At a time when the NFL has become desperate to devise league-wide strategies for improving the in-stadium experience, some franchises are rolling up their sleeves and putting on their thinking caps and coming up with ways to get more people to choose attending games over staying at home.
In New England, the Patriots are installing a WiFi system that will allow 40 percent of the 70,000 fans to access video simultaneously.
For folks in the stadium, the Patriots will roll out specific bells and whistles. Patriots publisher and V.P. of content Fred Kirsch tells CIO.com that the team has developed a mobile app — Patriots Game Day Live — that will provide live play-by-play, information on bathroom-line waiting times, a tool for ordering food and beverages while in the seat, and access to NFL RedZone.
Kirsch also said that the team hopes to eventually add to the app audio from players wearing microphones and video from the sidelines (insert your Spygate joke here) or the locker room. As Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal recently reported, the NFL wants to deploy more player and coach microphones, possibly to give fans a NASCAR-style eavesdropping experience.
With features like that, it will be easier for fans to justify plunking down a bunch of money to attend the game instead of enjoying the broadcast in a place where the beer is much cheaper, the RedZone flows in 50-plus inches of HD, the bathroom line is always short, and the aim of the folks who use the facilities is considerably more accurate.