Feature Article

July 23, 2012

Thoroughbred Racetrack Digitalizes for Opening Season

The evolution of a day at the racetrack has gone something like this: For almost a century and a half - since the opening of the Saratoga Racecourse in Saratoga Springs, New York - there were several times throughout the day that seemed like utter chaos. Patrons would run about in a frenzied manner, fighting their way to the lines where they hoped to place their bets before it was too late.

A few years ago, race goers began using mobile apps like FastBet, and many thought that this solution could put an end to the chaotic ritual. But as the crowds swelled and networks failed to keep pace, race goers grew restless once more. Today, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) has equipped Saratoga with state-of-the-art wireless technology that can accommodate the digital needs of up to 40,000 spectators. Thoroughbred racing is now a more civilized sport for spectators because horses perform the majority of the racing.

Ruckus Wireless was contracted by the NYRA to provide its Smart Wi-Fi technology that will cover all 350 acres of the iconic venue. In order to cover a vast area that is high in density, Ruckus installed “dynamic antenna technology.” Sources also indicate that the broadband service providers, Deep Blue Communications deployed 45 ZoneFlex dual-band, 802.11n APs, a combination of indoor and outdoor units, managed by redundant ZoneDirector 5000 wireless LAN controllers. These systems will provide high-capacity, high- performance Wi-Fi service both inside and outside Saratoga’s premises.

According to NYRA’s CIO, Tom Thill, “Saratoga Race Course is one of the premier tracks in the country… In very recent years we've seen the number of smartphones and mobile devices in use increase dramatically, and we knew we needed to deliver a wireless experience of the same caliber that we've always been committed to at the track. Putting the Ruckus infrastructure in place was extremely easy, especially with the help of our solutions partner, Deep Blue Communications.”

At the Keeneland racetrack in Lexington, Kentucky, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approved the use of FastBet’s wagering app to be used at the racetrack back in April of 2011. Although sources reveal that an experiment involving 30 patrons using the wagering app took place during past meets, it is unknown how Keeneland plans on providing accommodating networking services by next Fall.

Want to learn more about today’s powerful mobile Internet ecosystem? Then be sure to attend the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct. 2-5 2012, in Austin, TX. Co-sponsored by TMC Partner Crossfire Media the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo provides unmatched networking opportunities and a robust conference program representing the mobile ecosystem. The conference not only brings together the best and brightest in the wireless industry, it actually spans the communications and technology industry. For more information on registering for the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo click here.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman

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