As a trusted partner, M S Benbow & Associates (MSB) was chosen to lead the design, execution, and startup of the installation, making MSB’s responsibility as vital as the technology itself. Leveraging technology from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, the network represents a new standard of excellence for both arena visitors and owners/operators.
But MSB didn’t just build today’s state-of-the-art network: Chase Center is designed to anticipate and integrate new emerging technologies. Here are just a few innovations involved in creating this cutting-edge, high-performance, high-density wireless and converged network:
- Nation’s first arena under-seat antenna deployment, which enables the highest density of capacity in network architecture while greatly streamlining maintenance.
- Wayfinding technology that leverages Bluetooth architecture that engages visitors from the moment they arrive for an optimal experience.
- Kiosk ordering for concession areas to boost sales and reduce customer wait times.
- Top-of-the-line security allowing coaches and players to communicate without interference
- Support for sophisticated location-aware marketing strategies.
- Broad-based suite of network services to support building operations, from sound and lighting control to A/C and physical security.
Technology experts would marvel at the complexity of this converged network solution and its elegant integration of core networks, switches and routers, firewalls, and extremely diverse hardware and appliances. The bigger story is how this synchronized network removes the distance between Chase Center’s owners and visitors – allowing for a seamless exchange of value in this extraordinary and beautiful new San Francisco landmark.
CHALLENGES: VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE
The timeline on the implementation phase of the project – 6 months from start to completion – posed almost as big a challenge as the technology. However, that was just one that presented itself.
More than 800 Aruba 6 access points had to be installed to provide connectivity to the entire campus, including the parking garage and Thrive City – the 3-acre plaza where people could gather 365 days a year. Concrete barriers and reconfiguration of the bowl to support a diverse set of events were also obstacles the network would need to get around.
More importantly, how could the role of Wi-Fi not only enhance that fan experience, but underscore the seamless, reliable operations in a very dense environment with a large mass of digital activity?
In addition, once the arena opened to the public, the technology had to be fully executed and tested also within a limited period, but with the addition of a now active venue.
SOLUTIONS WEREN’T JUST INNOVATIVE – THEY WERE INSPIRING!
MSB provided engineering solutions and a design that was intentional, and that has positioned the arena as a model of possibilities. The opening weekend the San Francisco Symphony and Metallica were set to entertain 18,000 fans at the Chase Center’s inaugural event, and did they ever…
MSB’s innovative design solution for the converged network system included using 1,728-strand fibers to maximize capability and support new technologies. In all, the network infrastructure boasts 600 miles of fiber optic cable for the network backbone, 300 miles of copper cable and 30 network closets to support all systems and applications requiring IP data connectivity, including Voice over IP (VoIP)-enabled wireless, cellular DAS, HD streaming and audio operations.
The network hosts a 20-GB fiber-linked network providing enough bandwidth to support high-volume multi-media guest experiences and location services throughout the venue and surrounding 11-acre district.
The 800 Aruba 6 access points (APs) each accommodates Wi-Fi connectivity for approximately 75 devices. The key was placing the access points as close to the devices as possible, especially within the bowl of the arena. The solution: Place the APs in secure boxes under the seats so the fans are right on top of them. Literally!
An added perk to the level of connectivity was the display capabilities of the largest scoreboard in the NBA (coming in at 82-ft-9in x 52ft-8in or 9,699 square feet). The first of its kind, the scoreboard can show data and stats normally only seen by those viewing a game from home.
Our goal was the deployment of a best-in-class high density wireless network with a robust, converged wired network at the largest and most complex venue technology project of its kind in scope, size and network capability. MSB provided engineering, project management, construction and programming services for the fully integrated converged network system providing seamless connectivity to Golden State Warriors and Chase Center guests. In addition, MSB interfaced with more than 30 different stakeholders from the Architects to General Contractors.