As the league tries to enhance the in-stadium experience, the key word could be “try”.
Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal reports that the NFL no longer expects to acquire a “telecommunications partner” to equip every seat in every stadium with wireless Internet access for the 2012 season.
Five stadiums nevertheless will serve as pilot projects, with enhanced wireless service and in-game apps. The quintet of venues will be MetLife Stadium (home of the Jets and Giants), Gillette Stadium (home of the Pats), Bank of America (home of the Panthers), Lucas Oil Stadium (home of Twitter-happy Jim Irsay’s Colts), and the Superdome (home of the Saints).
So why won’t the league have a “telecommunications partner” to ensure that every seat in every stadium simultaneously will have wireless access during games? Based on the way the NFL typically uses its immense bargaining power, the league likely has yet to find a company that will commit to spending the money necessary to upgrade 31 stadiums and also write a large check to the league on top of it for the privilege of having its name aligned with the shield.