is, then why fight it? Lets try to make VT better and by doing that lets try to capture more younger fans so they can in the future gripe about how young fans now don't support the team like they did. If that means installing WIFI in the stadium, or whatever else in future comes up that become norms for new fans, then I'm all for it.

I'm guessing, that if student attendance continues to drop (% of scanned tickets or however it's tracked) then those tickets will be shifted to public sales, which yields more dollars for VT Athletics. And that would prob take place prior to trying to entice more students to attend with a big capital improvement project.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

fans get older. Inevitably whether you're giving student tickets out or selling to fans those fans will eventually demand technology. Do we get ahead of that curve or wait it out until we are far behind?

hard disagree. the last thing we need is class after class of increasingly disengaged students because that leads to an increasingly disengaged alumni base

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

The irony of this comment is glorious.

edit

Didn't say that was my solution, but how I imagine the situation being resolved.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Oh I know. And I agree that could likely be how it's handled.

i'm not seeing it; I'm agreeing with you -- unless i'm misreading the comment i'm replying to, short term money in the athletic department pocket as a result of shifting revenue from student ticket sales to more expensive alumni sales sounds nice until you realize you now have an alumni base that increasingly doesn't care about donating

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I think he was adding to what you were saying and referring to the comment you'd replied to.

Edit: or maybe I misread it too.

oh well then i whooshed myself again!

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Yeah it really is a donation problem not the opposite way around, and you have to get the donators involved early in the process, which is why we in the situation we are in now.

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And how much money would they really gain? They would only be getting a few hundred dollars more per ticket depending on how much donation they charge for the seat. They have already doubled the cost of student season tickets over the last 4-6 years. Paid like $60 for my daughters and now $110 for my freshman's ticket.

Sorry gobbles. That's my bad. I read that as you saying "Hard to disagree".

It's okay fernley I forgive you we can still be friends

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Well I just want to say that the Virginia Tech Guest Wifi did work well for us in Lane. My wife and kid got on right away. The only reason I decided to hook up to it is because I couldn't get a text with a GIF of a Gamecocks flag to send with my data. I needed to troll a big Georgia Bulldogs fan and it was important to me at the time. lol

Hokies fan since 1998

I'm all for adding wifi capability to Lane in some way, shape or form. I'll trust Whit to prioritize it with everything else we have to do. 5G is also coming, so I'm not sure how that affects the need for conventional WIFI. Someone else will know better than me what this means three years from now, and the most cost-effective way to get there.

It's a medium/long term goal, and not a "we have to have it next week" goal. I can see the benefits, but the main attraction at Lane Stadium is VT football and the live game experience there, so I'm OK with some kind of incremental approach if it's more cost effective. There are some great ideas here with respect to digital product and presence, though, so that's something that should be in the plan. Whit impresses me as someone who gets it.

The highest priority here is the on-field product. Without that, wifi doesn't matter.

Blacksburg won't get 5G for probably another 6-8 years or so, there just isn't enough market for it. Hell, it wasn't until just a couple years ago that Sprint had 4G LTE towers in the NRV, so even once Verizon spreads 5G through the NRV it likely won't even cover a majority of people in attendance for at least a few years afterwards.

Still don't think that is the issue. 4G and Wifi are fine - until an hour before kickoff. And 30 mins after the game - it's fine. It's 70K people on Instagram at the same time in a small confined area that is the issue. Not sure how 5G solves that.

From what I understand, 5G can handle both more bandwidth and more individual connections, both of which are the limiting factor with the existing 4G network. In theory, it would solve the issue, but then we're relying on multiple telecom companies investing in infrastructure in the region, which isn't likely to happen for quite some time yet.

Correct.

I don't know how telecom companies figure their priorities, but I'd think college campuses would be in the mix there somewhere. Depending on the timing, it's an option to address some of the concerns here.

$10 million is a lot of money to our football program.

It's not fine in Blacksburg on regular days. Verizon's service on the south side of town is abysmal. This extends to southgate as well. I can make calls and text. That's about it. Sending a picture, doing anything online... slow or doesn't happen.

Game days are just worse than regular days.

I get that, and I've had that problem at football games and other sporting events.

It is inconvenient at times, but not once did I think "Oh, I wish I was at home instead of here so I could send a text or photo!"

The fact that VT, as a major technological institution for this entire region can miss the mark so badly on basic technology like making sure alumni can access the internet when there's a large function on campus like the weekly football game for half the school year, is just plain embarrassing.

I went to the Duke game and from the moment I joined the lines to get into Lane to the minute I got downtown after the game, my phone's mobile features ceased to function. The glut of texts didn't fully clear out from the queue until the next morning. That's just not a good look for a school that prides itself on being on the cutting edge of technology.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

I see it more as a resource issue than a technology issue. I go plenty of places that don't have free wifi, and I've been to another college stadium during the last year that didn't have wifi (FSU).

