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.”