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BSL: Five things to make the NFL stadium experience better


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#1 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 01:06 PM

http://baltimorespor...erience-better/

 

Forgive me for the poor timing. Was putting the finishing touches on this when the Caldwell news broke. 

 

Chris, feel free to move this to whichever thread you like. It's an NFL issue, but I made it an M&T Bank Stadium focus. 


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#2 McNulty

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 01:19 PM

Wifi, absolutely.  Trying to send a text is a challenge, let alone do anything internet related.  Its a big reason why I sold my PSL.  I had work try to call me during a game and it was impossible to find a signal.

 

As to your postgame idea, I think its a winner.  Jacksonville had a Bud Zone, or something like that, where they had a large area that was full of high tables and TVs everywhere.  They had all the late games on, and you could get food/beer there well after the game was over.  I can't believe that other teams aren't doing this, as that place was always packed after 1pm games.


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#3 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 01:27 PM

Wifi, absolutely.  Trying to send a text is a challenge, let alone do anything internet related.  Its a big reason why I sold my PSL.  I had work try to call me during a game and it was impossible to find a signal.

 

As to your postgame idea, I think its a winner.  Jacksonville had a Bud Zone, or something like that, where they had a large area that was full of high tables and TVs everywhere.  They had all the late games on, and you could get food/beer there well after the game was over.  I can't believe that other teams aren't doing this, as that place was always packed after 1pm games.

I know it's a much smaller scale, but when I lived in Florida, the ECHL hockey team there had a restaurant/sports bar in the arena with access from the outside, and the concourse from inside. Sort of like Dempsey's at Camden Yards. They would stay open and operate as a bar until 2am like any other place. Closed down that place after a hockey game plenty of times in my younger days. 


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#4 BaltBird 24

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:00 PM

Wifi, absolutely.  Trying to send a text is a challenge, let alone do anything internet related.  Its a big reason why I sold my PSL.  I had work try to call me during a game and it was impossible to find a signal.

 

Count me as one of those people who are extremely annoyed with people playing around on their cellphone during the game. I mean, you're at a GD NFL game. If you wanted to sit around and play on the internet, text your buddies(exceptions can be made if you're trying to set up some post-game booty call), or whatever else you may be doing you should have just stayed home and watched the game on TV.

 

Maybe I'm just annoyed that it seems like everyone I've sat around are more interested in letting people know that they're at the game on FB rather than actually enjoying the game.


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#5 McNulty

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:03 PM

Wifi, absolutely.  Trying to send a text is a challenge, let alone do anything internet related.  Its a big reason why I sold my PSL.  I had work try to call me during a game and it was impossible to find a signal.
  Count me as one of those people who are extremely annoyed with people playing around on their cellphone during the game. I mean, you're at a GD NFL game. If you wanted to sit around and play on the internet, text your buddies(exceptions can be made if you're trying to set up some post-game booty call), or whatever else you may be doing you should have just stayed home and watched the game on TV.   Maybe I'm just annoyed that it seems like everyone I've sat around are more interested in letting people know that they're at the game on FB rather than actually enjoying the game.
Humble brag 101. I totally agree. Usually when I was trying to text, it was for clarification on something that happened in the game. Like a replay that they didn't show or a weird call of some sort.

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#6 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:25 PM

Eh, some of these I couldn't care less about.  More footballs in the stands?  Us 500ers don't really get to experience that.  I have a few M&T specific things that could definitely improve the game day experience:

 

-Escalators:  I've harped on this before, and I'm not in the best shape, but it's absurd that our stadium, absent a few elevator lobbies doesn't have another electronic way to get people to the top of the stadium.

 

-Better parking logistics:  What I mean by this is, figure out an easier way to get cars out of the lots after the game -- with the various avenues to I-95, it shouldn't take close to 90 minutes for someone to get from the stadium to Catonsville.  And actually use Baltimore Police Department officers who are getting paid overtime to direct the traffic.  Right now, many of these lots are "run" by a group of people with a collective IQ of about 50.  Not only are they stupid, but they're also lazy and they don't really help with the post-game traffic situation.

 

-Lower the price of parking:  It will always be supply and demand, but $150 for a parking pass on stubhub to lot H is absurd.  Especially when you're emptying your pocket for a ticket already.  If the other local lots were lowered in price, that would drop the price of the lots on the secondary market.  Also, not sure how feasible this is, but building another massive lot would be nice.

 

-Agree on the wi-fi.

 

-MORE LIGHT RAIL TRAINS!  I can't stress this enough.  When I first got season tickets I figured I'd try various ways to get to the stadium to see which one I liked the most.  Getting there wasn't an issue but getting home, well, let's just say that experiment was one and done.

 

-Lower beer costs:  I know, pipe dream right?  Well, something like this may go a long way. 

 

If it wasn't for the tailgating and general atmosphere of seeing a live game, there aren't really any "upsides" to going live other than to say "I was there"  With HDTVs and cheaper beer/food at home, families on a budget might think twice about renewing.  The Ravens right now don't see it as a problem, as every game of theirs sells out, but if they were to somehow reach a point where they have 3-4 lean years (perish the thought), this might become a reality.  Not selling out a playoff game isn't a city specific issue, it's symbolic of a league wide issue that's only going to get worse.


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#7 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:28 PM

Count me as one of those people who are extremely annoyed with people playing around on their cellphone during the game. I mean, you're at a GD NFL game. If you wanted to sit around and play on the internet, text your buddies(exceptions can be made if you're trying to set up some post-game booty call), or whatever else you may be doing you should have just stayed home and watched the game on TV.

 

Maybe I'm just annoyed that it seems like everyone I've sat around are more interested in letting people know that they're at the game on FB rather than actually enjoying the game.

