Monday, August 20, 2012

High-Density Wi-Fi Coming to Sun Life Stadium

My bricked iPhone may have a life at Miami Dolphins games after all!

Speaking on CNBC this morning, owner Stephen Ross revealed that the team is starting to install high-density wi-fi to Sun Life Stadium today. When the process is complete in a dozen weeks, fans will be able to use their smartphones to watch replays, check out other games, and engage in social media.

The Dolphins have achieved the first two parts of that equation through Fanvision, the handheld screens that were handed out to season ticket holders two seasons ago. That has certainly been a neat perk for loyal fans, but my biggest complaint as a fan outside of the on-field performance of the team has been that my phone is useless once nearly 75,000 fans try to make calls, surf the Web, or check email at the same time.

Some wireless carriers may be better than others at the stadium, but AT&T is a disaster.

A lack of connectivity was one of my gripes during last year's Feedback February session, and it seems as if enough fans like myself have been screaming about it to the point where Ross is making it a priority.

Why won't it be ready for 12 weeks, by the time that half of the season is over? Hey. I'm just happy to see it coming.

Ross takes a lot of heat for the orange carpet, spicing up the fight song, and the Club Liv addition, but he gets it. If the team was winning fans would associate these moves with victories and deep playoff runs. However, eliminate the on-field performance and Ross is ahead of his time in understanding that football is bigger than just the game these days.

Ross said this morning that the Dolphins will be the first team to install high-density WiFi. If it means that my wife and I can go to the game and know that our family and friends can reach us -- or that I can check on my fantasy football team -- or physically "check in" to the stadium on Facebook or Foursquare the way that Heat, Marlins, and Panthers fans do -- Ross has a believer in me.

He had me at high-density!

Check out the Ross interview:

Inside the Squawk Huddle: Miami Dolphins Owner