Verizon Network Team Prepares for 75th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Since 1938, Sturgis, South Dakota has embraced motorcycle enthusiasts from across the United States and around the world to the annual Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™. For the 75th Anniversary celebration August 3-9, officials estimate that the Sturgis population will swell from under 7,000 to between 750,000 – one million people.  

To prepare for this year’s record Rally, the Verizon’s network “barnyard” of portable cell sites will be joining the “motorcycle HOGS.” Five temporary cell sites known as COWS (Cells on Wheels) and COLTS (Cells on Light Trucks) will be in the Sturgis area, along with other network capacity improvements including:

- Campground Coverage:

  • COW near the Buffalo Chip Campground, east of Sturgis;
  • COLT at Broken Spoke Campground northeast of Sturgis;
  • COW near Jim’s Auto Salvage Yard, east of Sturgis;
  • A new permanent cell site near Glencoe CampResort, east of Sturgis;

- In Sturgis:

  • COW North of downtown Sturgis, near Woodland Street;
  • COW  South of Sturgis near Dolan Creek and Ball Park Road;

- Four permanent small cells added at the Sturgis Community Center Building on Lazelle St. 

- Additional capacity added to all permanent cell sites in the Sturgis/Rapid City area. 

In the Rapid City/Sturgis area, all Verizon cell sites, including the COWs, COLTs and small cells added for the Rally, have both Verizon’s 4G LTE with XLTE, providing faster peak speeds and greater capacity than before. 

Motorcycle riders, like Curt Gandy of J&P Cycles, will be depending on their smartphones. “I recently was riding up in north-central Minnesota and I was the only one with a (wireless) signal.”

The Verizon network team will be closely monitoring performance during the 75th Anniversary events to ensure reliable wireless coverage for Verizon customers.