NASCAR fans are already revved up for Sunday’s Daytona 500 and may soon have access to Wi-Fi at their nearest racetrack.
Verizon is joining forces with NASCAR to provide wireless connectivity and 5G services to 12 racetracks in the next three years.
Verizon was named the official wireless telecommunications and 5G mobility partner of NASCAR in a deal that will see the company upgrade the connectivity and Wi-Fi services at racetracks for fans, drivers and pit teams.
“The thousands of fans attending NASCAR events across the country need reliable connectivity to share and send photos and videos of races in real-time, stay up-to-date on their favorite drivers, and connect with fellow fans inside and outside the track,” said George Fischer, senior vice president of 5G ecosystems and alliances for Verizon Business Group.
SEE: 5G mobile networks: An insider’s guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic Premium)
The tracks being upgraded include Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA; Chicagoland in Joliet, IL; and ISM Raceway near Phoenix as well as tracks in Darlington, SC; Daytona, FL; Homestead-Miami; Kansas; Martinsville, VA; Brooklyn, MI; Richmond, VA; Talladega, AL; and Watkins Glen in New York. These tracks serve as hosts for 19 of the 36 Cup Series races.
The sports league ended its partnership with Sprint after the 2016 season and has been on the hunt for a replacement since. Fans have often complained about the spotty wireless service at tracks across the country for years and NASCAR has been hard at work looking for ways to address the issue. Service was often dependent on what carrier you used.
“There’s nothing like the thrill and excitement of attending a NASCAR race and now there are more ways than ever to capture and share that experience,” said Craig Neeb, executive vice president and chief innovation officer of the league.
Neeb told the Associated Press that “fan experience did suffer” because of the lackluster Wi-Fi and longstanding wireless connectivity issues.
“Partnering with Verizon will offer fans the benefits of reliable in-venue connectivity as we usher in a new era for our sport.”