Ohio State fans will soon have access to Wi-Fi in the university's two most popular sporting venues.
According to Tom Knox of Columbus Business First, both Ohio Stadium and the Schottenstein Center will have public Wi-Fi systems beginning in the 2018 calendar year. The total cost of the project is expected to be $9.5 million.
Ohio State this month will start accepting bids to implement the wireless Internet access, pending board of trustees approval this week, with construction targeted to start in February.
Internet access is among a bevy of changes designed to enhance the game day experience for fans. The famed Horseshoe stadium, the fourth-biggest on-campus venue in the country, is undergoing extensive renovations, including more luxury suites, and it just wrapped up its first year selling beer during football games.
"The benefits are immeasurable," Athletics Director Gene Smith said last year of Wi-Fi infrastructure. "It is a tall task and one that many programs across the country are working to achieve as well. We obviously want to be a leader in this area and provide our support base with the ultimate game day experience and we continue to explore avenues to do so."
Construction accounts for $4.5 million of the $9.5 million Wi-Fi price tag, and the technology itself is projected at $4.4 million. Professional services takes up the rest of the budget.
Construction is expected to begin in February of 2018 and run through September, presumably in time for the 2018 season. Ohio State originally wanted to have a Wi-Fi system in place prior to last season, but those plans were shelved in the summer in favor of a stadium restoration project.
This has been a long time coming for Ohio Stadium. And, in 2018, Wi-Fi will finally be available to increase fans' experience at home games.
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