Smart Buildings

UBS Arena’s Fan-First Technology is Built on a Reliable Layer 0

Christine Williamson

In a venue made for music and built for hockey, spectators expect nothing less than an exceptional experience. 


Clear sightlines, premier acoustics, frictionless payment options and quick access to content like facts and stats are just a few of the ways stadiums and arenas are getting people through their doors—and encouraging them to return. While this fan interaction is important, these spaces also need to offer performers, players, coaches and staff that same level of engagement and automation.


When UBS Arena broke ground on its $1.1 billion, 18,000-seat venue, that’s exactly what it decided to focus on. As the new home of the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders, it hosts about 150 events annually—everything from comedy festivals and rock band concerts to hockey matches and basketball showcase games.


As a flexible, tech-forward destination that showcases a wide array of entertainment, UBS Arena knew its network needed to support the seamless wireless connection of tens of thousands of devices. These devices would include not only phones and wearables that spectators bring with them, but also the systems and services within the building, such as:


  • A sophisticated, state-of-the-art house sound system that amplifies audio and complements sound coming from the crowd and concert loudspeakers
  • A 5G network to supercharge the fan experience and quickly connect them to the UBS Arena app
  • A distributed antenna system (DAS) to condition, filter and combine 5G signals from carriers to improve coverage
  • The largest, highest-resolution scoreboard in New York
  • Two levels of high-resolution LED ribbon boards to display messages and graphics
  • Automated ventilation systems that respond to outdoor conditions and event requirements as they change
  • Grab-and-go mobile ordering, mobile tickets and contactless purchases
  • Smart restroom technology that reports on inventory levels and cleaning needs


Emerging technologies like these call for a high-performance layer 0 working behind the scenes. The cabling and connectivity that support these systems can make or break the fan experience.

A well-designed layer 0 that follows TIA standards can:


  • Reduce signal loss and optimize network performance
  • Simplify network maintenance and make moves, adds and changes faster and easier
  • Support increasing technology and bandwidth demands
  • Improve uptime so technology always works


For this reason, UBS Arena prioritized three factors for its layer 0 network.


1. Support for Digital Electricity™

UBS Arena uses Digital Electricity™, a new type of Class 4 power system created by VoltServer, to support its DAS.


Class 4 systems offer a new way to distribute energy by providing the convenience and safety of low-voltage power while offering close to 20 times the power of Power over Ethernet (PoE). Class 4 systems combine power and data in a single cable run, saving valuable installation time.


Digital Electricity Cables are designed to be used in these types of applications, ensuring high performance while safely delivering data and power across long distances.


2. Outstanding Noise Immunity and Reliability

To support emerging smart-building technologies like next-gen wireless access points, in-building small cells and PoE, cabling systems that offer outstanding noise immunity and reliability were vital for UBS Arena.


The venue needed to support not only emerging wireless technology and wireless access points, but also hundreds of modular plug terminated link (MPTL) endpoint connections in and around the arena. Cables that perform well in these types of environments have outstanding cable balance and offer superior crosstalk performance, alien crosstalk performance and signal-to-noise ratio. Translation: They guarantee performance, speed and uptime!


3. Field-Installable Plugs

This timeline was tight, with no room for delays. Even after the project stalled for two months due to COVID-19, the schedule wasn’t adjusted.


To make up for lost time without cutting corners, UBS Arena needed reliable connectivity components that could be terminated on the job site quickly and easily.


Plugs are a good example. Field-installable Category 6A plugs were used to connect every lighting fixture, display and scoreboard to the arena’s network for remote monitoring, management and control. The faster these terminations were finished (without the need for rework), the sooner the venue could open its doors.


Learn More About UBS Arena

UBS Arena is designed to be one of the nation’s most prestigious and inviting venues for concerts, games and other experiences—with a reliable layer 0 supporting it all.


To learn more about the venue’s use of innovative technology, and how Belden helped bring its vision to life, read our case study.




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UBS Arena Belmont Park, New York