What's more embarrassing is the donor net. And every time I'm donating I see that one during time I'm trying to send money.

Not a technology major by any means (34 yr old with a flip phone...yes that's right...a FLIP phone), and can agree with Fish and nerf regarding how I prefer to enjoy games. However, as Grad has pointed out ignoring changing times will be become detrimental as other stadiums and teams will be marketing to a younger demographic and the financial gap will grow evermore.

My one thought, and hopefully someone in the know can expand here, but 5G is being touted as the way of the future correct? How far out is it? What infrastructure is necessary? Do we need to implement miles and miles of cable for wifi if it can be supplanted with a capable 5G wireless service that could support the entire campus as well as the stadium? Will going the wifi route be rendered obsolete in 2-3 years time? Would a 5G network be able to support 65,000 fans? Could VT work with telecommunication companies to run beta testing when 5G is beginning to roll out?
I ask these, because we are behind on the wifi project compared to other stadiums. Is it worth the (what sounds like) multi-year, multi-million investment? IF we hop on the next wave quickly by being one of the first to implement the next wave, can we get back in the game?

5G has already started rolling out, but only in large urban centers. It'll take years to even spread to the suburbs, and then years after that to spread to rural areas like the NRV.

If you're asking if Virginia Tech can launch a 5G service that covers campus, I'm afraid that's not likely to happen unless phones sold domestically start to feature dual-SIM slots like they do abroad, which is unlikely because a majority of people buy phones that are locked to a specific carrier, and I highly doubt that'll change overnight. And even then people would have to buy a Virginia Tech data plan just for 6-7 football games. And all of this ignores the fact that the vast majority of phones right now don't even support 5G, whereas every smartphone since they were first released over a decade ago can connect to wi-fi. I don't see a VT-specific 5G service catching on nearly as much as a wi-fi connection would.

He could mean 5G wifi, which is different (but also not really) than a 5G cell service.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

He could mean 5G wifi, which is entirely different (but also not really) than a 5G cell service.

"5G Wifi" refers to the band it uses (5 GHz, compared to 2.4 GHz for previous wifi technologies). 5G cellular network refers to it being the "5th generation" of cellular network technology.

5 GHz wifi (officially reintroduced in specification IEEE 802.11n after not being used since the original wifi spec, 802.11a) has been around since 2009, when it effectively replaced 802.11g as the dominant wifi standard. It has since been surpassed by 802.11ac, released in 2013, and 802.11ax, released earlier this year.

No, I'm talking about 5G home internet that Verizon is offering now in some cities.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

In that the case, then it's actually no different than 5G cell service at all. Their "5G home internet" is literally a wifi router that connects to the internet via a 5G antenna rather than an ethernet cable plugged into a cable modem, essentially an updated "jetpack" with 5G instead of 4G. It uses the same towers and infrastructure as their 5G cell service.

It'll take years before we see that infrastructure in Blacksburg, and even then I'm sure they'll size the network for the permanent population, not the extra 55k people that show up for game day 6 times per year. I don't see how "waiting for 5G" should be used as a reason to not add wifi to the stadium.

I'm not arguing one way or the other. But 5G home internet would at least be capable with the majority of existing devices. So that's the only real difference between the 5G internet and 5G cell service.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I do not have an unlimited data plan and would rather use a VT Guest wifi that is provided as a free service or for a small one-time payment instead of worrying about burning my data. I would rather save the data plan for when I really need it.

Also, as Verizon builds out their 5G network, it will take years, if not a decade to extend to provide adequate coverage in Blacksburg. But that is just Verizon. What about everyone else that uses one of the other three major carriers. Can everyone use Verizon's 5G network? Everyone has wi-fi on their phone. If one of the goals is to increase engagement of the next generation of Hokie Club members, than reaching as many of them as possible is crucial.

IMHO, wi-fi allows VT to get internet access to everyone in the stadium on a much faster timeline which allows them to more quickly reap the potential benefits of promotions, concession sales, merchandise sales, raffles, etc. Even if it is a temporary bridge to an expansive 5G network, it would mean potential revenue in the meantime. And they would own the wi-fi network and could control it as they see fit. I would rather see VT invent the future than to wait for someone else to do it for them.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

I do not want to turn this into a political argument, but as a school that has witnessed one of the deadliest mass shootings in US history, I do not understand why adding WiFi to Lane Stadium is even a question at this point. If we can do something to improve safety when we have an influx of ~40,000k people on campus, we should do anything possible. As someone who could not call my parents and friends when I was on campus in 2007, I think about the lack of communication every time I walk into Lane Stadium or any other place with lots of people and poor cell service.

IMHO, every school/large place to gather people should be thinking along these lines. However, I think our history should make us think even harder about what we can do to improve safety. If there's an added benefit of faster Twitter, more snapchats, and better Instagram stories, that's great, but my reason for wanting WiFi so badly is from a practical safety standpoint.

PS. If Ohio State has something bright and shiny, I want it too.