 

So the ONLY time you EVER use your phone at the stadium is to arrange for post-game sex?  Got it.


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There is baseball, and occasionally there are other things of note

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"Making his own olive brine is peak Mackus."

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#8 BSLSeanJester

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:44 PM

WiFi should be priority no. 1 in that it would cost little to make it happen and the impact would greatly improve the game experience. Face it, Fantasy Football drives the NFL today and they should help fans stay connected to their fantasy team while they watch their real one.

 

I like the after-party idea. Seems a little far-fetched but something could be done other than basically turning off the lights and telling people to go home or to the bar. Either way, they don't make any more money the way things are now.

 

Better food. I know a lot of people eat while they tailgate and food at football games basically exists to soak up alcohol. But the food at the non-Hightopps food stands sucks. Make it better and I will think about spending $12 for a sandwich. 

 

I know this isn't the Ravens but the MTA needs to improve light rail service before and after the game. It's still very hit or miss and when it misses, it misses. I've sworn off the light rail. If I take transit in, I take the #40.


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#9 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 03:00 PM

Eh, some of these I couldn't care less about.  More footballs in the stands?  Us 500ers don't really get to experience that.  I have a few M&T specific things that could definitely improve the game day experience:

 

-Escalators:  I've harped on this before, and I'm not in the best shape, but it's absurd that our stadium, absent a few elevator lobbies doesn't have another electronic way to get people to the top of the stadium.

 

-Better parking logistics:  What I mean by this is, figure out an easier way to get cars out of the lots after the game -- with the various avenues to I-95, it shouldn't take close to 90 minutes for someone to get from the stadium to Catonsville.  And actually use Baltimore Police Department officers who are getting paid overtime to direct the traffic.  Right now, many of these lots are "run" by a group of people with a collective IQ of about 50.  Not only are they stupid, but they're also lazy and they don't really help with the post-game traffic situation.

 

-Lower the price of parking:  It will always be supply and demand, but $150 for a parking pass on stubhub to lot H is absurd.  Especially when you're emptying your pocket for a ticket already.  If the other local lots were lowered in price, that would drop the price of the lots on the secondary market.  Also, not sure how feasible this is, but building another massive lot would be nice.

 

-Agree on the wi-fi.

 

-MORE LIGHT RAIL TRAINS!  I can't stress this enough.  When I first got season tickets I figured I'd try various ways to get to the stadium to see which one I liked the most.  Getting there wasn't an issue but getting home, well, let's just say that experiment was one and done.

 

-Lower beer costs:  I know, pipe dream right?  Well, something like this may go a long way. 

 

If it wasn't for the tailgating and general atmosphere of seeing a live game, there aren't really any "upsides" to going live other than to say "I was there"  With HDTVs and cheaper beer/food at home, families on a budget might think twice about renewing.  The Ravens right now don't see it as a problem, as every game of theirs sells out, but if they were to somehow reach a point where they have 3-4 lean years (perish the thought), this might become a reality.  Not selling out a playoff game isn't a city specific issue, it's symbolic of a league wide issue that's only going to get worse.

Totally agree with escalators. I was trying to stay away from the things like lowering prices because i just assume, like you said, it's a pipe dream. The thing with the footballs in the stands, it's more for the kids. If I caught one I'd do the right thing and give it to a kid. I've given up a couple foul balls to kids at O's games. It's bad enough I have to drop $100 to go to a game myself. I can't imagine if I had to take a wife and two kids. $400 just to get in the door. If I could go in early with my kids and maybe one of them could get a practice football from a punter or something, they would be ecstatic I'm sure, and it would make spending that kind of money worth it to me. 


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#10 primetime

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 03:15 PM

As far as the regular season gameday experience goes, wi-fi or better cell service is a no brainer. Fantasy football and gambling are inescapable realities and I would hazard a guess to say at least half of the people in attendance of any given NFL game are involved in one or both.

 

Speaking from personal experience, I went to virtually every home game from 1999-2008. From 2009-2012, I only went to a handful of games; mainly because I got a little older, had kids, etc. I ended up selling my PSLs this past offseason.

 

For me, it became sort of a hassle to do the whole game day thing; especially because I was the cook for tailgates. Call me lazy I guess, it's just easier and significantly cheaper to get together with friends and family somewhere, have a big pot luck and enjoy the game that way. I can have the Red Zone going on my phone while watching the Ravens game on the big screen. 

 

Perhaps that same type of mentality is what lies beneath the NFLs attendance issues. Perhaps this is also the reason why there have been rumblings about the NFL trying to implement a pay per view system for the television audience. The NFL will get their money by hook or by crook, I suppose.


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#11 Oriole85

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 03:53 PM

Simply put the NFL is it's own worse enemy in this regard. The television experience is better than ever and it's only improving. That said, the in-game experience can't be duplicated at a sports bar or in your own home. I like the better wifi ideas but the lowering prices is just a pipe dream based on supply and demand. The NFL has already made it easier for games to be televised with the 85% rule with stipulations but they obviously don't want too many people staying home and playing the game on the equivalent of a studio.


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#12 DJ MC

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 05:29 PM

I did a tour one night for a group that arranged to have different people from the Orioles and MSA talk at different stops, one of whom worked on the electronics for the park. So both wifi and cellular signals was a popular topic.

 

I don't remember the specific details, and I'm nothing approaching an electronic or computer engineer, but the gist I got was that figuring out a system that covered the entire building, was flexible enough to handle both steady and spikes in traffic for a variety of crowd sizes, and didn't screw with other electronics inside the park and in the surrounding area was a major challenge. Let alone making it cost-effective for both the Orioles/MSA and whatever company would provide the service.

 

I would imagine that all of those issues are magnified for a stadium the size of M&T Bank, and for significantly fewer overall events.


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