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NFL wants high-speed Internet for every fan in every stadium

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he wants every fan in every stadium to be able to access the Internet using whatever device they carry into the stands with them, as the NFL continues to grapple with the fact that for many fans, watching games on TV at home — for free — is a better experience than spending a small fortune to go to the game.

“We believe that it is important to get technology into our stadiums,” Goodell said. “We have made the point repeatedly that the experience at home is outstanding, and we have to compete with that in some fashion by making sure that we create the same kind of environment in our stadiums and create the same kind of technology.”

For millions of fans, a big part of the fun of watching football is being able to watch the game on a TV screen while also using a computer, tablet or phone screen for checking fantasy stats, seeing what others are saying about the game on Twitter, or — of course — reading the news right here at PFT. If you can’t get online at the stadium (where fans who bring smart phones often find that mobile networks are overloaded by the crowds of tens of thousands of people), you’re missing out. The NFL wants to make sure that no one in any stadium misses out.

“The initiative is to get wifi in all our stadiums, for mobile devices,” Goodell said. “We want to make sure that our fans, when they come into our stadiums, don’t have to shut down.”

Goodell knows that many fans watching at home use their computers to read up on NFL news while they’re watching the game, or flip to the Red Zone Channel during commercials to see what’s happening around the league.

“We want them to have access to the same information,” Goodell said. “Have access to our Red Zone. Have access to highlights. Be able to engage in social media, including fantasy football. When you come to our stadium we want to make it a great experience.”

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40 Responses to “NFL wants high-speed Internet for every fan in every stadium”
  1. ninersteve says: May 22, 2012 5:21 PM

    The 49ers New Stadium will be networked by Brocade. Will house the fastest most state-of-the-art network connectivity and wifi. Given the fact the 49ers New stadium will be housed in the heart of Silicon Valley, would you expect anything less? Get ready for the most high-tech stadium ever built! http://www.49ersnewstadium.com

  2. modestmuse23 says: May 22, 2012 5:23 PM

    I’ve been waiting for my stadium to get FanVision for a few years now. In addition to wifi, they need to give east access to replays and other NFL content.

  3. laiddogg93 says: May 22, 2012 5:24 PM

    Hell Yes!!!
    Goodell is the right commish for the job in this day & time. Love this idea!!!

    Get it done this year!!!

  4. steelernationisthepinnacleofexistenceyouarenothing says: May 22, 2012 5:28 PM

    I’d rather spend less and get the current product. Thanks.

  5. howiefeltersnatch says: May 22, 2012 5:37 PM

    “I’d rather spend less and get the current product. Thanks.”

    +1

  6. airplayful says: May 22, 2012 5:40 PM

    I used FanVision in Buffalo last season and it really makes going to the game better. Instant replay on demand is great and checking in on Red Zone and other games is great.

  7. bearsrulepackdrool says: May 22, 2012 5:45 PM

    Funny how there is no mention of much this is going to cost us.

  8. blacknole08 says: May 22, 2012 5:45 PM

    I’m all for this, but I think this takes away from the actual experience of watching an NFL game. Why pay to see a game if you are just gonna be on your smartphone/Ipad the whole time? I don’t want to hear some guy next to me talking about facebook or their sorry fantasy football team while I’m trying to watch a football game. It’s really distracting to those hardcore fans like myself who want the actual experience of watching a live game.

  9. slugbaitspace says: May 22, 2012 5:45 PM

    When at a game, I sometimes unlock my phone to take a picture, but that’s it. Otherwise, I’m there with a friend to have a good time, get loud, have a beer and nachos, etc. Constantly checking a networked device kinda defeats the purpose of “being there”, since you’re not really paying full attention to your friends, your surroundings and the excitement.

    It’s like watching other parents with their infants and toddlers: they’ve got their ear buds in, or they’re gabbing on the phone, or they’re staring at their screen. When I’m with my kid, the device usually only comes out when the wife calls. Otherwise, the kid is always engaged, always has my complete attention.

    Call me old fashioned, but I like the feel of the stadium. It would be weird to watch 67K people cheer wildly for a few seconds, and then they all simultaneously bowed their heads in silence as they check their display…

  10. bearsnoah says: May 22, 2012 5:47 PM

    Wrong move. Think it’s a passionate game experience when everyone is looking down tapping away at iPads and not up raising a ruckus?

