Rangers fans lead postseason baseball DAS usage on AT&T networks

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 11.43.57 AMFans at the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Park in Arlington have so far topped the charts for cellular traffic totals on AT&T networks during baseball’s postseason, with an average of 992 gigabytes of data used in two games played.

Across all the series, DAS totals for postseason play showed big leaps in data use compared to regular-season totals, in one case almost six times as much. And while you can’t really compare apples to oranges it looks like DAS traffic for games this year might eclipse last year’s record wireless traffic totals at places like AT&T Park.

According to statistics provided by AT&T, game 3 of the divisional series between the Rangers and the Toronto Blue Jays saw 1,109 GB of data move across the AT&T DAS network at Globe Life Park, the highest single-game DAS total across all baseball venues this fall. Remember, stats mentioned here are ONLY AT&T customer traffic on AT&T networks in the stadiums mentioned. According to AT&T, the 992 GB average of the two games so far in Arlington are 51 percent higher than the average DAS use from the season’s opening series back in the spring.

Over in the National League, AT&T customers at Citi Field in New York used 617 GB of data during game 3, which AT&T said was an increase of 600 percent compared to average use during the Mets’ season-opening series. At games 1 and 2 in Dodgers Stadium, AT&T saw an average of 532 GB of data used per game, a 34 percent jump from the season-opening average in Chavez Ravine.

Game 3 in the Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field saw 500 GB of data used, a 120 percent jump compared to the season-opening series (which may be skewed since Wrigley was still undergoing construction at that point). For games 1 and 2 in Busch Stadium in St. Louis the AT&T networks saw an average of 586 GB per game, with 617 GB used during game 2.

For the Royals-Astros series, AT&T did not have any stats for games in Kansas City (perhaps because the Kauffman Stadium DAS is still being deployed) but for game 3 and 4 in Minute Maid Park in Houston AT&T saw an average of 237 GB per game.

MLB Stadium Tech Reports — AL West

Editor’s note: The following team-by-team capsule reports of MLB stadium technology deployments are an excerpt from our most recent Stadium Tech Report, THE BASEBALL (And Soccer!) ISSUE. To get all the capsules in one place as well as our featured reports, interviews and analysis, download your free copy of the full report today.

AL West

Reporting by Paul Kapustka

The iconic sign outside the "Big A," aka Angels Stadium of Anaheim. Credit Terry Sweeney, MSR

The iconic sign outside the “Big A,” aka Angels Stadium of Anaheim. Credit Terry Sweeney, MSR

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Seating Capacity: 45,050
Wi-Fi – Yes
DAS – Yes

Angel Stadium is now fully wired for Wi-Fi and DAS, courtesy of integrator 5 Bars, which used Wi-Fi gear from Ruckus Wireless and DAS gear from JMA Wireless.

Houston Astros
Minute Maid Park
Seating Capacity: 40,963
Wi-Fi – Yes
DAS – Yes

The Houston Astros were one of the beneficiaries of MLB’s program to bring updated Wi-Fi to all stadiums. The new network was scheduled to be live for the 2015 season.

Seattle Mariners
Safeco Field
Seating Capacity: 47,476
Wi-Fi – Yes
DAS – Yes

Finally, geeks of all stripes in Seattle can stay connected while at Safeco, thanks to a new Wi-Fi network with 560 access points that is scheduled to be live for the 2015 season. New LED lighting for the field should make it easier to watch games through the rain and mist.

Oakland A’s
O.co Coliseum
Seating Capacity: 35,067
Wi-Fi – Yes
DAS – Yes

With Wi-Fi already in place the Oakland A’s spent $10 million in the offseason to upgrade the video boards in aging O.co Coliseum. The two new HD Daktronics screens, 36 feet high and 145 feet wide, were joined by new ribbon LED boards to bring more info to fans.

Texas Rangers
Global Life Park in Arlington
Seating Capacity: 48,114
Wi-Fi – Yes
DAS – Yes

The team isn’t talking about it publicly yet, but according to MLBAM there is now a working Wi- Fi network and a DAS at Global Life Park in Arlington, one of the latest beneficiaries of the MLB program to bring Wi-Fi to all MLB parks.

NL West Leads MLB Stadium Wi-Fi Scorecard, with 4 out of 5 Teams Offering Network Service to Fans

The Giants' Bill Schlough in front of some hard-working wireless network hardware. Credit: John Britton, AT&T.

The Giants’ Bill Schlough in front of some hard-working wireless network hardware. Credit: John Britton, AT&T.

Welcome to the spring training version of Mobile Sports Report’s annual roundup of Major League Baseball stadium Wi-Fi networks, where we tabulate which teams have networks for fan use. By our count, the National League West division is the sport’s network-savviest, as four out of the five teams — San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Arizona — will have free in-stadium Wi-Fi service for fans this season. For the entire major leagues, our research found 10 11 12 stadiums that definitely have Wi-Fi, two that are “maybes,” and 16 that don’t have public Wi-Fi service available. But just like baseball, which hasn’t started its regular season yet, we’re expecting our lineup to change before the games that count start.

