AT&T and MU announce wireless upgrade at football field

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COLUMBIA - Seven Saturdays a year, Memorial Stadium normally fills with more than 70,000 rowdy fans. 

However, on Monday, the stadium was quiet and peaceful as AT&T and Mizzou officials led a tour to showcase a new wireless system. 

The system is a multi-million dollar investment aimed at improving the speed and accessibility to wireless Internet and cellular data.

"You've got 70 plus thousand screaming fans coming in," AT&T Vice President and General Manager Nancy Garvey said. "They want to be able to tweet, be able to text, be able to go on the Internet and they even want to be able to make a phone call, and that's what a distributed antenna system allows you to do."

Garvey said there are an equivalent of 150 antennas on the building to cover the area.

The project has been in the works for the last six years with the upgrade becoming active last season. 

MU Director of Production David Bartlett said each game has improved with coverage. 

Bartlett also said the recent expansion of the stadium has forced some changes to the system.

"We've been building right and left and so the project has taken a number of redesigns and has taken the opportunity to grow," Bartlett said.

The system is owned and operated by AT&T, but is open to competitors to add on to the system. 

You may notice the antennas next time you walk into the stadium. The wires run up into black boxes all around the rim of the complex. The boxes are labeled with section numbers.

Mizzou Arena has a similar system that went into effect last year as well.

Garvey said this will be a continuous effort to improve on.