WiFi, Technology Expanding at Balboa Park

A $1 million grant will also create a Balboa Park smartphone app and enhance the Explorer Pass program

Monica Garske

Balboa Park will soon be one of the largest free WiFi hotspots on the West Coast, according the San Diego Mayor’s Office.

On Wednesday, community leaders announced Balboa Park has received a $1 million grant from the James Irvine Foundation.

The money will go toward technological upgrades at Balboa Park, including doubling the park’s WiFi network to about 250 acres, according to the mayor’s office. The grant will also help create a smartphone app that will lead visitors on a self-guided tour of Balboa Park and enhance the park’s web interface.

The park’s Explorer Pass program will also see upgrades. The park will develop a mobile version of the Explorer Pass and install kiosks around the park where people can buy or renew passes. Passholders get access to 17 park institutions for one year, including San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Natural History Museum and the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. The passes cost $199 for families, $129 for adults and $99 for students and seniors.

The Irvine Foundation is a nonprofit organization that gives grants to programs benefiting the arts, democracy and youth in California.


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