Blog Data

Wi-Fi Trends from ’19-’20 NFL Season

Ryan Hall Manager, Vertical Solutions Marketing Published 29 Jan 2020

As the Official Wi-Fi Solutions Provider of the NFL, we are excited to share Wi-Fi engagement insights from the ’19 – ’20 NFL season.

Powered by the ExtremeAnalytics engine, which pulls Wi-Fi data from 25 NFL stadiums across the League, this infographic highlights Wi-Fi and application usage from connected NFL fans in-stadium.  We also report how Wi-Fi utilization has grown and changed over the previous NFL seasons.  Do any of these trends surprise you?  Take a look.

The data outlined in this report speaks to the digital trends specific to the NFL and its clubs, but it also sheds light on more macro.  Let’s look at some of the more pertinent revelations. 

  1.       Wi-Fi Adoption and Usage Begins to Level Off

Compared to previous seasons, which saw season-to-season growth across all three categories, the average Wi-Fi adoption rate (45%), the average number of unique Wi-Fi users, (29,488), and the average peak concurrent Wi-Fi users (18,813) from this season either remained constant or experienced a slight dip compared to the ’18 – ’19 NFL season.   

It’s anyone’s best guess the exact reasons behind the season-to-season changes – or lack thereof.  With the emergence of 5G technologies, this may subsidize fans’ need for Wi-Fi in-stadium (doubtful, but a theory).  It could be a temporary seasonal pause with many NFL teams beginning to upgrade 3-4-year-old systems to deploy the latest Wi-Fi 6 technologies (more on that below).  Or, we’re finally hitting an age plateau for NFL fan demographics: fans that care about in-stadium Wi-Fi leverage it while another subset does not.  Most likely it’s a confluence of these factors and more, but next season’s metrics will surely tell us which are actual trends and which aren’t.

  1.       Data Transferred and Peak Throughput Continue to Rise      

Unlike the Wi-Fi reporting categories above, average data transferred (4.55 TB) and average peak throughput (3.45Gbps) both increased substantially compared to the ’18 – ’19 NFL season.

As mentioned above, teams are beginning to upgrade their in-stadium networks to the latest Wi-Fi 6 platform, for its ability to potentially increase network capacity/throughput and augment Wi-Fi efficiency, among other benefits in a stadium environment.  Wi-Fi 6 should improve the support and quality experience of more bandwidth-heavy applications and mobile behaviors, like streaming video, video sharing via social media, instant replays, and more.  As users, we interact with and consume more and more video content – a trend that doesn’t appear to be phasing out anytime soon – so it’s safe to assume both data transferred and peak throughput will continue to increase season to season,

  1.       Application Usage Consistencies and Surprises

As with previous year’s, some of the application-level insights are consistent with the broader industry trends: Apple, iCloud, and Google appear in the top apps by usage; Apple Music, YouTube, and Spotify take the top streaming applications; then Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram hold down the top social apps. 

That said, there are some notable data points among these more predictive insights.  Under ‘Top Sports Applications,’ we see YinzCam and the NFL app.  YinzCam is responsible for developing a majority of the NFL team/game day apps, which features various content and services tailored to and driven by the respective team.  It’s also where many teams are allowing fans to access their mobile tickets.  Mobile ticketing continues to be an important initiative across the NFL, to cut down on fraudulent ticket sales and to create a more seamless entry into NFL stadiums for fans and clubs.  With the League no longer allowing fans to print PDF tickets, NFL fans fan access/transfer tickets from the NFL Ticket app and/or on the team game day app (often built by YinzCam).     

Want to read more? Check out Extreme’s NFL Partner Page to read customer stories, learn about our in-venue technologies, and lots more.


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