A lot of sports fans are going to be, in the words of Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson, “Happy, happy, happy” this fall. That’s because a number of stadiums are installing WiFi networks that make toting the iPad to a football game a great way to access the second screen that fans enjoy at home.
ZDNet’s Jason O’Grady attended the Philadelphia Eagles home opener at Lincoln Financial Field last weekend and was delighted to find a free WiFi network that can fulfill the bandwidth requirements of 45,000 simultaneous users (the stadium holds 69,000 fans). A dozen NFL stadiums are currently outfitted with WiFi, although NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants all stadiums to be equipped so that fans can use their smartphones and tablets for fantasy football and social networking.
According to a press release sent out by the Eagles last week, here’s what fans can do with their iPads and the free Eagles iPad app:
- Fans will have the ability to stream the popular NFL Red Zone Channel live through the app, allowing them to watch action from around the league.
- Live camera view of the player tunnel prior to the game, which will give fans a unique glimpse of the players pumping each other up right before they run onto the field.
- Live stream of the video board, allowing the user to get a better view of the replays that are displayed on the big screen.
- A dynamic stats channel that provides fans with updates from the Eagles game, as well as information and statistics from around the NFL.
- Social media hub, which will make it easy to log on to various popular social platforms including Facebook, Twitter and others without having to leave the Eagles app.
- Many of the original features remain, including news, game previews, video clips, photo galleries, fantasy stats, rosters, depth charts, bios, stadium information and much more.
Some Major League Baseball parks have also made free WiFi available for fans, including four of the five teams in the NL West — San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Arizona. My favorite ballpark, Denver’s Coors Field, doesn’t provide WiFi — between that and the Rockies’ season record, it’s been a lousy year for baseball.