In-Venue WiFi Empowers Fans at the First Four

Gameday connectivity is high speed in Dayton as the NCAA tournament gets underway.

Dayton Arena has been an NCAA tournament site since 2001, and will host the NCAA First Four through the 2022 season.  Photo courtesy Dayton Athletics

Dayton Arena has been an NCAA tournament site since 2001, and will host the NCAA First Four through the 2022 season.

Photo courtesy Dayton Athletics

This year, as fans of college basketball flock to viewing parties and local watering holes to watch their favorite teams compete in what is arguably the most important competition in college sports, we’ve got the inside scoop on the mobile experiences that power the tournament -- from Selection Sunday to the Final Four.

While in-venue WiFi is still a barrier to entry for many host schools looking to connect with fans on mobile, that is not the case right now at the First Four in Dayton, Ohio. Hoops fans attending games at the venue will have access to WiFi at University of Dayton Arena, and Dayton’s gameday app will provide essential arena information.

“The fan experience is something that’s very important to us here at the University of Dayton and UD Arena in particular,” says Mark Gazdik, Director of Corporate Development for Dayton Athletics. “We added WiFi to the building last summer to ensure that we were a very mobile friendly, interactive venue.”

University of Dayton Arena delivers on in-venue WiFi at First Four.  Photo courtesy Dayton Athletics

University of Dayton Arena delivers on in-venue WiFi at First Four.

Photo courtesy Dayton Athletics

This means that everything works better on mobile: Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, tournament apps and good old fashioned texting. And because WiFi is in play, fans can engage in the experience from their phones without draining their data plans.

“Using GPS tech, fans can use our gameday app during the First Four to get information on the venue, parking and concessions,” says Gazdik. “They can access our WiFi to follow the action on Twitter, check live brackets or interact with their friends. The experience will be that much better for them.”

Across the sports and entertainment landscape, in-venue WiFi has been the latest must-have, and it hasn’t been an easy task. Dayton has made that investment and their arena will continue to play host to the NCAA First Four through 2022. Gazdik and his team are now looking to solve the next piece of the puzzle: how to enhance game day through connected experiences.

“In the next couple of years I anticipate the ability to watch live streams and instant replays in-venue from any and all of the camera feeds. This is a big piece of technology that is really starting to hit stride, and I know we are looking into it maybe for next year or the following year here at the University of Dayton.”

Follow along with our original content series #mobilemadness as we share the 411 on all things mobile for college hoops.

Read more #mobilemadness: How to pick and roll your way through the madness from your phone.


Reilly McClure @reillymcclure is marketing lead and customer success coach at From Now On.