We’ve all been there. You are at a sporting event but you want to check the score of your rivals game. The stadium scoreboard only gives you out of town scores once every quarter. So, you pull out your cell phone to check the score and you have no bars.
Ok no problem, you’ll just try the WiFi. Your phone connects and nothing. The WiFi is overloaded and useless. Guess you will have to wait till you make it to the bar after the game to get that score you wanted. Heck, working WiFi in a press box is often iffy at best.
Such is normal life at live sporting events in the US. Teams continue to wonder why attendance keeps dropping, yet they have left important technological features out of their stadiums. With the ability to watch almost every college football game on TV or the Internet, live game attendance is less important than ever for fans to see the action.
Staying at home and enjoying a cold beverage while flipping between multiple games is the preferred viewing method of most these days. Add in the lack of ability to use a cell phone in a stadium and that can often be the final straw, especially when it means being cut off from interactive tools such as twitter.
Now, obviously my site is all about going to live football games, and I can come up with 50 reasons why they are better in person. For simplicity, I will give you one simple story.
Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) was suppose to come down to Happy Valley for the Illinois at Penn State game last fall. Due to the projected weather and working on his book, The Unlikeliest Champion, he declined. Little did any of us know it would be the final game ever coached by Joe Paterno.
That’s the only point I need to make. Would you rather tell you people, ‘yeah, I saw that on TV,’ or ‘yeah, I was there!’ Get to games, you never know what you are going to see.
In fact, that is why I am starting a series here today that will showcase some of my travel stories, the things I have witnessed in person, and reasons why you should attend games. Look for it to run over the next month or so.
Well back on topic a bit here. Honestly, just about every stadium I have been to that has over 30,000 fans in attendance, cell phone coverage is a huge problem. It is frankly silly and it some cases dangerous to not have cell service throughout stadiums.
For example, almost every stadium has a text message system to report out-of-control patrons and other emergencies. How can you use the system if you can’t send or receive a text message?
Thankfully, some schools are finally correcting this issue, such as Clemson, who is reportedly adding cell phone signal boosters to the north end zone of Memorial Stadium.
Hopefully, some day teams will realize that to continue strong attendance, those at the game need to, at a minimum, have the same luxuries as at home; and preferably, access to stats, streaming post-game press conferences and other things that you can’t get while sitting on the couch.
[photo via @ITPAYinfo]