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New antennas mean no more cell phone trouble at Keeneland, Verizon says

Verizon network engineers Jake Thomas, left and Neil Sheffler, helped make the upgrades at Keeneland’s grandstand a reality.
Verizon network engineers Jake Thomas, left and Neil Sheffler, helped make the upgrades at Keeneland’s grandstand a reality. Steve Van Dinter

If you’ve ever been out at Keeneland trying to upload a tweet about your big win or make a bet on the track’s app and been stuck buffering, there’s good news: Verizon has put in a new permanent antenna system that doubles capacity.

Keeneland’s spring meet is April 6-27.

Steve Van Dinter, spokesman for Verizon, said the company had been using temporary solutions to meet the track’s needs but decided that permanent upgrades are worthwhile given the crowds that show up for race meets in the spring and fall, as well as other events at the track.

Last year, during the spring meet, daily attendance averaged 16,816 but big days drew much bigger crowds: opening day on Saturday drew 32,610 fans for the Toyota Blue Grass Day and 24,114 fans for Maker’s Mark Day, a Friday.

Verizon’s new system enhances network speeds, coverage and capacity, he said.

Now, with additional capacity, the fan experience throughout the grandstand should be better, Van Dinter said.

“When our fans come to Keeneland, so much of their experience today revolves around the smartphone,” said Brad Lovell, Keeneland vice president and chief information officer, adding he’s “confident” the new system will “do it all without worry.”

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