View All News

Countdown to the FIFA Women's World Cup USA 2003: Avaya Hustles toNetwork Six Stadiums in Six Weeks

  • Change in venue challenges tournament's official communications convergence provider; Avaya Global Services leads charge to the finish line.

When the SARS virus caused the Federation Internationale deFootball Association (FIFA) to move the FIFA Women's World Cup 2003from China to the United States, Avaya Inc. (NYSE: AV), an eventsponsor and the Official Convergence Communication Provider for thetournament, suddenly needed to design and build networks for sixnew venues half a world away, and fast.

When the SARS virus caused the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to move the FIFA Women's World Cup 2003 from China to the United States, Avaya Inc. (NYSE: AV), an event sponsor and the Official Convergence Communication Provider for the tournament, suddenly needed to design and build networks for six new venues half a world away, and fast.

Avaya's Global Services team is leading the charge to do just that. They are redesigning networks, reconfiguring components and reorganizing logistics to link each stadium and FIFA's event headquarters to critical systems in New York and Switzerland. Once complete, the hundreds of journalists following the FIFA Women's World Cup will be able to file stories and transmit photographs on the spot. FIFA will be able to report match results, accredit thousands of players, staff, journalists, and manage tournament logistics.

"Avaya played a crucial role in helping us deliver the 2002 FIFA World Cup IT solution in record time, and now we've asked them to do the impossible again," said Michael Kelly, Head of FIFA IT Solution. "After two years of careful planning for an event in China, we've asked them to change directions and, in a matter of weeks, develop new and complex networks that can handle an event of this size."

FIFA finalized the new venues and issued network requirements to Avaya on July 13. The September 20 opening match is now just six weeks away.

"Companies talk about business continuity planning and emergency backup, and situations like this are exactly what they mean  learning to expect the unexpected," said Lou D'Ambrosio, group vice president for Avaya Global Services. "Continuity challenges are never easy and timing is always an issue, however, our experience helping government and businesses plan for the unexpected is helping us respond effectively."

The stakes are high. Scheduled for September 20 through October 12, the FIFA Women's World Cup 2003 involves teams from 16 countries, 32 matches, hundreds of thousands of attendees, and millions of broadcast viewers around the globe. The FIFA Women's World Cup 1999 set records  drawing more fans than any other women's sporting event in history.

To support an event this size, FIFA fields high-performance applications that require high-capacity networks to match. For the results and game statistics so critical to fans around the globe, Avaya will transmit real-time data directly from the field to an International Broadcast Center in New York, giving TV commentators data and graphics on each match. The same real-time data will feed, the official Web site for the tournament, allowing fans and journalists to follow via PC or handheld device.

To manage accreditation and credentials for thousands of players, journalists, staff members and volunteers, Avaya is linking each venue to government security and immigration systems and to FIFA's own accreditation database in St. Gallen, Switzerland where player, coach, referee, journalists, media and staff information including inpiduals' photographs are stored.

Avaya systems will help FIFA track schedules for event staff and manage complex transportation logistics for teams and coaches. They also will provide high-speed connectivity for the hundreds of journalists attending the games. Avaya Global Services will monitor and manage the networks once they are live.

"Few of the stadiums currently have the network capacity to handle a World Cup press delegation," said Doug Gardner, Managing Director, World Cup Technical Program for Avaya. "We expect hundreds of reporters and photographers who will need high-performance voice and data networks to stay in touch with their editors and file photos and stories."

The six stadiums span the U.S. from coast to coast: the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.; PGE Park in Portland, Ore.; Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio; Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass; Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Penn.; and RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Avaya also will provide voice and data communications for FIFA's Women's World Cup headquarters in Long Beach, Calif.

The networks at each site will include Avaya network switches and data products, wireless LANs, IP telephony systems, virtual private networks, security gateways and network management technologies, as well as a variety of existing equipment from other vendors.

To speed installation, each system will be staged, configured and tested in advance at Avaya Services Network Operations Center in St. Petersburg, Fla.

In recognition of the event's importance to fans around the globe, Avaya Global Services is staffing the tournament with onsite engineers and will remotely monitor and manage each network around-the-clock.

Avaya Support for Soccer
Avaya is a sponsor and the Official Convergence Communication Provider not only for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2003, but also the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

In 2002 the company provided FIFA with one of the largest converged voice and data networks in the world for the Men's World Cup hosted by Korea and Japan  delivering on time and on budget. The network featured 120,000 connections to 40,000 end user devices and securely linked 20 stadiums, two international media centers and two FIFA remote headquarters locations. It served tens of thousands of officials, volunteers and journalists and facilitated coverage of the event seen by billions of sports fans worldwide.

In the U.S., Avaya is a sponsor and Official Provider of Voice and Data Communications for the U.S. Soccer Federation. Avaya helped the Federation raise funds for a new national training center that opened this year in Carson, Calif. and provided a converged voice and data network for the facility. Avaya Global Services installed the network and is providing ongoing maintenance.

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than 1 million businesses worldwide, including 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is a world leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol (IP) telephony systems and communications software applications and services.

Driving the convergence of voice and data communications with business applications  and distinguished by comprehensive worldwide services  Avaya helps customers leverage existing and new networks to achieve superior business results. For more information visit the Avaya Web site:

Avaya Global Services
Avaya Global Services includes more than 7,000 consultants and professionals and 23 network operations and 13 technical centers worldwide. The Avaya Services team can assess, plan, design, manage and maintain converged voice and data networks, including multivendor local area and wide area networks. For more information about all offerings from Avaya Global Services, please visit:

FIFA Women's World Cup 2003 Fast Facts:

Tournament Dates

  • September 20-October 12


Number of Teams/Matches

  • 16 teams, 32 matches


The number of participants (based on 1999 experience)

  • 660,000 ticketed fans (more than 90,000 at the finals, record attendance for a women's sporting event)
  • 4,500 volunteers
  • Nearly 2,500 journalists
  • 500 photographers
  • 800 team members, FIFA personnel and partners
  • 150 paid staffers

Countries Represented

  • Australia
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Japan
  • N. Korea
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • S. Korea
  • Russia
  • Sweden
  • United States


Match Venues
Home Depot Center
Carson, California

PGE Park
Portland, Oregon

Columbus Crew Stadium
Columbus, Ohio

Gillette Stadium
Foxboro, Massachusetts

Lincoln Financial Field
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

RFK Stadium
Washington, D.C.

FIFA Headquarters for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2003
Westin Hotel
Long Beach, California

Ticket Availability
Fans can purchase venue series tickets for the FIFA Women's World Cup online through and, with prices ranging from $50 to $660, depending on the venue and the number of match days included in the series. Series tickets may also be ordered over the phone by calling 1-800-WWCTIKS (992-8457) for five of the six venues. For RFK stadium only, call 202-432-SEAT (7328) or 1-800-551-SEAT (7328). Inpidual match-day tickets for doubleheaders at all venues will go on sale at a later date, pending availability.

Categories: Press Releases
View All News