Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, made it clear: man caves have been winning the competition.
“We have made the point repeatedly that the experience at home is outstanding, and we have to compete with that in some fashion by making sure we create the same kind of environment in our stadiums,” Goodell said.
This was in May 2012, following a few years of bad attendance records and many television blackouts. In fact, the 2011 season had the lowest average numbers of in-stadium fans per game since 2002.
Why? It’s a simple formula:
Overpriced seats/food + access to only one game + no Internet = not worth it.
According to northwesternbusinessreview.org, “it costs more than $440, on average, for a family of four to attend an NFL game, factoring in the costs of tickets, food and parking.”
With 60+ inch HDTVs, free beer in the fridge, the ability to switch games during commercials and fantasy football stats updates – the comfy couch seems like an easy choice.
Stadium owners step it up
Over the past few years, new stadiums have been renovated and new ones are currently being built. Stadium owners are taking Goodell’s statement to heart – especially when he said that all 31 stadiums should have Internet access, which is expected by the start of the 2015 season.
Here are three high-tech stadiums with Internet access – and much more.
It’s no surprise the New England Patriots fans get the best of the best. Both fiber-optic Internet from Verizon and high-speed Internet from Enterasys Networks powers the stadium. This high-density Wi-Fi means no Internet slowdown, even at a sold-out game.
With it, fans can download the game-day app to see every major play again and again. Best of all – there is not one seat in the house that has an obstructed view.
Fun fact: Two of the Putnam Clubs in the stadium are each larger than a football field. Their cathedral ceilings stand three stories tall and glass walls allow for a perfect view of both end zones.
University of Phoenix Stadium
There’s much more to this barrel cactus-looking stadium than Wi-Fi capability. Opening in 2006, the home of the Arizona Cardinals hosts many event – from football to wrestling matches. The 2.1-acre field is retractable, thanks to an 18.9 million pound tray.
The roof is also retractable – it can be retracted during the cool fall days in Arizona. Or it can close and the “Bird-Air” fabric will create a breeze in the stadium. The stadiums construction cost more than $450 million.
Fun fact: If all 72,200 seats were put in a straight line, they would cover approximately 18 miles.
Levi’s Stadium (2014)
The San Francisco 49ers will have a new home next season. Fans won’t miss any of the action on the field – or on any other field.
The high-density Wi-Fi will allow fans to stream NFL RedZone at their seat (and there are 80,000 of them). There will also be HD video boards that measure more than 13,000 square feet.