First they were allowed to sell 8,500 tickets, then over 12,000. Now, Rangers are able to sell out all tickets at Ibrox once more. It’s going to be quite a test for their new wifi system!
In late July Glasgow Rangers FC confirmed they are installing free in-stadium wifi for all fans present at Ibrox. The move was announced a while back but is now in its test phase, with all supporters asked to check how The Cloud WIFI is meeting their expectations.
Created together with Sky, leading stadium wifi supplier across the UK, the new free wifi system is expected to improve the matchday experience. Especially with Rangers having recently launched a new club app. Now, supporters can view app-based matchday programmes and other club updates, as well as try their chances in betting online, all without using their own transfer.
Just in time for full capacity
The move comes just in time, as local authorities and nationwide restrictions have allowed fans to return after a season-long hiatus from watching games inside stadiums. However, initially capacity was expected to be significantly restricted. At first, only a fraction of seats was to be filled, namely 8,500 during pre-season friendly against Brighton and Hove Albion and then 12,500 against Real Madrid.
But now, as of early August, Ibrox is back to its full, 50,000+ capacity (just like Celtic’s Parkhead). As dictated by law, some restriction were allowed to be imposed by the Safety Advisory Group of Glasgow City Council. These, however, do not require extra precautions from individual fans, rather from the host clubs.
Not only wifi, more upgrades coming
Over the past decade, there were numerous reports about the standard of Ibrox facilities’ deteriorating seriously. Issues even covered poor state of the stadium’s roof. But now that the Teddy Bears are back in the Scottish Premiership and have won their first championship since league reform in 2013, there’s extra funding available for upgrades.
One major phase of works covers renovation of all kiosks across the stadium. Apart from fresh branding, all vendor stalls are now equipped with contactless payment options, a crucial feature during the pandemic. It doesn’t mean that Ibrox is a cashless stadium yet, only that payment is now possible without physical contact throughout the stadium.
Also, two largest lounges at Ibrox (Blue Sky Lounge and New Edmiston House) have been thoroughly upgraded, which should increase their appeal and commercial potential. Rangers have promised to deliver the top hospitality experience throughout Scotland. Part of the plan is to fill non-matchday schedule with music events inside the stadium, even if not full-auditorium ones.