Bexel Sets Up Pizza Hut Park for a Win with Fiber Optics
Continuing with the company’s commitment to provide engineering and technical support for large sporting and entertainment venues, Bexel recently completed a fiber optics and Triax overhaul at Pizza Hut Park, home to Major League Soccer (MLS) team FC Dallas. Pizza Hut Park needed a significant upgrade and Bexel, a unit of the Vitec Group’s Services Division and a provider of broadcast services and solutions, responded by correcting and installing more than 160 Triax connectors and 400 ST fiber optic connectors over the course of one week during the height of soccer season — ensuring good paths for broadcast trucks.
“Prior to our involvement, Pizza Hut Park had problems that developed over time since the stadium opened in 2005,” says Andy Berry, project manager, Bexel Fiber Solutions. “While we were initially contacted to do a test and certification of the stadium’s cable plan, we discovered that many of the connectors and cabling from the truck compound into the facility had issues. After consulting on the specific issues, we were asked to get the entire infrastructure up to a working capacity. The goal was to use the existing Triax cable, create a patch point in a central Telco room and establish enough paths out of the 72 total Triax to power the show cameras.”
Located in Frisco, TX, Pizza Hut Park hosts MLS and International soccer matches, concerts, high school football games, and numerous other community events each year. The 140-acre facility is used more than 300 days per year and hosts an estimated 1.4 million spectators and participants annually. Working with WJHW Consultants, Bexel came up with a solution that would provide a comparable amount of Triax equivalent to an NFL stadium — securing good tie lines from the truck compound to the entrance of the building and installing a cross connect panel in the closet where cables come into the building.
“When we started, there were 72 Triax lines from the truck compound to the cross connect Telco room. From the Telco Room the Triax spidered out into 72 positions throughout the stadium,” explains TJ Miesen, lead technician, Bexel Fiber Solutions. “The idea of being able to patch to the 72 positions meant we would need to sever the incoming lines from the truck compound. We built a fully patchable Triax rack in the Telco room and 30 Triax patch jumpers, enabling the best cable and locations to be selected for each event or game.”
After making the cross connect room into a patch panel and providing good quality patches from the truck compound to the stadium, the team of engineers repaired many of the ends at individual camera locations throughout the park.
“Since each production requires 13-15 cameras to be used per show, we wanted to make sure they had enough to do at least two trucks’ worth, or 30 tie lines,” says Berry. “While the cabling from the facility to the cross connector was in good shape, we established 30 good lines from the cross connecter to the truck compound and reterminated the cables. We then also went through, cleaned up and fixed about 400 ST connectors, thus ensuring that an incoming production truck could utilize either the Triax or the fiber.”
Bexel stayed onsite following the installation to help facilitate a seamless introduction and assist broadcasters with setup using the new system.
“In all, the broadcasters were really pleased and it exceeded their expectations. Considering the timeframe we were up against, in a working stadium, the setup demonstrated our efficiency and a job well done,” says Miesen. “The first production after our repairs and rebuild was a huge success. Video Engineer Randy Patrick sent an email after the game praising our efforts and stated ‘I’ve been fighting this cable problem out there for five years. Kudos for the workmanship and care Bexel took with this project.’”