How do stadiums deal with the need for cell service?

All of a sudden, we’re starting to think about large outdoor gatherings. It’s something we’ve all missed, and something that we can hopefully look forward to doing safely in the next several months. With this change in attitude comes the return of some questions you may have forgotten about. Here’s one of them:

How does cell service work in stadiums?

You may not have a great understanding of how cell service works at all. But if you do, you know that individual cell towers support a few thousand phones at a time. When you’re in a stadium, you might be sitting with 50,000 other people. (Or so we all hope, right?) It seems like having that many people might be a problem. Not only that, but often times stadiums are in suburban areas. How does the cellular network keep from being overwhelmed? You don’t hear about local folks losing cell service when there’s a game. Surely there’s a trick.

It’s all about planning

That’s right, it comes down to thinking ahead. Poor cell service was absolutely a problem in the early smartphone days. Sure, people had cell phones before that, but they weren’t obsessing over them during the game. As soon as people could start looking on the internet from their seats, they began to see problems.

Stadium owners were quick to react. It took a little while for the right plans to get implemented, but it’s a pretty standard procedure now. You start with dedicated cell towers that serve the stadium. There can be several of them throughout the perimeter of the park. Sometimes you even see cell towers in the edges of the parking lot to handle overflow.

Generally, the cell towers are owned and operated either by the stadium owners or by a subcontractor. This is pretty normal — most cell towers aren’t owned by the carriers but by third parties. They connect to high-capacity internet lines so there is as little congestion as possible. That part is handled directly by the stadium owners.

Cell towers are only part of the plan

It’s not enough to have great coverage in the stands. What about in the snack bars? What about the bathrooms? For that matter, what about the locker rooms? Modern stadiums are made of concrete over metal frameworks. They’re astoundingly good at blocking cell signals.

For the inside parts of the stadium, park owners rely on companies like Signal Connect. We install and configure large-scale cellular signal booster and DAS systems for stadiums. When you’re dealing with a large building like this, it takes a lot of work to find where the dead spots are and blanket them with great cell service.

Of course, doing the work is Signal Connect’s specialty. We have a whole team dedicated to large installations like stadiums and we’ve worked in some of the largest, newest ones in the country.

Your office building may not be as big as a stadium, but it still has dead spots. Why deal with something like that? You can put in a system like big stadiums use, but smaller and customized for you. The price will make sense for your enterprise, and before you know it you’ll have the same great cell coverage that you’ll get out in the ballpark.

Signal Connect’s experts are ready for your call! Call us now at 888-233-7563 and we’ll get you a custom quote for your office, no matter what the size is. If it’s after East Coast business hours, fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you, usually within one day.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.