Report excerpt: At Bat app driving the MLB digital experience bus

Editor’s note: The following excerpt from our MLB technology deployment analysis comes from our Stadium Tech Report for Q2 2014, which includes a wealth of information, research and analysis about the stadium tech marketplace. With a focus on Major League Baseball technology deployments, the report is available free for download so get your copy today. Enjoy the excerpt that follows.

At Bat driving the application bus

If there is one other thing that defines MLB’s digital advantage, it’s the league-wide requirement to use the’s At Bat app as the only in-stadium app offered by every team. Though there is some grumbling heard from time to time from teams who want to innovate at a faster pace, for these early days of digital in-stadium experience having At Bat as a base is most likely a huge bonus, since it makes it easier for fans to learn how to find and use the features, no matter which stadium they are in.

Though we here at MSR are more in favor of an eventual open infrastructure – say, a package of MLB-approved APIs that third-party developers could use to bolster the At Bat ecosystem – in these days when fans are still learning how to connect to Wi-Fi and are still getting familiar with the idea of using their phones to purchase in-game seat upgrades or to order concessions, it’s probably not a bad idea to limit choices.

The interesting thing to watch may be to see if, in a few years, MLB has metrics to back up its all-for-one strategy, or whether the MLB digital team decides (like Apple and the iPhone) that opening up the platform could lead to more innovation. The good news for fans is, with better connectivity and more apps, going to games should be easier and more fun as time goes on.

Giants CIO Bill Schlough (left) talks with workers in the park's main DAS head end facility.

Giants CIO Bill Schlough (left) talks with workers in the park’s main DAS head end facility.

DAS upgrades are good news

Maybe the best news on the DAS front is what seems to be (finally) some benefit from the always-improving pace of technology – accord- ing to several teams we’ve talked to recently, a pleasant surprise that comes about during DAS upgrades is the fact that head end equipment footprints are actually decreasing, meaning that the space crunch often caused by DAS may be easing somewhat.

Of course, some of those space savings may be eaten right back up by additional carriers joining in, or by existing carriers adding more coverage support. A continued issue that we will keep watching is whether or not more teams and stadium owner/operators choose neutral third- party hosts for their DAS, or whether they trust that a single carrier will be able to balance the needs of all. In our interview with AT&T’s John Donovan for this issue he said that he doesn’t think any carriers want to use DAS deployments as a strategic advantage over others; we will track your stories and what happens in the wiring closet to see if his opinion reflects reality.

To read the rest of our analysis, download your free copy of our Stadium Tech Report for Q2 2014.


  1. […] MLB’s synchronized digital strategy of having the same app — and only the same app — available for fans in each ballpark, Inzerillo said that […]

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