Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Advanced Technology At The New Yankee Stadium

In yesterday's edition of the Boston Globe, there was a fascinating article about new technology at sporting venues. Of course, given the Yankees highly publicized deal with Cisco Networks, the Yankees are featured prominently.

Conveniently, there is a video accompanying the extremely detailed story, explaining some of the finer points of the "new" fan experience:

At Stadium Insider, we pride ourselves on being cutting edge when it comes to technology. However, most of the details described in the video above seem useless to us. Granted, the hi-tech food ordering will be nice, and they hit the nail on the head by emphasizing how that advancement will allow you to be in your seats more often so you won't miss as much game action. We can all get on board with that.

On the other hand, the luxury suite nonsense in the video is lost on us. Most people who have the privilege to see a game in a luxury suite will likely be too enthralled with the once in a lifetime experience to enjoy the advanced technology. Any regulars in the suites will be too old and rich to care about understanding the advanced features the suites offer.

Speaking of old people, the Yankees plan on introducing the new technology into Yankee Stadium slowly, so they don't scare off the less tech-savvy fans. "We want the fans to first learn the building before they start playing. We have to break this in slowly," said Yankee COO and enemy of this blog, Lonn Trost. The Yankee COO also tried to weasel his way back into our hearts by saying, "We looked at building a stadium we felt fans wanted and deserved. How can you build a brand-new stadium and not have the most up-to-date everything, whether it be technology, fan amenities, the playing field? Our fans expect that and we had to deliver."*

As we mentioned when this deal first came to fruition, some of the more exciting details are the devices that can be used to access replays and other in-game features. However, we're not clear how these devices will offer features that our smart-phones can't already do. For example, one of the bits of technology that we plan to experiment with at New Stadium Insider for the 2009 season is recording live video from the stands of the new Yankee Stadium and broadcasting it LIVE, on the internet, using Qik software (check out Qik.com for more details on their service).

Without the use of those fancy devices, we will be able to do something even more advanced than anything Cisco mentions in the article - broadcast live video from the game using the 3G connectivity afforded to us by our HTC Touch Pro. Sure, it would be nice to have access to their fancy hi-speed wi-fi network, especially when the local cell towers inevitably become overloaded at big games, but perhaps public wi-fi for people with their own smart phones is in the works as well.

Another highly touted advance in technology is the ability to interact with your favorite players via live video conferencing. We're still not clear how this works, but with Shaq completely changing the athlete/fan relationship on Twitter, it certainly stands a better chance of succeeding than we would have thought when the Cisco deal was first announced back in November. We'd love to chat it up with Hideki Matsui and get some recommendations on his favorite adult films.

The article over at Boston.com is very interesting, and we've just touched on the Yankee Stadium aspect. They are also adding this technology at various other sports venues around the country. At the very least, visit the website so you can vote in the riveting poll that is accompanying the article:

Where would you rather watch the Red Sox and Yankees play?

At Fenway Park, where I can sing "Sweet Caroline"
At the new Yankee Stadium with its gigantic, high-definition scoreboard, concourse monitors giving real-time traffic updates and stats to track fantasy teams and luxury suites where I can choose the camera angles
Total votes: 644
We'd rather be forced to have diarrhea in the stalls at the old Yankee Stadium during a playoff game than sing "Sweet Caroline" at Fenway Park, so you know where our loyalties lie in that highly scientific poll.

* Please note - all of the quotes in this blog post were lifted from the story in the Boston Globe.

Talk about it in the Stadium Insider Forums!

Tax Season is here - Save By E-Filing Your Taxes and tell 'em Stadium Insider sent you - Only $19.95!
SEO By Profit By Search India