Zayo Logo

Zayo Connectivity Brings a Modern Fan Experience to a Century-Old Stadium

Case Study

Home to the Portland Timbers and Thorns, the historic Providence Park grounds depend on Zayo Fiber to keep teams, employees, and soccer fans, fully connected.

Download the Case Study

The Challenge

As the nation’s oldest soccer-specific stadium used by a Major League Soccer team, Providence Park has seen several decades of sportsmanship, fans, and technology. First opened in Portland, Oregon in 1926, the nearly century-old stadium has experienced multiple significant renovations over the years.

These renovations have not come without equally significant challenges. “We’re working within the shell, concrete, boundaries, and vision of a 1926 stadium,” Robert Rice, Vice President of Information Technology for the Portland Timbers and Thorns shares. One of the latest renovations underway now addresses a modern facet of the fan experience – WiFi. For Rice, that makes the 10G fiber circuit from Zayo a vital component of that experience.

Today, 95% of fan traffic runs on the Zayo connection. Once WiFi is fully rolled out, Zayo will be an important backbone to the modern experience we deliver.

Robert Rice, Vice President, Information Technology, Portland Timbers and Thorns

The Solution

A Network the Portland Timbers and Thorns – and Their Fans – Can Count On

  • Providence Park opened in 1926
  • The stadium has capacity for over 25,000 fans and hosts soccer games and other events
  • The stadium sees fluctuating data volumes, averaging 800 to 1500 Mbps during a game
  • 95% of fan traffic runs on Zayo 10G circuit

For a bustling venue like Providence Park, which experiences fluctuations in foot traffic and data usage, the significance of Zayo connectivity cannot be overstated. With over 20,000 fan devices trying to connect and exchange information simultaneously, the uninterrupted flow of data is critical for an enhanced fan experience.

Because of this, network reliability is key. “Downtime can be devastating if it happens at the wrong time,” Rice tells us. The impact of unforeseen downtime became very real when a fire melted both Zayo’s cables and those of the secondary carrier, which the Portland Timbers relies on for redundancy. Luckily, the incident didn’t happen during a game, and Zayo’s dedicated team was able to quickly restore network functionality.

“Zayo’s response to the incident was great,” Rice explains, “I was getting status updates on almost a half-hour basis, keeping our team informed about exactly what was happening on the ground. My team was impressed with how Zayo responded during a disaster.”

Zayo connectivity gives us headroom. I don’t have to worry about bandwidth anymore.

Robert Rice, Vice President, Information Technology, Portland Timbers and Thorns


Zayo Connectivity: Powering What’s Next at Providence Park

Aside from enabling the Portland Timbers and Thorns to create a great, connected fan experience, Zayo’s 10G circuits provide the bandwidth needed to power employee applications including HD and 4K video streaming and video conferencing and collaboration tools.

The Portland Timbers and Thorns have a full video editing team that requires massive amounts of high-quality video for things like streaming games from multiple camera angles and recording practices for reference. It’s critical that the team is able to capture video without disrupting or slowing other day-today operations. Having reliable, redundant coverage ensures that’s possible.

For a stadium looking ahead to the future and in a constant state of evolution, having the technology foundation needed to scale is key. “Zayo connectivity gives us headroom,” Rice tells Zayo, “I don’t have to worry about bandwidth anymore.” As the soccer teams, employees, and fans require more bandwidth, Zayo will be ready to grow with Providence Park into its next century of operation in a way that’s cost-effective and responsive to changing demands.


Why the Portland Timbers Chose Zayo

icon cost savings


Zayo offers flexible pricing models tailored to business needs

Zayo icon gradient 505 support


Zayo offers flexible pricing models tailored to business needs

icon reliability 1


Downtime and disruptions can be devastating if they happen at the wrong time

Zayo icon gradient 207 global reach


As the stadium advances technologically, Zayo will be there to support current and future needs

Learn More

Ready for what’s next for your business? Learn more about our products and services.