Challenges, Opportunities and Better Outcomes - Deploying a Wi-Fi Network in a Historic Stadium

Creating an unforgettable experience for guests has always been the heartbeat of stadiums worldwide. Yet, the stakes are raised even higher when it comes to a venue steeped in history, such as Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. This stadium has been around for almost a century, hosting countless iconic events and sports moments. The challenge for this venue is to advance simultaneously with its guests' needs while keeping the timeless architecture that has made it an iconic destination. By embracing innovation and modernization, the Coliseum can remain a beloved landmark for generations to come.

Challenges of a 100-Year-Old Venue


When working with an old and historic venue like the Coliseum, there are unique challenges to consider. The location of the Coliseum in Exposition Park, adjacent to USC, presents unique planning and network challenges. As the Coliseum is not part of the USC campus, the IT team had to create an independent network for the venue. The Coliseum was designated as a national historical landmark in 1984, so the venue's historical aspects couldn't be altered - like the Bowl, the look of the Peristyle Plaza, and the exterior walls of the venue – which was something that the IT team had to consider when modernizing their technology. Despite the challenges of the Coliseum's unique ownership and historic nature, USC has successfully implemented an innovative and adaptable converged network system. This includes a variety of modern technologies, such as pervasive Wi-Fi, crowd management, and ticketing systems.

Uncovering New Opportunities 

Agility to Face Unpredictable Challenges

"We didn't have to worry about network modifications as we implemented new systems." – Frank Juarez, CTO of Auxiliary Services, University of Southern California.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the historic Coliseum faced unprecedented challenges in adapting to new technologies and operational demands while maintaining its timeless architecture. However, by installing a robust and versatile network infrastructure, the Coliseum was able to smoothly integrate new technologies like cashless sales and touch-free ordering, providing a safer and more convenient experience for fans. In addition to the technological advancements, the network-enabled real-time data collection about crowd management and safety protocols allowed the USC Auxiliary Services team to make informed decisions and take prompt actions where necessary. As a result, the Coliseum was able to ensure the safety of its visitors while still delivering an unforgettable experience.

Flexibility as a Venue Differentiator

The Coliseum's rich history and iconic status have made it an attractive venue for hosting various events, from the Super Bowl to the Olympics, and even unique events such as the NASCAR Clash at the Coliseum.

"Having the network implemented as we have in the support from extreme, we've been able to be really flexible." – Frank Juarez, CTO of Auxiliary Services, University of Southern California.

NASCAR’s goal was to stage new venues, sights and races for their fans and connectivity was a key piece for the league. Looking at the Coliseum, they realized it could provide a good connectivity experience. This allowed the Coliseum to gain a competitive advantage over other stadiums, making the network a strategic asset for USC.

"I believe that connectivity was a very important thing to them because they were looking for venues that have foundations and Wi-Fi; they found that loading files and uploading, downloading content, uploading videos and even placing bets was really important to their fan base. So, when they looked at the venues, they felt that the coliseum could provide that."

Better Venue Outcomes 

People crave an immersive and unforgettable experience when enjoying their favorite sport, concert, or event. Whether they watch from the comfort of their home or inside the stadium doesn't matter. Therefore, stadiums must find new ways to add value for fans. Technology enables stadiums to go further by identifying areas that need improvement to enhance the fan experience by utilizing data collected from Wi-Fi and other systems. Extreme Networks helps Los Angeles Coliseum to operate smoothly by using data analytics, driving operational efficiency, and reducing risk while uncovering new business opportunities. USC's Coliseum has successfully implemented innovative technology, proving that even historic venues can address operational and safety concerns while enhancing the overall fan experience by utilizing real-time data and a converged network system. Modernizing while preserving the venue's historical significance requires a delicate balance of understanding the venue's place in history and a commitment to excellence. Although the path ahead is not easy, the opportunities to preserve and enhance the legacy of iconic venues like the Coliseum for future generations are worth the effort. By embracing technology, historic venues can continue to host legendary events while attracting new generations of fans.


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About the Author
Andrea Quintero
Global Channel Marketing Specialist

Andrea is a Global Channel Marketing and Programs Specialist.

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