Germany: Barclaycard Arena Wi-Fi, CTS Eventim Buys Italian Promoter

Barclaycard Arena
Barclaycard Arena
– Barclaycard Arena

More than 220 new WLAN hotspots in Hamburg’s 16,000-capacity Barclaycard Arena will make sure visitors are connected to the net at all times.

To achieve this connectivity, the arena was wired with 8,900 meters of fiber optic cable. The new WLAN covers an area of 40,000 square meters. Barclaycard Arena worked with German IT experts arxes-tolina GmbH and Cisco’s Connected Stadium Wi-Fi solution.

The result is powerful enough to theoretically offer a 100 Mbit/s internet connection to 20,000 visitors. While the arena’s GM Steve Schwenkglenks considers himself to be more of a traditional concertgoer, who leaves his phone tucked away while watching the band, he knows how important constant connectivity is to many visitors.

The establishment of an elaborate Wi-Fi infrastructure is part of AEG’s Europe-wide IT project. Barclaycard Arena’s IT manager Russel Frantz said installing a WLAN network in an arena wasn’t at all comparable to a private internet connection.

“Comprehensively covering the indoor space requires so-called high-density Wi-Fi, which enables us to offer a stable connection to many users in a tight space,” Frantz said.

The entire Wi-Fi extension cost AEG a seven-figure sum, the announcement by Barclaycard Arena states.

Barclaycard Arena Hamburg celebrated its 15th anniversary Nov. 8. It was opened on that very day in 2002. Since then it claims to have attracted more than 16 million guests to more than 2,000 events. It is a regular in Pollstar’s annual Top 200 Arenas.

– Eventim

German live entertainment giant CTS Eventim is expanding its Italian operations, acquiring a 60 percent majority stake in promoter Friends and Partners for an undisclosed sum.

Friends & Partners represents some of Italy’s biggest acts including Gianna Nannini, Zucchero, and Nek. Ferdinando Salzano founded the company in 2001 and sold a majority stake to Warner Music Italy in 2008.

Salzano will continue to manage the company from its offices in Milan, and said he was “looking forward very much to the various opportunities that the partnership with a global player like CTS Eventim will provide us,” before thanking Eventim boss Klaus-Peter Schulenberg and team “for the confidence they place in us.”

Just last month, CTS Eventim announced the acquisition of another Italian promoter, Vertigo.

“Whereas Vertigo brings both domestic artists and many international rock acts to the Italian stage, Friends and Partners represents the Who’s Who of the national music scene,” said Eventim’s Frithjof Pils said.

Since 2007, Eventim also owns TicketOne, which, up until summer this year, was the only designated online ticket seller in Italy.

Schulenberg said: “Our aim is to offer [artists] Europe-wide touring opportunities and efficient ticketing services under the CTS Eventim umbrella. For that reason, we are constantly reviewing options for expanding our portfolio.”