Exclusive game audio could be the key to keeping stadiums full

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For years, we’ve been suggesting the use of NASCAR-style access to on-field communications as a way to give fans who attend NFL games something they can never get at home.

The recent report from Kevin Clark of the Wall Street Journal regarding the comprehensive changes that the league is making and/or considering contains what could be the first step toward giving fans plenty of reasons to emerge from their man caves.

Per Clark, the league plans to create smartphone apps “that could let fans listen to players wearing microphones on the field.”

“Could” is the key word, since it implies something less potent than “will.”  Later in the article, however, Clark writes that “[o]wners have granted permission for the league to place microphones on certain players so that fans can hear on-field commentary via an in-the-work app that would distribute raw feeds.”  Which sounds far more potent than “could.”

It’s a good start that could lead somewhere great.  Hearing the raw feed of the things players say to other players is one thing; having access to what the coaches are saying to the quarterback or to the defensive player with the green dot on his helmet could make for the kind of unique in-stadium access that fans would flock to experience.

And once the technology is in place to deliver the content, the costs will be extremely low.

Persuading the coaches to do it will be a separate issue, and it won’t be easy.  Maybe the owners can just send them golfing right before the vote is taken on the measure at the annual meetings.

47 responses to “Exclusive game audio could be the key to keeping stadiums full

  1. Doubt it will happen, seeing as how the opposing team would sure like to know what was being said as well. You think the NFL would make cheating that easy? I hope not.

  2. The Patriots were way before their time. That’s what they were doing years ago against the Jets and now the league is thinking about letting all the fans in the stadium do what they were doing.

    The league should give the Pats back their draft choice and give back the $500,000 that Kraft was fined.

  3. Think tech wiz football fans would find away to hack this thing and send false play’s or obnoxious comments to the players on the field?

  4. I feel like, while it might be interesting, it’d be a whole heck of a lot of trouble for players. For example, if you were just listening to a lot of player-talk…it probably wouldn’t be something you’d want to let your kid listen to.

    As far as hearing what the coaches are saying to their players? No way in hell that happens. I doubt teams want to give their opponents any insight into what they’re saying.

  5. I agree about giving out too much info too the other team…NBA only gives you the rah rah coach speak stuff in the timeout huddle. so a filter would not be that great either… I would like to hear the sound of each play live. Hearing them pile up and talk trash after each play would be worth it..

  6. This will never happen due to the risk of players saying something stupid, disrespectful, racist, derogatory, etc. I’ll stay in my man-cave thank you very much.

  7. Not forcing fans to spend a small fortune on food, drink, and parking at games will go further to keep stadiums full than some stupid in-game audio.

  8. Fans should go to games to support their team and be a part of one of the greatest atmospheres, not to be attached to their phones. Those are the types of fans I hate seeing at the games and hope they just stay at home.

  9. They should create an app that lowers the price of tickets and concessions by 15%. Problem solved.

  10. Per Clark, the league plans to create smartphone apps “that could let fans listen to players wearing microphones on the field.”

    Somewhere….Bill Belichick is smiling.

  11. The NBA looked at the use of microphones on the court a few years ago but dropped the plan. It seems there are just so many times and ways the word motherfu**er can be used until it becomes boring.

  12. Security is an issue but in-stadium wi-fi access to broadcast coverage and box scores on mobile phones and tablets could be enough. Perhaps add exclusive on-field cameras.

  13. This is a joke. Hard enough for these guys to concentrate and now they have to filter what they say.

    The game is great as it is. Leave it alone. Half the fun of the game is predicting what play will be next. Arm chair quarterbacking is part of the appeal.

  14. I go to every game, the last thing I need is some lame audio feed,…I go to party at tailgates, then watch the game in the stadium,…losers who cant get off the couch we dont need, enticing them with stupid apps?…stay home losers.

  15. It will be fun to hear how many different ways Tebow screams “Jesus Christ” during a game.

  16. I’m a Pats die-hard from the Grogan days, and even I thought the idea of putting a team in London was stupid. Now this. Just how greedy are these f*ckers anyway?

  17. NBC had it right years ago when they did away with announcers as an experiment for a few games.

  18. It’s the prices stupid.

    Money is what keeps fans home. Like PFT has stated, take one years season tickets and you have a home theater for year after year.

    How is hearing the players in a headset going to change that?

    I do not get the people who complain about the cost of food. You can’t go 4 hours without eating? Especially if you tailgated? But I do get the cost of tickets being a problem for a fan to overcome.

    I believe if the home theater rules the roost, having this new “in stadium sound” is not going to change things…. Especially if the home theater investment has been made already.