FIRST UPDATE: Thanks to Jeff Baumgartner over at Light Reading, we have proof that Philadelphia and Citizens Bank Park can be added to the “has Wi-Fi” list, thanks to some work by hometown provider Comcast and equipment partner Cisco. Check out the great slideshow Jeff put together.

SECOND UPDATE: Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, has Wi-Fi. More on this soon, but we have it from the horse’s mouth so we are moving the Friendly Confines to the “yes” list.

THIRD UPDATE: Maybe we shouldn’t count Dodgers Stadium yet, since the Wi-Fi service has yet to be launched according to this report from the LA Daily News. Will the lack of Wi-Fi keep the Dodgers from getting All-Star votes?

For the record, here are the 12 teams with networks that we can verify, some of which (like the Dodgers) are coming online for the first time in the 2013 season: San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals, Houston Astros, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox. The two “maybes” are the Seattle Mariners and the New York Mets, which are supposed to have networks but as of this writing we can’t confirm services are available.

Why do we have “maybes,” you ask? Since this research was done completely online and on the weekend, we haven’t had a chance to contact teams directly for confirmation of services. And it’s pretty apparent to us that MLB and the teams do a good job of obfuscating whether or not there is Wi-Fi at the park — some of the teams that have networks don’t list the service anywhere on their MLB-approved team home page. In the weeks between now and the start of the season, we’ll try to figure out our maybes, and maybe add a few more teams in case deals get done before Opening Day. Anyone with definitive knowledge that differs from our totals, please feel free to contribute with a comment or a tweet to me, @paulkaps, with a verifiable link. Any fixes or adds, we’ll salute with a retweet and a hearty well done.

WHY WI-FI DEALS AREN’T PUBLICIZED

As an outlet that humbly boasts having stadium Wi-Fi news and analysis that is the equal of anyone else’s out there, we’re not that surprised that even some teams with networks are keeping things under wraps a bit. Some of that has to do with the secrecy that sometimes surrounds the contracts behind the deals; cellular service providers, for example, might not want to overly publicize the fact that they are subsidizing Wi-Fi at one stadium, since then others will want the same sweet deal. The Dodgers’ planned network, for example, is touted as being built by the Dodgers and MLB’s Advanced Media division — hiding from view whoever the service provider and equipment partners are (we suspect Time-Warner Cable and Cisco, but can’t verify).

The other reason why teams might not want to shout out loud about their Wi-Fi? In case they are worried about performance is one reason. Since these networks are notoriously hard to deploy and operate, if you are new to the Wi-Fi game you might not want to advertise it too heavily. But we expect that will change in the near future as more fans demand connectivity, and as Major League Baseball pushes its teams to all install networks so that MLBAM can sell more of its single, league-approved mobile app.

But on to the stats! Among the gems we uncovered was that among service providers backing networks AT&T had the most with four (San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago Cubs and Arizona) while Verizon has one (San Diego), along with Time-Warner Cable (Houston), Boingo (Chicago) and CenturyLink (Minnesota). Among equipment providers with announced deals we have Cisco at two and Meru Networks at two (Washington and Boston), though we suspect Cisco is behind more deals (like LA’s) as a silent partner. Interestingly, Cisco also has already partnered with AT&T to do StadiumVision video deals in Yankee Stadium and Kansas City, so don’t be surprised to see Wi-Fi networks from the same partners in those facilities sometime soon.

Below is our list of stadiums with yes/no on Wi-Fi fan networks, and some news links we’ve scoured. Again, this is a working post so please — especially if you are with a team, provider or vendor — send us a message if you see an error. Remember, errors are part of baseball! And enjoy your Wi-Fi at the game this season.

MOBILE SPORTS REPORT MLB STADIUM WI-FI ROSTER, 2013 SEASON

NL WEST

YES:
San Franisco Giants, AT&T Park
The Giants, namesake sponsor AT&T and team tech wizard Bill Schlough are recognized widely as the Wi-Fi and in-stadium network leaders not just in baseball, but probably in all of sports and stadiums. Here’s our profile of the Giants from last year.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Dodger Stadium
As part of the team’s $100 million stadium renovation, Dodgers fans get Wi-Fi this season.

UPDATE: According to the Long Beach Press-Telegraph, the Wi-Fi and cell improvements won’t be live on opening day. Too bad.

San Diego Padres, Petco Park
This one was news to us — but it looks like fans in San Diego will finally get Wi-Fi in their park, thanks to Verizon’s first baseball play.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Chase Field
Another AT&T network, Chase Field has had Wi-Fi for some time now. They even have one of the better apps pages.

NO:

Colorado Rockies, Coors Field

NL CENTRAL

YES

Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field
AT&T has helped the Cubs build Wi-Fi in Wrigley. More on the details soon.
NO:

St. Louis Cardinals, Busch Stadium

Milwaukee Brewers, Miller Park

Pittsburgh Pirates, PNC Park

Cincinnati Reds, Great American Ball Park

NL EAST

YES:

Atlanta Braves, Turner Field
Another AT&T network.

