New 1.8 Million-Square-Foot Ballpark Relies Upon an Aruba ESP-based Network to Power Giant HD Videoboards, a Mixed-Reality Baseball App and Other Amenities
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company (NYSE: HPE), today announced that the Texas Rangers Baseball Club, the Arlington-based Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise, has deployed an end-to-end Aruba ESP-based network at its new 40,518-seat Globe Life Field stadium to power everything from a 5.5-acre retractable roof to an immersive baseball app that enables delivering modern, digitally enhanced game day and special event experiences.
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MLB's Texas Rangers' new 1.8 million-square-foot ballpark relies upon an Aruba ESP-based network to power giant HD videoboards, a mixed-reality baseball app and other amenities. (Photo: Business Wire)
To create its next-generation venue, the Rangers deployed a combination of Aruba’s wired, wireless and security solutions that support the ballpark’s technology infused amenities. Visitor-facing connectivity includes features like mobile ticketing for speedier contactless entry as well as two massive Daktronics videoboards, which display live and replay images plus granular real-time game-play statistics such as spin rate and exit velocity.
At an operational level, connectivity ranges from sensors that track paper towel dispenser levels to advanced building automation systems to keep the ballpark at a comfortable 72 F. The Club also maintains over 200 business, facilities management and IT applications, from common cloud-enabled tools like Box, Slack and Monday to highly specialized systems such as the retractable roof controls – all of which enable the Rangers to run its lean organization efficiently and effectively.
“Our network serves as the nervous system for a large public venue that is chock full of electronic sensors and controls,” explained Michael Bullock, vice president of Information Technology for the Rangers. “Aruba’s solutions have enabled us to engineer the equivalent of a living, breathing facility, while minimizing IT and back office overhead by giving us intelligent, automated networking infrastructure.”
In collaboration with trusted technology partners Lumen and KLA Labs, the Rangers selected and deployed a future-ready wireless network comprised of Aruba Wi-Fi 6 indoor access points (APs), outdoor APs, and mobility controllers. For wired networking, the Rangers implemented Aruba’s access switches at the edge and CX Series switches for aggregation and in the data center.
With the venue’s high-performance Wi-Fi, fans can enjoy new ways to share baseball experiences such as with the MLB’s mixed-reality app that adds a vicarious layer of augmented-reality lenses built on Snap Inc. technology. “Fans are excited about the new app features and we anticipate more immersive and personalized technologies to come,” said Bullock. “That’s why we’ve deployed a Wi-Fi network suitable for meeting future demands.”
Additionally, the Rangers are using ClearPass for network access control (NAC) and policy management. They have also implemented NetEdit for coordinating switch configuration, monitoring and troubleshooting as well as User Experience Insight (UXI) for Wi-Fi incident detection using AIOps to pinpoint issues that require immediate attention.
“Using Aruba’s intuitive automation tools helped us keep Globe Life Field’s opening day timeline on track,” Bullock said. “For example, we were able to reduce configuration of over 14,000 switch ports from months to weeks, which equates to considerable savings on integration costs.”
“Overall, by automating networking tasks, Aruba enables us to administer about six times the number of switch ports and double the number of APs with the same IT headcount, which is a significant ongoing return,” he added. “The only viable competing product would’ve required us to hire considerably more networking professionals.”
As completing Globe Life Field during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic brought unique hurdles, the Rangers also appreciate the technical support Aruba supplied. “It was a tough project in many aspects,” said Bullock. “We attribute our success, in spite of challenges, to our technology partners like Aruba and can proudly say we’d select the same cohort if we had to do it all over again.”
Looking ahead, the Rangers expect to continue evaluating Aruba’s networking innovations such as Location Services to support real-time crowd intelligence and Air Pass for seamless device handoffs between cellular networks and Wi-Fi. “We’ll definitely consider solutions that provide us with more automation and visibility that give us the ability to meet requirements for fan experiences that haven’t even been thought of yet,” Bullock said.
About Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, is the global leader in secure, intelligent edge-to-cloud networking solutions that use AI to automate the network, while harnessing data to drive powerful business outcomes. With Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform) and as-a-service options, Aruba takes a cloud-native approach to helping customers meet their connectivity, security, and financial requirements across campus, branch, data center, and remote worker environments, covering all aspects of wired, wireless LAN, and wide area networking (WAN).
To learn more, visit Aruba at www.arubanetworks.com. For real-time news updates, follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook, and for the latest technical discussions on mobility and Aruba products, visit the Airheads Community at community.arubanetworks.com.
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Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company