Cisco Hits Home Run With Yankees In New Stadium Deal


At a conference in New York, Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers said the company will integrate voice, video, data and wireless services into one network for the new home of the Bronx Bombers.

The Yankees and Cisco have been working on the project for over a year, dubbed StadiumVision. Cisco's architecture will support 1,100 devices throughout the new stadium, whose Opening Day is slated for April 2009.

"Video is the key word here," Chambers said.

Chambers isn't kidding. Video displays will not only be available for box seat holders but also in restrooms so fans don't have to miss a single play. Bleacher creatures and other fans will also have access to the screens in the future, from which they will be able to order merchandise and food from concession stands.

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The screens will also show instant replays and allow fans to chat with others both inside and outside the stadium, or as Ron Ricci, Cisco's vice president of sports and entertainment marketing, put it, "trash talk from anywhere." There's more good news for fans that are usually held captive in traffic tie-ups after home games: Video services will also show live traffic and provide train updates.

Ricci also said that the new technology will allow the Yankees to manipulate content at any time. For example, video scenes could feature batting practices or warm-ups sponsored by retailers.

Additionally, Cisco's future plans include helping the Yankees deliver video and content via mobile phones through a Yankee widget.

Hal Steinbrenner, Yankees executive vice president, treasurer and general partner, said he is excited about the new connectivity for the stadium but admitted he doesn't fully understand it.

"Some of this is technology that I didn't know even existed," he said. "But we want to give our fans this ultimate experience."