By Edward Cardenas

DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – Olympia Entertainment and the Detroit Red Wings announced Wednesday that fans attending games at Joe Louis Arena now have access to a free, public Wi-Fi service.

Fans attending Saturday’s game against the New York Rangers will be the first to officially utilize the service.

“Reliable connectivity is a must as we look to provide an unmatched live game experience for Red Wings fans and guests at other sporting and entertainment events at The Joe,” said Tom Wilson, President and CEO of Olympia Entertainment, in a release.

Olympia officials stated the free, high-speed public Wi-Fi at Joe Louis Arena will improve “reliability when sending and receiving phone calls and text messages, provide faster uploads to social media” and enhance fan engagement during Red Wings games and other events at the 35-year-old stadium.

The organization partnered with SignalShare and Extreme Networks, Inc.

“Since our testing period began in December, we’ve had more than 25,000 Red Wings fans log on to the new Wi-Fi network and the response has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Tod Caflisch, Director of Information Technology for the Red Wings, in a release. “We look forward to seeing those numbers increase during the stretch of the season as fans become more aware of the technology available when they visit The Joe.”

To access the Wi-Fi inside The Joe, fans can select “#JLAwifi” in their smart-phones. An opt-in page will then appear, requiring the user to accept the “Terms and Conditions” and input their name, an active email address and ZIP code. Users will then be connected to the Wi-Fi and simultaneously directed to a portal page.

“SignalShare is thrilled to be working with the Red Wings – a storied franchise with fans passionate about their team and the in-game experience,” said Joe Costanzo, Founder and CTO of SignalShare, in a release. “With this deployment, fans receive always-on mobile Internet access, while the team gains a new platform to communicate, interact with, surprise and delight attendees.”

Joe Louis Arena joins Ford Field and The Palace of Auburn Hills as Detroit-area stadiums offering free Wi-Fi.

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