    That’s why you go to games, to unplug and be human.

    Pretty soon it’l be like flying business class. I’d rather have the cursing and vomit thank you very much.

  11. swampdog4life says: May 22, 2012 5:47 PM

    Yes, How much will this new WiFi cost us… smh, everything is about that bottom dollar. Let’s not get this twisted folks!

  12. blanchonegro says: May 22, 2012 5:54 PM

    I go to 2-3 NFL games every year and I dont care what anyone says walking into a stadium with 80K fans and standing up for the opening kick off even in an away stadium is electric. You cant get that feeling on the couch. I will always take being at the game over my couch antday even with Sunday Ticket.

  13. whatevnfl says: May 22, 2012 6:15 PM

    When do they announce fans aren’t allowed to tweet 90 minutes before or after the game….

  14. ihateravens says: May 22, 2012 6:24 PM

    I know most all Cable Companies have Wi-Fi for their customers around the town they serve. Perhaps the NFL can stike a deal for the cable companies to place hot-spots in every stadium in exchange for opening up the NFL Ticket to them instead of DirecTV.

    This should be done in every stadium but the Ravens stadium since the clientel that goes to that stadium doesn’t know how to use a smart phone or IPad.

  15. onebucplace says: May 22, 2012 6:41 PM

    How exciting will it be in the stadium when you have 65,000 people staring at their Twitter feed on their phone while having RedZone streaming on their iPad! Awesome. I mean I could just sit at home and stare my Twitter feed while Redzone is playing in the background– but a much better idea is to charge $100 a ticket to do it at the stadium…

  16. mattyk72 says: May 22, 2012 6:45 PM

    The NFL is running about 5 years behind the times when it comes to this. Freakin’ McDonald’s has wifi.

  17. phillyphan72 says: May 22, 2012 6:52 PM

    Now drop ticket prices with
    6 dollar hotdogs and 9 dollar beers and maybe you’ll see fans have some fun and want to go to the stadium again

  18. jag8917 says: May 22, 2012 6:55 PM

    This could definitely make going to the game be less about football-watching and a little bit about social technology. But the bottom-line is that we are in such a digital age right now. Goodell is adding to the stadium experience. This could maybe bring those who adore NFL Redzone, Twitter reports, fantasy football to the actual game now. Goodell is definitely not killing the spirit of the fan here, he’s catering to the fans of this generation and beyond. Just my 2 cents.

  19. bledalotofgreen says: May 22, 2012 7:27 PM

    I’ve been going to games for a while and my phone never works anybody who attends a lot of games knows there’s a LOT of down time I think it’s a great idea…….as long as it don’t add to my ticket payments

  20. dd393 says: May 22, 2012 7:51 PM

    I’d rather just watch the game.

  21. heidism97 says: May 22, 2012 8:28 PM

    Against Wifi at the stadium, you old guys need to get out of your civil war uniforms and try to at least get into the 1990s.

  22. pens5829 says: May 22, 2012 8:52 PM

    Like most hotels, it’ll only cost you $24.95 for a 24 hr connection.

  23. joewilliesshnoz says: May 22, 2012 9:11 PM

    Only 1 problem, you may get mugged for your Device, if your in Oakland, Philly, or Cleveland .

  24. browning743 says: May 22, 2012 9:15 PM

    and Gooddell continues working hard on the more important things about the game of football, keep up the good work Rogo!

  25. SmurfJuice says: May 22, 2012 9:19 PM

    So, when I spend $100 on a ticket, how much of that is for watching the game?

    How much of it goes for WiFi, overpriced sponsored eateries, luxury suites, and other things I have no need for at a sporting event?

    Can you take a section of seats along the sideline, put in some ol’ fashioned assbusting bleachers, and charge only $20 for the people who truly want to just watch the game?

  26. browning743 says: May 22, 2012 9:27 PM

    the key words in that whole article was “for free”. also, if you need your ipad/iphone or whatever to get the full experience at an NFL stadium you arent much of a football person. i would think somebody get the true full experience by leaving their mobile device at home.

  27. oldassgoat says: May 22, 2012 9:35 PM

    I have been saying this on NFL surveys for 3 years now. Fan Vision is great, but would rather take my Ipad in. Sucks not to have the phone in case of an emergency.

