The Portland Trail Blazers announced Thursday details regarding the new wireless network capabilities available at the Moda Center during the 2013-14 season. Additionally, the Blazers are unveiling a new mobile app on Friday.
"Technology plays a tremendous role in how fans interact with their favorite teams, and our Trail Blazers fans are among the most passionate and engaged in the NBA when it comes to consuming content," said Trail Blazers President and CEO Chris McGowan. "We've invested tremendous time and effort in a redesign of our mobile app based on input from fans and our own quest for some amazing functionality. The fact that we're also activating better performing WiFi access creates an exciting in-game web experience at the Moda Center."
Enhanced internet access through use of WiFi service inside the Moda Center will be free of charge, labeled "Toyota Free WiFi." This will allow fans to experience the Trail Blazers new mobile app, upload photos to Instagram, update Facebook pages and send Tweets, all while enjoying Trail Blazers basketball.
Due to the dramatic increase in spectators using mobile devices to communicate, share videos and photos instantly, the Trail Blazers and Moda Center selected Aruba Networks unified wired and wireless infrastructure to power its 20,000 seat arena. Aruba's Wi-Fi network delivers Trail Blazers fans with the high-speed bandwidth that cellular networks often cannot provide in highly dense environments allowing them to stay connected without delay or interruptions.
Maximum access to WiFi inside the Moda Center is concentrated inside the arena bowl, with high signal strength stretching through all suites, across all sections and down to premium seating along the court. More than 400 access points and antennas are being deployed around the Moda Center to not only boost WiFi, but also support future telecommunications upgrades the Trail Blazers have in mind. Telecommunications vendors Crown Castle International (NYSE: CCI), Structured Communications and Christenson Electric are combining as providers of the Trail Blazers improved high-tech infrastructure.
"Our strategy has multiple moving parts - the first of which is the full activation of a truly robust WiFi connection inside the Moda Center," said Mike Janes, Trail Blazers Vice President of Engineering and Technology. "The tech savvy of Trail Blazers fans motivated our decision to construct an interactive network to enhance their experience at home games. This is just the beginning of an approach that will change the face and function of our in-arena technology."
The new Trail Blazers mobile app, available November 1, runs on both the Android and Apple's iOS operating systems, and can be accessed via smartphone and tablets. Features include:
· News feeds from www.trailblazers.com and www.forwardcenter.net;
· Gametracker with live up-to-date stats, box scores, play-by-play and more;
· Live in-game shot charts and heat maps for each team;
· Game Flow feature allowing fans to read play-by-play details during and after games;
· Live in-game video feeds, replays and highlights (option only available in arena).
This is good news: now you will be able to text me, tweet me, and email me to say that letting JJ Hickson walk was a mistake, right from the comfort of your arena seat.
The Blazers are set to make their regular season home opener against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday.
Blazers president Chris McGowan first discussed the new wifi back in August.
Blazers marketing VP Dewayne Hankins discussed the new app back in July.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter