Ideas for a possible Rays Public Access Wi-Fi


Most Tampa Bay Rays fans who have attended games over the last two seasons have probably seen me sitting down in Section 138 with my old Toshiba laptop pulled out and have seen me jotting down some notes, or doing a quick post or photo upload on any of the social networks I use daily to pop out my brand of Rays information.

And before the 2010 season, I used the Rays old public access free Wi-Fi options within Tropicana Field before that option disappeared inside Tropicana Field this past off season. Now if you want to use computer Internet access or a Rays Wi-Fi network, you must possess a Rays unique password or you will not be able to access the Internet to change your MLB Fantasy line-up.


Now this is not the reasoning behind me not bringing my laptop to the Trop. Every night anymore, but I leave it in my car and do my posts and photo uploads after leaving the stadium now. But there have been more than a few Rays Republic members who have asked me about the “lost access” and it was while trolling around the Houston Astros Team website that I might have gotten as great idea for the Tampa Bay Rays to institute in the future.

It will involve one of their current Rays sponsors, plus might be another great fundraiser for the Rays Baseball Foundation.


 

Major League Baseball’s 75th Annual All-Star Game that was held at Minute Maid Park was the first time the All-Star Game was played in a venue that has Wi-Fi capabilities for the fans. That is right, not only the in-house media, offices and broadcast networks, but also “Joe Schmoe” in the stands had Wi-Fi access. And this is the first time I have heard of this, but fans can bring their laptops and Wi-Fi compatible devices to the ballpark and were able to surf the web when they purchased a four-hour block of unlimited access for $ 3.95 per game.


And the Astros also had an option for subscribers of Bright House Networks Road Runner high speed online service who brought their user name and password along with their computer devices to the game a FREE 15-minute, no obligation, free trial subscription at every Astros game. This special “Speed Zone” offer is not limited to only Road Runner subscribers as anyone purchasing their four-hour block can take advantage of Road Runner’s fast, simple and secure Wi-Fi hotspot service.

Anywhere in the Astro’s ballpark where there is a sign posted to show a Wi-Fi hotspot will receive the same standard download and upload speeds as Road Runner high speed subscribers at their usual home service: 3Mbps download /384 Kbps upload. But it all became a reality after the local Time Warner Cable facilities team deployed nearly 100 wireless access points throughout the stadium using Cisco System products and support This same option could be installed and functional within the confines of Tropicana Field if the Rays get enough feedback showing that the option would be beneficial to Rays fans.

I have not consulted the Rays Front Office, or even posed this kind of idea to them yet, but I was just thinking outside the box about a few things today when this information came available to me about the Houston Wi-Fi options during game days. I could easily see a possible $ 5.00-6.00 charge being initiated by the Rays for public access four-hour blocks after this equipment is installed within Tropicana Field in the future. And think of the possibilities of just 10 Rays fans buying these cards for all 81 Rays home games.

Just those 10 people could bring in over $ 4,860.that could have a nice chunk broken off for the philanthropist activities of the Rays Baseball Foundation during the baseball season. I know it is a small number right now, but with time it would grow and grow until maybe 100 Rays Republic fans brought their computer devices into Tropicana Field and purchased these special Wi-Fi access cards.

That would boost the incoming revenues upwards to almost $50,000 for the Rays Baseball Foundation, and they could devise a system with the cards being purchased in the Team Store or an alcove location somewhere within Tropicana Field.


Sure this might be thinking way outside the box right now, but it has a viable application and has been in effect in another ballpark with success. That in itself might constitute the Rays Front Office maybe discussing this option maybe even for the 2011 season, and at the least to be included in the design and conception of a new Rays future stadium. And the advantages of offering something like this could be huge for the Rays Republic.

 
MLWGuide@Flikr.com

And maybe the Rays could incorporate some sort of infrastructure within the system for Rays fans between the end of Batting Practice and the first pitch to partake in Rays related discussions, polls or even look at the MLB.com web clips and participate in future MLB promotions. The ground has already been dug up by the Astros with the Wi-Fi public access premise already a reality. And with the Rays fans becoming more and more technology savvy, it could be a great way to attract Season Ticket sales and also additional seat purchases for future Rays dates by initializing a online ticket discount program in effect while the card is valid on that game day only.
 

Come on Rays, you have a great department up there on the Fourth floor office who run your in-stadium web options. Maybe it is time to get the Rays Republic also active and proactive with in-game promotions, trivia contests and maybe even a Rays-based social network that could bring more Rays fans together both on game days and in the future….It is just me thinking “outside-the-box” again.

 

4 Comments

Double R ~ sounds like a win-win idea to me. I would enjoy something like that available to me here. But without putting a damper on things, because of 9/11 things are still very different for us here in the city and especially the ball parks. They even inspect our cell phones upon entering Yankee Stadium. They don’t check phones at Citi. It’s pretty much expected we show up empty handed these days.
mike
http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.mlblogs.com/

Mike,
I actually talked with someone today who does community relations with the Rays and they loved the idea, but thought the media would again have a hissy fit becuase they feel that the public should not have that luxury.
Even thought the stadium could be retrofitted to supply enough for both levels the Press Box and the fans, the money issue was a great positive point to the Rays staffer.
I can do my work/posts anywhere, but every once in a while I like to upload a photo to Twitter or another site to show a present thing happening on the field.
I think it would be a plus to have that sort of access, but then again, how many people would pull up MLB.TV in the stadium to see replays?

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Budman,
There is a weird set of circumstances starting to surface within MLB where Umpires and calls have been wrong or mislead by inaccurate sightlines, missing initial player movements, or by the easy fact that they just missed it entirely.
I have some respect for the Umpires like Jim Joyce for admitting their error, but also have no remorse for his pain for knowing he caused a error that prevented a Perfecto, or even a No-Hitter from getting into the record books.
You want some sense of clarity and conformity, but that will probably not be a realistic goal anytime soon…..and that is a pity.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

MLB can redeem itself with the league and fans by reversing the very last play of the game. if there was only one out, the situation would be totally different. Because it was the very last play, get it RIGHT!. Instant replay should also be allowed in these special situations. If the BLIND ump could not see 4ft infront of him, then fire him and get this 3RD PERFECT GAME of the year in the record books, as it SO rightly deserves!

You have an out! (no pun intended)…….because no one would argue the fact that if the seeing impared ump called the right call, the 3rd perfect game of the season would be here B4 the 4th of JULY!

GET it RIGHT MBL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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