    Welcome to 2012 NFL!

  28. nickster2k says: May 22, 2012 10:05 PM

    dd393 says:
    May 22, 2012 7:51 PM
    I’d rather just watch the game.

    ==========================

    nope. you HAVE to bring a laptop.

  29. exibitsman says: May 22, 2012 10:36 PM

    this should have been done 5 years, ago come on freaking MacDonalds has had it for last 5 years get with it NFL its the least you can do with.your damn. 500$ tickets you charge. mybe the greedy player’s will pay for the installation of the free wifi LMAO.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. exibitsman says: May 22, 2012 10:46 PM

    I really don’t care if they have wifi I would never spend my money to watch a bunch of overpaid punks play a damn game I watch the high lights on ESPN for free

  31. brownyelf says: May 22, 2012 11:24 PM

    You can’t compare wifi in McDonald’s to an nfl stadium. Its a whole different beast creating a network that can handle 60k+ people at once

  32. hardate says: May 22, 2012 11:25 PM

    Jaguars will have it this season.

    The mobile service for some carriers was inadequate.

    Verizon was ok but, some sprint folks couldn’t even text the retards out.

  33. jjljr says: May 23, 2012 12:42 AM

    wait a minute … The Rog thinks that improving in-stadium internet access = a better fan experience? that’s hysterical … teams would be better-off improving traffic flow and/or security. (I’ll just presume lower prices are out of the question) anyone who spends a lot of time on the ‘net at the game … shouldn’t go to the game.

  34. barbeaux says: May 23, 2012 1:53 AM

    I always chuckle when I go into a stadium that had AT&T banners, signs and logos everywhere yet I can’t get a signal or any data connections.

  35. joetoronto says: May 23, 2012 5:35 AM

    The NFL continues to skirt the real issue here, ticket prices are just too damn high.

  36. ruggerlad says: May 23, 2012 6:10 AM

    GREAT! Finally they will be able to put ticket prices completely out of the range of ACTUAL football fans who ACTUALLY want to watch the game and replace them with hobnobs who will go to the game and spend more time on facebook!
    Forget serving beer fancy coffee is all you need.
    Eventually these fake fans will just go to Starbucks and you will have nobody at your over priced games!

  37. polishkingski says: May 23, 2012 6:15 AM

    @exibitsman….and you are on this site why?

  38. flaccodelic says: May 23, 2012 7:40 AM

    steelernationisthepinnacleofexistenceyouarenothing says: May 22, 2012 5:28 PM

    I’d rather spend less and get the current product. Thanks.

    Holy crap. I can’t believe this guy said something actually related to the article as opposed to the number of virtual rings on his hand! Did someone hack your account?

  39. CKL says: May 23, 2012 7:51 AM

    jag8917 says: May 22, 2012 6:55 PM

    This could definitely make going to the game be less about football-watching and a little bit about social technology. But the bottom-line is that we are in such a digital age right now. Goodell is adding to the stadium experience. This could maybe bring those who adore NFL Redzone, Twitter reports, fantasy football to the actual game now. Goodell is definitely not killing the spirit of the fan here, he’s catering to the fans of this generation and beyond. Just my 2 cents.
    ___________________________________
    I agree this is catering to the more modern fan and it’s pretty inevitable. I am not an enemy of progress but in the case of going to games, I preferred the experience of the “old days”. Fewer luxuries, more grittiness.

  40. clintonportisheadd says: May 23, 2012 9:55 AM

    “When you come to our stadium we want to make it a great experience” Goodell said.

    ————————

    I agree thats a noble goal. And a smart one. But having free wi-fi ain’t the answer.

    A “great experience” starts with a reasonable ticket price. And parking that is plentiful and free. A “regular Joe” who just spent $500 for tickets and parking for himself and his two sons is already feeling ripped off. Add in the $7 beer and $6 soda and the $3 pretzels. Ouch!

    Now factor in the intangibles. Rowdy drunks making non-stop comments. 20 minute bathroom lines. “Security” checks that make getting from your car to your seat almost as bad as trying to fly out of your local airport.

    You work on the ABOVE stuff first Roger. Only when you have THAT straightened out should you worry about tech geeks who must check their Facebook page every 20 minutes.

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