World’s Largest Soccer Stadium Kicks-IT with 802.11b

The largest soccer arena in the world is the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Highest attendance reports vary between 199,854 and 200,000 people. Its also the home of an Enterasys Networks wireless LAN solution that has bolstered profitability and security in an environment heretofore fraught with ticket fraud and a lack of reliable, useful sales information.

The Enterasys RoamAbout solution creates secure, wireless connectivity between the stadiums 160 ticket offices scattered throughout the arena. It also connects to the central administration department, delivering real-time information about ticket sales. The solution was put in place by the Sports Superintendency of Rio de Janeiro, the government body for the region and specifically selected by Sao Paulo-based ITC, an Enterasys partner.

The result, according to reports, has been a 20 percent increase in profits based on the effective elimination of illegal ticket supplies and sales in and around the stadium. There is a purchase limit of five tickets in place, with sales registered according to the buyer’s tax ID.

The sales data is collected at the 160 Point-of-Sale (PoS) locations in the ticket booth and sent in real-time across the Enterasys RoamAbout wireless solution to the wired network in the central administration department. Therefore, illegal volume ticket sales and re-sales become virtually impossible.

Enterasys RoamAbout 802.11b solution consists of RoamAbout Access Points, and 11 Mbps Ethernet Radio Adapters and External Antennas. The system supports 40/128-bit WEP encryption for security.

The Maracana Stadium WLAN has been in place since April,2001. It has been so successful that 174 additional stadiums in Brazil will implement the solution based on the Enterasys RoamAbout infrastructure. Enterasys reported that installation for 32 of the largest stadiums is scheduled for 2002, in an effort to support Brazil’s bid to host the 2010 World Cup.

Matthew Peretz is Managing Editor of

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