As NFL teams try to get fans to chose stadiums over their homes, more NFL teams are trying to put something from fans’ homes inside the stadiums.
The latest franchise to try to keep up with the Joneses is the Titans. According to the Associated Press, the team said Monday that video boards almost as large as those at Cowboys Stadium will be installed.
“We are certainly making it our top priority to keep fans coming and have a great time and give them reason to come to LP Field as opposed to staying at home and watching it on high-definition television,” Titans executive vice president Don MacLachlan said.
In Dallas, the video screens that hover over the field like the mother ship from Close Encounters are 160 feet long. At LP Field, the screens will be only three feet narrower, and there presumably will be no hovering. (That said, the video boards will be 18 feet shorter in Nashville.)
“They’re all state of the art, and they’ll be certainly a reason for fans to come, let alone the environment you get at an NFL game to begin with,” MacLachlan said. “All these enhancements will take our fans’ experience at LP Field to an entirely new level.”
But it’s more than just trying to make the in-stadium experience as good as the at-home experience, whether via fancy TV screens or wireless Internet access for every seat. NFL teams need to make it even more attractive to come to the stadium and pay for tickets and parking and overpriced beer and other beverages and overpriced hot dogs and other cholesterol-rich meats than to stay home with cheaper food and drink. Whether that means access to the coach-to-quarterback radio communications or contests that take not just a few but hundreds of fans onto the field for all or part of the game, the NFL needs to come up with ways to make the added dynamic of attending the game something more than experiencing the same elements the players are enduring.
That approach not only will keep the stadiums full, but it also will make fans gladly willing to pay higher and higher prices for the privilege of being there.