SBJ/20080825/This Week's News

Nortel signs sponsor/vendor deal with Mets at Citi Field

The New York Mets have signed a multiyear agreement with global technology outfit Nortel to create a high-end unified communications system for new Citi Field.

The deal is divided into two parts: a sponsorship agreement that designates Nortel as the club’s official network systems and services company, and a vendor-oriented pact that calls for Nortel to develop a secure data network that will run a wide variety of ticketing, video, security and concessions operations at the ballpark. Fan-facing elements to the system will include ticketing kiosks and video replay stations.

Nortel’s communications network will run
a variety of operations at Citi Field.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Installation of the system will be largely complete by mid-September, as the club plans to begin moving its offices from Shea Stadium to Citi Field on Sept. 19.

“Having all of these operations tied into one system is going to be a huge plus for us,” said Dave Howard, Mets executive vice president of business operations.

The communications system also will link in the Mets’ spring training and minor league facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla., its Class A club in Brooklyn, N.Y., and its academy in the Dominican Republic. The technology at those sites will provide similar support for security and stadium operations, as well as direct connections to the Mets’ executive offices.

For Nortel, the Mets deal extends a list of sports partnerships that includes deals with the Louisiana Superdome, Phoenix’s Arena, Bell Centre in Montreal, and the 2010 Winter Olympics and General Motors Place in Vancouver.

“There’s definitely a growing need for higher-end communications solutions among sports facilities,” said Wes Durow, Nortel vice president of enterprise business development and marketing. “Not only are the new facilities coming in with a higher set of expectations, but the older facilities are quickly finding their data and asset-tracking needs beyond their existing capabilities.”

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