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NEW YORK - As the song goes, New York, New York will be a helluva town starting tomorrow, when the New York Yankees and the New York Mets face off in the first all New York World Series in 44 years.
And Verizon Communications is making preparations throughout New York City and in and around Yankee and Shea stadiums so that communications before, during and after the game are as simple as buying a subway token.
"The eyes of the world will be on New York City over the next week or two," said Patrick Byrne, Verizon senior vice president-Customer Services for large businesses. "We're making sure that all the plays will be broadcast into living rooms and onto computer screens the world over, that late-inning calls to the bullpens go through instantly and that people can talk about the games all they want with their friends and families."
"Verizon prepares for all kinds of events that have major-league impact - dignitary visits, world celebrations, you name it. But this Subway Series has the makings to be among the largest communications events we've ever handled," Byrne said.
Verizon expects to see daily traffic on its network increase over the next two weeks, particularly on game days. "On a normal business day, our New York City network handles about 120 million calls. We expect there will be spikes in the usage, such as just before and after games," Byrne said.
Approximately 30 Verizon employees have been working continually at both stadiums and in Verizon business offices and switching centers since the Yankees clinched the American League pennant on Tuesday night.
Domestic and international media and sports organizations have ordered more than 400 lines at Yankee Stadium and more than 500 lines at Shea Stadium. Orders range from simple telephone lines to ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) and other special high-capacity circuits that transmit audio and video signals back to broadcast locations. More orders are expected as the Series' media intensity builds.
"There are more media outlets covering the Series this year than any time in the past. They all use our high-speed data facilities to broadcast the games across the world. In last years' Series we had just over 300 requests for service at Yankee Stadium, and that was a lot," said Bart Cennamo, Verizon's installation and maintenance foreman for Yankee Stadium.
Verizon's public phones at both stadiums and in surrounding areas are being checked in the days leading up to the games. Verizon operates 77 public pay phones at Yankee Stadium; 66 at Shea Stadium.
Verizon technicians will be on duty on game days and nights to ensure that special circuits, lines and public phones continue to serve the media and fans.
Said Byrne, "Our employees are New Yorkers, and their sports allegiances are all over the map to be sure. But we're united on one thing -- providing world championship communications for the World Series, the fans and all of New York."
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with more than 100 million access line equivalents and more than 26 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit http://www.verizon.com.
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