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Heinz Field Wi-Fi designed with Steelers’ fan top of mind

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PITTSBURGH – When Steelers fans enter Heinz Field for the home opener against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday they’ll have access to free Wi-Fi throughout the stadium.

Wireless access points were installed around the stadium to give fans free Wi-Fi.
Wireless access points were installed around the stadium to give fans free Wi-Fi.

Installed by Dagostino Electronic Services (DES) last year, the wireless solution was designed to give fans the best experience possible. And that experience extends well beyond connectivity.

The Steelers’ goal is to deliver a high quality, safe and interactive experience to every fan at every game but they also want to give back and provide value to fans whom they acknowledge are a huge part of their home-field success.

Through the Steelers mobile app, fans can sign into the team’s loyalty program, Steelers Nation Unite, and earn “yards” by checking into Heinz Field on game day and completing other normal fan activities. The more yards a fan achieves, they more they’re rewarded with things like autographed footballs and invitations to go on the field after the game.

“In the game day environment, you check in and you earn yards,” Ryan Huzjak, vice president of sales and marketing at the Steelers, explained. “If you give your seat location and your mobile number you qualify to come on the field post-game and a number of other surprise experiences throughout the game.”

Fans can also better connect to the game in a real-time with a new play-by-play functionality that shows replays from different camera angles exclusive to app users.

“The Steelers mobile app provides the fans the ability to see special cameras that are only accessible within the stadium,” explained Chuck Roberts, vice president at Dagostino Electronic Services.

Fans can also use the app to navigate around the stadium or find certain types of food, for example.

Safety is also a big part of the overall fan experience at Heinz Field. The Steelers want their fans to feel safe and in a family-friendly environment.

In the past, reporting an unruly fan was somewhat intimidating. Fans in a hostile environment didn’t want to draw attention to themselves. The new wireless solution allows fans to anonymously report unruly behavior through the Steelers app, taking away that intimidation.

The Heinz Field Wi-Fi was available to fans at the end of last season, but this year is the first full season fans can take advantage.

The highly robust and reliable solution was made possible by utilizing products from Fortinet and Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise.

DES’ longstanding partnership with the Steelers

Dagostino Electronic Services started working with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2000, running the cable during the construction of Heinz Field.

DES later implemented the facility’s data network and the relationship has expanded over the years to one that is highly valued on both sides.

More recently, DES worked with the Steelers to design a wireless solution and ultimately install it.
Today, DES provides ongoing support during the football season and beyond, always looking to meet the Steelers’ needs as technologies change and advance.

“We really try to help them implement technologies and become their experts and their trusted advisors in doing so,” Roberts said.

Scott Phelps, vice president of technology for the Steelers, said, “[Dagostino Electronic Services keeps] me on track and they keep abreast of what the latest and greatest is and how that may apply to my business line.”