Over the last few days I’ve noticed a growing trend of people complaining about poor Wi-Fi coverage and cellular reception at Progressive Field for no reason other than to hear themselves complain about something. Can We Stop Complaining about FREE Wi-Fi and Enjoy the Indians? I don’t think you understand how difficult it is to increase Wi-Fi and cellular coverage at stadium-sized venues.
Consider this; Progressive Field is an open-air stadium that can seat roughly 47,000 people at any given time. In order to increase its Wi-Fi coverage the Indians (read: taxpayers) would need to spend millions of dollars in infrastructure upgrades to get basic coverage; to increase cellular coverage wireless service providers would need to spend similar amounts.
Why would the organization or the wireless providers spend to increase coverage when the capacity will be utilized less than half of the year and would only be focused in a specific area?
Many claim teams need to provide Wi-Fi coverage, for free, to help increase attendance and the “fan experience,” but are you really not going to Indians games because the Wi-Fi isn’t good? I thought you went to Indians games to watch a winning team and enjoy time with your friends and family.
Side note: based on attendance it doesn’t appear fans care about winning baseball in Cleveland either. Home attendance is down 33.4% this year and the weather has been generally spectacular the entire home stand.
For Super Bowl XLII, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome installed 700 Wi-Fi access points with hopes of allowing up to 30,000 simultaneous connections. These aren’t the same consumer grade access points you likely have installed at your house, but are much more sophisticated and powerful, and of course more expensive.
Why can’t you spend four hours watching baseball without the need to tweet every pitch or take a picture of your shit-tastic $1 hot dogs?
As someone who tweets nearly 40 times per day, which for some of you is a bathroom break, I can tell you I enjoy going to events with my friends and actually enjoying their company.
In March, Ars Technica profiled the San Francisco 49ers installation of a large Wi-Fi network in their new stadium with hopes to provide coverage to nearly 70,000 people simultaneously. The two engineers on the project explain the difficulties of installing such a network while constructing a new building versus retrofitting an existing structure. If you aren’t sure which path is cheaper, easier, or more efficient it would be option one. The story doesn’t provide costs, but no matter which path you chose to go with, installation of neither is cheap.
I’ll give y’all credit for one thing, the Indians have the longest current winning streak in baseball and y’all still find something to bitch about. I hope you’re complaining about free Wi-Fi when the Browns are losing this fall.
Do yourselves a favor, stop complaining about free Wi-Fi an enjoy the Indians and you friend and family.
tl; dr is a tech nerd term for too long; didn’t read. the purpose of these posts is to provide a quick summary and analysis of something interesting in the sports world.