Distributed antenna system serves retractable-roof stadium

July 9, 2010
A six-week install put the DAS in place at Rogers Centre in Toronto just before the Blue Jays' home opener in April.

Over a six-week period in late winter and early spring, Rogers Centre in Toronto built a wired-and-wireless infrastructure capable of providing attendees within the 46,000-seat stadium with 2G and 3G wireless service. Through a distributed antenna system, or DAS, Rogers Centre boasts clear service even when events such as concerts swell attendance to 55,000 with spectators on the field and in the stands.

The system, ADC's InterReach Fusion DAS, was put in place in time for the Blue Jays' 2010 home opener April 12. Though the Jays dropped the home opener 8-7 to the Chicago White Sox in extra innings, the stadium's new DAS helped protect against dropped wireless signals thanks to the extra coverage it provides.

ADC reports that the installation at Rogers Centre, though far from its first such foray into sports and entertainment venues, offered design and implementation challenges nonetheless. Specifically, its design and multi-use (sports and concerts) characteristics mean the radio-wave environment within the facility can vary greatly depending on whether the retractable roof is open or closed. The DAS had to be designed and built to perform in both situations. Similarly, the coverage needed during baseball games when everyone is in the stands varies greatly from concerts, where spectators are on the field. ADC also says that with macro tower cell sites in close proximity, the Rogers Centre DAS had to provide stronger local signals in many parts of the facility to overcome the interference generated by those sites' signals.

The InterReach system has also been deployed at sporting and entertainment venues including the 2010 Winter Olympics venue in Vancouver, the Melbourne Cricket Grounds, the Millennium Dome in London and the Jamrat Bridge in Mecca.

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