Improving Technology in MLB Ballparks

Sunday April, 29 2012 

Ryan Ritchey: With baseball being America’s past time, the game is old-fashioned to say the least. In many of the older ballparks like Fenway, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last week, the stadium is built with poles holding up the upper decks. In these ballparks fans get tickets for seats behinds poles cheaper than any seat in the stadium. Others like Kauffman Stadium have started putting in solar panels above the outfield seats to use the solar energy to power the ballpark. 

With this being said does baseball need to up the ante on technology in the ballpark by adding more things for the enjoyment of the fans? In my opinion it is yes and no. There is no better feeling than going to a ballpark and smelling the peanuts and hot dogs and enjoying a nice game on a hot summer day. For those fans sitting behind those poles, do they need a special TV on the seat in front of them that will allow them to watch the game while also being there? The TVs will need headphones so you can hear the voice of the announcers which is the only bad thing. The cool thing about that would be if you could get the voice of the announcer at the ballpark and only hear what is going on within the ballpark itself.

The reason many people go to games is for the atmosphere. The atmosphere of a major league park doesn’t compare to anything else. When you are at Yankee Stadium for game 7 of the World Series, you aren’t going to want to have headphones. You are going to want to witness the game live as it happens! Don’t get me wrong, I like watching the games on TV because you get the best view from every angle. But when I’m at the park, I want the whole experience. 

For those teams that don’t bring in many fans, except for the big 3 game series on the weekends, they need something to bring in more fans to the ballpark. It doesn’t need to be anything big but something that will get fans off the couch and into the seats. A good idea could be having MLB Extra Innings available at every seat in the ballpark and just not on the ones with blocked view. This would be a great tool for late in the season when your team is fighting for a playoff spot. This could also come in handy for those fans at games that don’t matter late in the year and want to watch another game (especially fantasy baseball fans- keeping an eye on their key players). 

Season ticket holders for teams like the Pirates and Royals who aren’t going to be in the running for a playoff spot at the end of the year, could use this to their advantage by watching another game that matters. I see the positives and negatives with these ideas and I believe that overall it could be a positive for baseball. If one technological improvement goes into a ballpark, it could lead to many more in the near future!

Ryan Ritchey is a MLB reports Baseball Intern. I am a high school senior, play second base and plan on studying sports journalism in college. I am a huge fan of Barry Larkin and Brandon Phillips. Have been a baseball fan my whole life and have been writing about baseball since freshman year. You can reach me on Twitter (@Ryan13Ritchey)

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Posted on April 29, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Like your thinking, but doubt that would bring more fans then cost. In addition, doesn’t extra innings have a delay (or is it just the MLB Audio app)?

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