Brighton FC shows record Wi-Fi usage for Arsenal FA cup match

Anyone who watched the FA cup results pour in on Saturday will know that the magic is well and truly alive.

This year’s fourth round matches featured multiple shock defeats for the so-called powerhouses of the English game, with Chelsea’s loss to League One side Bradford City being the pick of the bunch.

The results meant that Arsenals game against Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday carried added significance, with the London team wary of experiencing a similar fate to its Premier League rivals.

In the end, Arsenal won the game 3-2 with a solid performance, but that’s not what caught the eye in this match.

More surprising than the result was the staggering Wi-Fi usage that was reported. Brighton’s home ground, The Amex Stadium, offers free wireless internet and recorded an amazing 600,000 minutes of online time during the game.

According to Wi-Fi provider The Cloud, over 13,000 devices connected to the network throughout the day, with over 110,000 megabytes of data downloaded before the match had even started. To put it into context, that’s nearly double the stadium’s average match-day data use.

13,000 devices connected to the network and peak usage predictably peaked before and after the match and at half time.

The equipment for the stadium was provided by Ruckus Wireless. Roger Hockaday, director of marketing, EMEA, said: “With smartphone ownership at more than 50 per cent of the UK adult population, stadia can capitalise on this statistic by enhancing their digital offering and increasing satisfaction through connected and engaged fans, both inside and outside the stadium.

"Working with Ruckus, The Cloud has delivered Brighton and Hove Albion with a top quality Wi-Fi network that befits the stadium, the ambition of the club and the passion of its fans."

The results from this game show just how important having Wi-Fi in sports stadiums has become, with supporters keener than ever to check live scores, use social media and stream content during a match day.

Smart stadiums are the future (and in many cases, the present) and clubs not willing to embrace this will be left behind.