Hmm free Wi-Fi at soccer stadium can’t be a bad idea right? Live updates, replays and betting available at your fingertips. Watching a game while being able touch up about on statistics and live scores for free would surely seem to be a luxury.
An article in the guardian highlights why Some people seem to think the opposite. The article is titled : “The introduction of free Wi-Fi at football stadiums a good thing?” Its main focus is on the introduction of Wi-Fi to PSV Eindhoven’s stadium, the Philips Stadion, for their first match. The article reports that there were an estimated 17,000 fans using the Wi-Fi! This is cause enough for a group of fans to be largely opposed to the idea. Some supporters unveiled a banner that read “F*** Wi-Fi, support the team” They feel that when at a soccer stadium you should be doing one thing…watching soccer!
This reminded me about a point made by Torneo and Vairs. They spoke about media users losing part of their real life or live experiences as a result of carrying around their personal media bubble with them( 2010, p.38) . These new media users favour a tele-connected, virtual and often broadcasted life. That is exactly the essence of the issue. Loyal Fans want watching a soccer game to be about watching the game and not being stuck in a personal media bubble. Adding Wi-Fi to stadiums promotes the kind of disconnect and distractions that sport purists fear!
Part of the fear of adding Wi-Fi to stadiums is that people will become disconnected from the game. With access to internet fans could combine different mediums and become increasingly distracted from the game. Turkle argued that people are more and more likely to live in a virtual world made of simulations because of this (as cited in Tornero & Varis, 2010, p. 38).
The problem with eliminating WiFi is that the internet is in invaluable companion people rely on when watching sports. WiFi brings people closer to the game. It makes the life of fans easier in many respects. People are making plans to leave the stadium by checking traffic and transit delays.
Some food for thought:
what did people do for last century when watching live sporting event?
was life so difficult?
Can’t things go back to that?
Will the access to information be beneficial or detrimental to the sporting experience?
The next time you’re a sporting event…..Would you log on? ( I know I will!)
Tornero, J.M.P. & Varis, T. (2010). New Media Literacy & New Humanism. UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education.
Campbell, P. (n.d.). Is the introduction of free Wi-Fi at football stadiums a good thing? Retrieved November 8, 2015.