Comcast Upgrades Join Denver Broncos' Playbook

MSO’s Business Services Unit Boosts Wi-Fi, Beefs Up HD at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
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Denver Broncos fans who tote smartphones and tablets to Sports Authority Field at Mile High this season will find themselves a bit more connected to the outside world.

The team has tapped Comcast Business to improve the “fan gameday experience” at the stadium and to beef up the communications infrastructure at the Broncos' headquarters and training facility using a mix of upgrades and technology renovations, including faster Ethernet connections, more extensive Wi-Fi capabilities, and a heavier emphasis of high definition video.

On the Ethernet side, Comcast has increased the bandwidth connecting the stadium and the team’s headquarters and training facility in Englewood, Colo., by two-and-a-half times -- to 100 Mbps -- with the ability to  ratchet up capacity to 10 Gbps down the road. The team is also using Comcast Business PRI Trunks to deliver voice services at both locations.

At the stadium, which also serves as a venue for concerts and corporate events, the upgraded network is now capable of handling up to 25,000 simultaneous Wi-Fi connections, about 10 times the previous limit. The facility has also been outfitted with new HD scoreboards and more than 1,000 HDTVs throughout the stadium.

The team hopes the upgrades will enable the facility to compete with the amenities and comforts of  home.

“The renovations and improvements our organization have made to the stadium and training facility this offseason ultimately allow us to offer an even more immersive experience for our fans by enabling us to provide better amenities and services across the board,” said Russ Trainor, vice president of information technology for the Denver Broncos, in a statement. “As we continue to compete with high-end HDTVs and home theater systems, the pressure will be on us to provide the best possible gameday experience for our fans at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.”

Supporting major sports venues has increasingly become part of the Comcast Business playbook, as it has also notched commercial services deals with the Washington Nationals, the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia Phillies, and Boston Red Sox.

About 15% of Comcast Business revenues come from the mid-sized businesses and enterprise customers, which the MSO primarily services via its fiber-fed Metro Ethernet platform.  The division is on an annual run rate of $3.1 billion after posting $788 million in revenues in the second quarter, up from $623 million in the year-ago period.