Washington Nationals, Nationals Park
Reportedly, this was one of the first 802.11n networks, thanks to gear from startup Meru Networks. However, we can’t find an official link on the Nationals home page, making us wonder if this service still exists. Natitude fans, what say you?

UPDATE 2: Nats are getting a Wi-Fi upgrade, thanks to Comcast. No word if Meru is still the AP vendor.

Philadelphia Phillies, Citizens Bank Park
See Light Reading’s excellent slide show cataloging Comcast’s Wi-Fi plans at its hometown park.

MAYBE:

New York Mets, Citi Field
Does it or doesn’t it? No answer on the Mets’ website, but the new place was supposed to have a Wi-Fi network… of course that was before its supplier, Nortel Networks, went out of business.

NO:
Miami Marlins, Marlins Park
No Wi-Fi, though Marlins Park does have a new DAS install which helps cellular reception.

AL WEST

YES:
Houston Astros, Minute Maid Park
The refugees from the NL are the only park that we can tell has tried to charge for services — wondering if this info about a $3.95 cost for four hours airtime still exists. Houstonites? Yea or nay? This is a Time-Warner Cable/Cisco deal.

MAYBE:

Seattle Mariners, Safeco Field
All we could find were some references to Seattle’s Nintendo having sponsored a Wi-Fi network for gaming. No sign that it still exists or has been replaced. Hello Microsoft? No network for the home of Windows Phones? For shame.

NO:

Oakland A’s, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Texas Rangers, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Angel Stadium

AL CENTRAL

YES:

Minnesota Twins, Target Field
Good writeup from our friends at SportTechie.

Chicago White Sox, U.S. Cellular Field
This one courtesy of the folks from Boingo.

NO:

Detroit Tigers, Comerica Park
No fan network, though we like this picture showing SSIDs and passwords for the media networks. Hope those settings have been changed.

Cleveland Indians, Progressive Field
No stadium-wide network, but the Indians at least have a social media suite with Wi-Fi. What, only a few people in Cleveland use social media?

AL EAST

YES:

Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park
Here’s our profile of the Meru win at historic Fenway.

NO:

New York Yankees, Yankee Stadium
Do they still ban iPads?

Toronto Blue Jays, Rogers Centre
A bit embarrassing, since Rogers is Canada’s AT&T-like telco

Tampa Bay Rays, Tropicana Field

Baltimore Orioles, Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Baseball Adds Instagram to its Team

Major League Baseball is teaming with Instagram to show photos and images that come directly from the teams, enabling fans that are not at events to get a feel for the game, players and fans in attendance.

The concept is very simple but can be very compelling as well. Using @MLBOfficial as its tag line MLB teams will be posting photos from their games as well as behind the scenes images for others to view. Instagram says that MLB is the first professional league to do so.

Currently the teams that are already on board for the program include: SF Giants (@sfgiants), NY Yankees (@yankees), LA Dodgers (@dodgers) Atlanta Braves (@braves), Texas Rangers (@rangers), Seattle Mariners (@seattlemariners), LA Angels (@angels), and the Kansas City Royals (@kcroyals). Instagram said that eventually all MLB teams will be launching accounts.

A quick look over at the SF Giants official account finds that there are 339 photos and 41,530 followers. Note that you have to be an Instagram user to view the images at its site. However a quick visit to the Giants site can give you fan photos.

In the past a huge number of fans of teams have posted images of their teams and players. According to a recent piece in Mashable there had been a 400% increase in Instagram photo postings from major league ball parks compared to the entire 2011 season, with more than 40,000 posted at the time of the piece.

We have long thought that MLB was an organization that appears to really understand how to reach out to fans at multiple levels. It has developed mobile apps to enable you to follow games on mobile devices, is creating high grade stadium wireless networks and constantly launches games and contests to keep fans engaged.

I suspect that this will both help draw more fans to the site to view baseball pictures and also contribute additional images to the mix. I certainly hope that other pro and amateur sports follow this lead because they have the ability to get images that regular fans will not.

Rangers Catcher Videos Tornado’s Fury at Ballpark

While preparing for last night’s exhibition game against the Mexican City Diablos Rojos, Texas Rangers bullpen catcher Zach Zaneski caught a bit more than he expected- a video of the effect that the numerous tornadoes that swept through Dallas leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.

The video then went worldwide when regular catcher Mike Napoli tweeted a version of the video which showed the impact the storm was having at the pall park including the wind and rain driving a tarp across the field.

The weather service reported that there was anywhere from six to 12 tornadoes that set down in the North Texas area around Dallas with a pair of them sweeping through the city, tossing big rigs around and destroying most everything in their path.

Even with all of the destruction and parts of the city recovering the teams went on to play the game with the Rangers beating the Diablos Rojos 14-3. Here is a set of videos including the one from Zaneski showing the storms impact in the city.