  19. Just another way for the NFL to squeeze more money out of fans. I agree with the reduce parking concessions and game tickets, but that won’t happen. How long before you have to pay to view on TV for every game too?

  20. If we need Audio of the players to get people to come the games then I’m seriously concerned about the future of the game. I dont want to go to a game where everyone has their phone stuck to their ear rather than watching the game.

    It would take away the energy that is created at each game that makes it worth going. I go to the games now in 95 degree heat with a losing team and wouldn’t trade it for anything because the atmosphere of going to a game win or lose cant be beat by an air conditioned room and a soft couch.

  21. Think tech wiz football fans would find away to hack this thing and send false play’s or obnoxious comments to the players on the field?

    Yeah, i can picture it now: QB: “okay guys, we’re gonna run …… BA-BA-BOOOOOOOEY

  22. The NFL doesn’t get it. The cost benefit ratio of paying to go to a game has leaned to the “too much money” side. The prices of tickets, concessions, parking, and souvenirs are just too high. It’s as simple as that.

    The rest of the stuff they’re offering are just carnival side show gimmicks. Sure, people may be curious at first, but bottom line, the prices must come down for them to come.

  23. I get the feeling that this is going to a disaster. Usually all the apps or online plans that are predicted to be so great and get the huge type usually get the lowest rating.

  24. The best way to fill a stadium is to lower the ticket prices. It just plain costs too much to go watch a game.

  25. Imagine the best case scenario: 80% of the ticket-buyers quietly, passively sitting with smartphones connected to earbuds, straining to hear what their team’s QB or LB, etc are saying.

    Is that the “gameday experience” owners want to sell? Having to pump in artificial cheers and applause because their “fans” are too preoccupied trying to hear their $10 audio feed?

  26. What a bunch of crap. Seriously, this has virtually zero appeal. Here’s a novel idea. . . stop wasting millions of dollars paying marketing firms to figure out what fans want. Try using your ears, at least figuratively speaking. A few interns trolling around online can tell you what fans want– lower prices! It’s not complicated.

    And leave the coaching staffs alone, dang. You mess with them, you’re going to end up screwing up the quality of the product on the field– and then no marketing on earth will get your precious billions back. Dang. Just leave it ALONE. We don’t want the locker room or the huddle made into reality TV. . . we just want football, same as we always have. it really is that simple. The game itself is what draws and holds our attention– not your asinine ad campaigns, don’t flatter yourselves. Just give us the game. Getting the extra camera angles with the replay package is an incredible bit of progress, but the stadium “experience” truly doesn’t need to be enhanced. Make it just a little more affordable, your attendance will be fine.

  27. Has anyone ever tried to make a call sitting in their seats at a football game? I have not because of the action on the field (duh, that’s what we are there for) plus you cannot hear a damn thing. So how is wasting your money on an app that is unable to be heard a good idea? Hmm, some revenue enhancing money grubbers not thinking this thing through.

    BETTER IDEA: Why doesn’t the stadium simply have an apparatus that grabs your ankles upon entering, tips you upside down, and shakes all the spare change out of your pockets into a waiting receptacle.

    Anyways, back to the drawing board guys with your little think tank. And no! You cannot use my idea!!!!

  28. For this to even be considered, the miked up player would have to be coached, grilled and edited to the point of being a very water down product of no interest…..Fans do not want another gimmick !……What do almost all of these comments have in common…..MONEY !…it costs way too much money to go to a game…..the NFL would never admit this, until the stands are empty !..Most of us may live to see this happen !

  29. If someone from the NFL monitored this site, they would find out what their core group of fans want. They don’t care about the core group, they already have those. They want new fans and new dollars. It’s what happens when sportsmen die, and lawyers and businessmen buy the teams.

  30. i don’t trust the NFL to actually come up with a good idea and then make it available to fans without charge. They’ll create wireless internet, ability to hear on field audio, etc. but then they’ll charge an extra fee to the fan that will completely defeat the purpose.

  31. I can see it now. Green Bay or Buffalo in late December. How many fans have to have their phones or earbuds removed from their frozen faces or ears.

  32. So after they get it to the in-stadium crowd, how long before the pressure of big money from the TV networks forces NFL to bring the same audio to TV? The only thing being at the stadium gets you that you can’t re-create in your own house is the energy of the crowd. The instant kinship you form with strangers. The noise and the chanting. I have been to 3 games at Redskins stadium and even though every survey says the gameday experience at FedEx is one of the worst, I had a great time each time.

  33. How about you lower the ticket, concession, and parking prices so this family day @ the park doesn’t cost the equivalent of your summer vacation? That would pack the seats!

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