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Fan concerns: Internet, cell-phone connectivity

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Posted Aug. 07, 2012 @ 4:59 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Editor's note: PFW spoke with fans recently about some of their concerns regarding attending NFL games. To read the main story, click here. Below is what fans had to say about having better Wi-Fi connections at NFL games.

 

Eric Grubman echoed what the fans told us: Better connectivity is issue No. 1 with attending NFL games right now, more so than price, security or anything else. Could it be the reason why fans are staying home more often?

Chris Jensen: “The biggest thing is the cell-phone reception. You’ve got fantasy going on, you’ve got pools, you want to know what is going on. That’s a pretty big annoyance when you can’t use your phone.”

Adam Siegel: “I try to use my phone at the game and with 60,000 people also using their phones it’s just impossible.”

Michael Davis: “I have signal issues at every game. I joke that I have better cell reception at home in rural West Virginia than I do at the game. It’s true, too.”

Travis McDonald: “You basically can’t use your cell phone. If you want to keep up what is going on around the league, you’re basically limited to what the big screen shows you. Being at Candlestick, we’re basically at the lowest end of technology in the league.”

Robert Amberg: “Candlestick claims to have good wireless, but I have never had it work well. The Niners supposedly have an (smart phone) app that has highlights of the game, but I was never able to get that to work. I assume that will be better at the new place.”

Chris Jensen: “I don’t know how they can’t get better Wi-Fi. I go to O’Hare (Airport) and it’s fine, but at Soldier Field, no way. You can’t tell me there are not (at least) 68,000 people at O’Hare when it’s busy.”

Travis McDonald: “I go to (San Francisco) Giants games and have no problem with wireless. I don’t know why for football it’s so much worse. AT&T Park holds 40,000 and they pack it every day. Connectivity is not an issue at all there.”

Adam Goldstein: “Down in the lower bowl (of the Georgia Dome) there are (connection problems). Verizon is a sponsor of the Falcons; I don’t know if they have AT&T shut out or what, but the Verizon users never seem to have problems. I have AT&T and I can’t always get a (good) connection. Upper deck, I have no problems.”

Jon Kazanjian: “Most stadiums I go to, I don’t get any phone service — calls, texts, anything. When I leave the games, I usually get like five texts all at once. It’s not until I leave the stadiums that I get all of them. It’s not just internet.”

Christian Ferris: “I stopped turning on my phone during games. It just wears down the batteries.”

Chris Jones: “Cell signal isn’t bad (in Jacksonville). It does sometimes take a minute for data to go through.”

Ernie Rupp: “I have every ticker there is available on my phone.”

Rodney Knuppel: “I’ve got an iPhone and an iPad, so one or both of them will be with me at all times at games.”

Adam Siegel: “Free Wi-Fi — they should provide it for everyone.”

Chris Jensen: “At Soldier Field, you can pay for it, and I have done it before, but I don’t like to.”

Ernie Rupp: “I didn’t have a smart phone when I had season tickets. But the Wi-Fi would be a great deal. Even if they had Wi-Fi areas in the stadiums, or hot spots or whatever. Like a Starbucks kind of thing, except without the coffee. Little Internet bars.”

Jon Kazanjian: “The Patriots are giving away free Wi-Fi this year and everyone will have Red-Zone Channel access on their iPhone or iPad. They think they can handle 70,000 people all using at once this year. They are better about showing the stats, but this is going to top it all. That’s just really cool. I am on my phone a lot.”

Brian Elliott: “The Wi-Fi stuff, the improvements they are planning, that’s great. I am on Twitter a lot. If they can improve the (connectivity), I’d be all for it. I have an iPad and I would subscribe to some kind of highlight package thing where I could watch during the downtime in between plays or at the half.”

Adam Goldstein: “Last year was my first year on Twitter, and I follow all the football people, the beat writers and such. That is a great thing during the game. I want to know what their take is on some things.”

Michael Davis: “I wouldn’t leave my seats for better (connectivity).”

Travis McDonald: “I would not leave my seat to go to a (Wi-Fi hot spot).”

Adam Goldstein: “I would consider moving my seats (for better connection). I actually started out lower and moved back because I felt like you have a better view of what’s going on. But the connection is better up there, too. If there was a place where you were guaranteed to have a perfect connection, I would want those seats.”

Michael Davis: “Yes, I am a fantasy football guy. I want more stats from other games.”

Paul Theoret: “Fantasy, (gambling) — I am into all of it.”

Adam Siegel: “If we’re at the game, a player gets hurt, a lot of the time we have no idea what is going on. We have to hear from people who are not at the game. I hear from friends who are watching on TV, and they know who got hurt, but I don’t.”

Chris Jensen: “The way the league is now, with everything so interconnected, fantasy and everything, you want more information. With the scoreboard, you’re not getting stats on it usually.”

Travis McDonald: “I am into fantasy football and all of that, but when my team is playing I don’t really care about all of that. I can wait for things. I just want to watch the game. To me, it’s not a huge deal, but I know it’s holding a lot of people back from coming out to the games.”

Rodney Knuppel: “If I can’t get connection every minute of the game, that’s OK. They’ll have scores posted (on the scoreboard). I’ll find out on the way home.”

Adam Siegel: “I’d like to have a feed to the TV broadcast on headphones.”

Travis McDonald: “If they did (improve) that, I think it would make a huge difference.”

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