(from Venues Today, September 12, 2012) The NFL continues to grow in viewership, but is trying to find a solution to a three year decline in stadium attendance. This three year decline is the result of the improvement of television coverage and fantasy sports. The League hopes an improvement in stadium technology will help draw fans to the stadium instead of watching the games at home.
The NFL is taking major strides in increasing the game day experience for fans though the use of wireless networks. Recent Super Bowl host, the Indianapolis Colts, installed a Wi-Fi network in Lucas Oil Stadium for the big game. Other teams, including the Baltimore Ravens and 49ers, are copying this idea and are planning on adding wireless networks by the 2014 season. The installation of Wi-Fi will give fans a more in-depth experience.
The Miami Dolphins currently offer fans the opportunity to rent a device called FanVison. FanVision gives the fans access to live game broadcasts, statistics, and scores around the league. FanVision is offered at about half of the NFL’s stadiums and is the leagues way of countering the increase in quality of at home coverage. The NFL plans to offer wireless networks in all 32 stadiums in the near future. Phones and Tablets will have the same capabilities of FanVision, but will also give fans the ability to access the latest scores and highlights. Fans will be able to select which highlights they would like to view, opposed to watching what is selected for them on the stadium video board.
The league recently added access to the NFL RedZone Channel for every stadium throughout the league. RedZone shows live games during the most exciting moments. The NFL also began showing under review plays, which was previously only available to viewers at home.
The NFL plans to continue coming up with new in-stadium technology to keep the fan experience as entertaining as possible.