Verizon Rolls Out 5G in 14 New Venues; Continues Testing to Bring NHL Fans Real-time Stats

Verizon has deployed 5G Ultra Wideband in 14 additional arenas and multi-year agreements as the exclusive 5G partner of the 15 NBA teams who play at these venues, bringing the total number of arenas and stadiums enabled with 5G to more than 60. In addition, the company is testing how 5G Ultra Wideband can bring hockey fans in the stands closer to the action on the ice by giving them real-time player stats when they point their 5G phone at the action in the rink.

5G in 60+ Stadiums
With 5G Ultra Wideband, teams have the ability to bring fans in the stands closer to the action on the field, court or ice through immersive fan experiences. For example, fans can point their 5G phones at a player and get live stats and real-time information about that player. Arenas also have the ability to utilize next-gen solutions to innovate around public safety, access, concessions and crowd management.

“As fans return to live events, the need to reimagine the in-arena experience and operations has accelerated and 5G Ultra Wideband is a critical component,” says Brian Mecum, Vice President of Device Technology for Verizon. “The deployment of 5G in these arenas is the foundation for unlocking future fan experiences and solutions for venue operations.”

The team partnerships, combined with the Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband network, can enhance applications like ShotTracker, enabling its sensor-based technology to collect and share game stats with low latency, faster and more accurately than any other platform. ShotTracker, a Verizon Ventures portfolio company, is currently being tested at the Verizon 5G Performance Center, the practice facility for the Phoenix Suns. With this technology, teams and broadcasters have the potential to use this data to automate the tracking of player shot selection, ball movement and player efficiency to provide near real-time, in-game analysis.

Imagine being able to get shot make/miss projections for a player as he begins to take a shot, based on total career shooting percentage from that spot on the floor, in similar game situations. This would require being able to process and present massive amounts of historical data, along with real-time, in-game data delivered to thousands of fans in the arena. This could potentially happen for every shot, pass or steal in the entire game and isn’t possible without 5G, MEC and ShotTracker working together to make a real impact.

Using Verizon 5G Edge with AWS Wavelength, ShotTracker aims to put this intelligence in the hands of fans in the arena. Verizon 5G Edge with AWS Wavelength is a mobile edge compute platform that moves the data and processing done by applications and services closer to the end user at the edge of the network. AWS Wavelength brings AWS compute and storage services to the edge of Verizon’s network, allowing for applications that require increased speeds, massive bandwidth and ultra-low latency. Watch the video here.

Verizon’s team partnerships and 5G Ultra Wideband-enabled venues include:

  • Cleveland Cavaliers – Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
  • Denver Nuggets – Ball Arena
  • Detroit Pistons – Little Caesars Arena
  • Golden State Warriors – Chase Center
  • LA Clippers
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Memphis Grizzlies – FedExForum
  • New York Knicks – Madison Square Garden
  • Oklahoma City Thunder – Chesapeake Energy Arena
  • Phoenix Suns – Phoenix Suns Arena
  • Portland Trail Blazers – Moda Center
  • Sacramento Kings – Golden 1 Center
  • Utah Jazz – Vivint Arena
  • Washington Wizards – Capital One Arena

Verizon was previously announced as the official 5G mobile partner of the Philadelphia 76ers. Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband is also available in Wells Fargo Arena.

5G Testing
Verizon has been using 5G and mobile edge compute to power select trials for in-venue, interactive applications with the National Hockey League (NHL), such as real-time access to video highlights and player tracking data using augmented reality (AR). As part of Verizon’s official 5G partnership with the NHL, Verizon is currently working with arena operators to install Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband in select U.S. NHL arenas to bring the power of 5G to center ice.

“Hockey is such a fast-paced game that only 5G and edge compute can provide real-time stats or multiple camera angles personalized to each fan in the stands on their phone,” says Kyle Malady, Chief Technology Officer at Verizon. “We’re developing cutting-edge applications powered by 5G, mobile edge compute and AR now so that when more fans return to venues, there will be new benefits to the live experience.”

Verizon recently tested an AR fan experience that leverages 5G Edge, a mobile edge computing platform, at a New Jersey Devils game at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. With’s AR application, ARISE, running on Verizon 5G Edge with AWS Wavelength, testers were able to point their 5G device at any player on the ice and see real-time stats overlaid in AR, such as player speed, time on ice, historical stats and more. The experience was run on two 5G phones side by side. One leveraged Verizon 5G Edge and the other pulled stats from the public cloud. With 5G Edge, testers saw a roughly 35% improvement in end-to-end latency, meaning, stats could be viewed virtually instantaneously with minimal staggering or lag and stats were updated in real-time as the game progressed.

“NHL fans are extremely tech savvy, they love the speed of the game and they’re always looking for cool ways to get as close to our players and the action as possible,” says Dave Lehanski, NHL Executive Vice President, Business Development and Innovation. “The tremendous capabilities being demonstrated by Verizon 5G and edge compute are paving the way for us to provide fans with new experiences and unprecedented ways to consume live game content. These types of advancements are only possible with a world-class partner like Verizon, and we’re thrilled to be developing new innovations to enrich the live game environment through our collaborations. This is where the fun begins.”

“Results and learnings from the 5G Ultra Wideband and Edge Computing tests conducted at Prudential Center demonstrate the Devils and Verizon’s shared commitment to enhancing the game day experience by creating and providing engaging, educational and dynamic opportunities and next level insights for fans,” says New Jersey Devils President Jake Reynolds. “As the sport of hockey continues to grow, we are proud the Devils and Prudential Center were selected by Verizon to support an initiative with the ability to inform and excite the entire hockey ecosystem – from fans, to media, to team operations, and beyond. We remain impressed by and dedicated to this partnership with Verizon, and its commitment to innovation in hockey and enhancing the fan experience.”

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