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The Ballpark Stadium of the Future 79

Posted by Zonk
from the my-cellphone-isn't-that-cool dept.
thejrwr writes to mention a CNN article about the ballpark stadium of the future. The new Cisco stadium for the Oakland A's will be a paragon of the company's technologies, with cellphones carrying personal data used for advertising and identification purposes. "Cisco, which makes the routers, switches and other devices used to link networks and direct traffic on the Internet, is trying to shed its image as solely a maker of networking infrastructure gear. The company also hopes to capitalize on products and services that utilize the network. One example is TelePresence, a technology similar to video conferencing that Cisco introduced last month that aims to deliver a three-dimensional feeling that the participants are all in the same room."
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The Ballpark Stadium of the Future

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  • by Duncan3 (10537) on Sunday November 12, 2006 @03:34AM (#16811890) Homepage
    Ad technology that is.

    The best part is you cannot leave the stadium until you buy at least $100 worth of advertised product, but you get to do it with your cellphone! Yay, how cool! Go Cisco!

    People really still drag themselves to a stadium through all that traffic when HDTV exists?

    .
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "Cisco, which makes the routers, switches and other devices used to link networks and direct traffic on the Internet"

      It looks like CNN needs more knowledgeable technical people.
    • by Kangburra (911213) on Sunday November 12, 2006 @03:37AM (#16811900)
      People really still drag themselves to a stadium through all that traffic when HDTV exists?


      Yes, social interaction, atmosphere, making friends etc.

      It's not just about the game, there's more to it than that.
      • by drsquare (530038) on Sunday November 12, 2006 @10:46AM (#16813526)
        Yes, social interaction, atmosphere, making friends etc.


        Not to mention, being able to look at any part of the field you want, not the very small section the director wants you to look at, or a closeup of some celebrity in the crowd, or some commercials, or an irrelevent replay from ten minutes ago, or some talking heads, or any other crap that gets in the way which is avoided by actually going to the game.

        You can have the biggest resolution TVs in the world, it still won't count for anything until they invent a technology which allows you to see the entire field, all the time, completely uninterrupted. And no announcers.
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by cptgrudge (177113)

      Actually, yes. Nothing quite like sitting several rows back from third base and having to actually watch a baseball game to make sure you don't get a foul ball delivered to the upside of your head. Makes the game much more exciting to watch.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by uvajed_ekil (914487)
      Ad technology that is. The best part is you cannot leave the stadium until you buy at least $100 worth of advertised product, but you get to do it with your cellphone! Yay, how cool! Go Cisco! People really still drag themselves to a stadium through all that traffic when HDTV exists?

      Last time I checked, HDTV in my living room can't duplicate the amazing feeling of a ballpark. I say screw the over-commercialization of baseball, but I still love going to a ballgame (sometimes alone, so I can really watch

      • Besides, even though HDTV is becoming common, I still don't have an ABHCD (Authentic Ballpark Hotdog Cooker and Dispenser).

        Should've stayed at your mom's basement then, shouldn't you :p

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MojoStan (776183)

      People really still drag themselves to a stadium through all that traffic when HDTV exists?

      People really still go through the "hassles" of getting laid when HDTV POV porn [wikipedia.org] exists? (Should I post this comment anonymously?)

      I'd guesstimate that over 90 percent of HDTV telecasts show the game from the center field camera. Most of the time, you see nothing but the pitcher, catcher, batter, and home plate umpire from a behind-the-pitcher point of view (no porn joke intended). When the ball is hit, the camera f

  • Good for Cisco (Score:2, Insightful)

    by robinesque (977170)
    But it seems like the users of the ball park are going to need a lot of specialized gear to fully utilize the park... Will it degrade gracefully?
  • by portforward (313061) on Sunday November 12, 2006 @03:43AM (#16811910)
    Look, I have nothing against sports, or sports fans. If they want to go cheer whomever they want, that is fine. Just pay for the building yourself, don't use my tax dollars. Case in point - my hometown Seattle. Apparently nobody liked it because it wasn't new enough or old enough. (the problem with the ceiling tiles was fixable for less than a half billion dollars) So, they tore down the Kingdome to make room for two half-billion dollar buildings. (I heard that there was still three years left on the bonds for the Kingdome - the county hadn't finished paying the mortgage!)

    One of those buildings is perhaps used 14 days out of the year. In it, the second richest man in the world pays 50 odd men multiple million dollars a year a piece to play a child's game. As a tax payer and potential fan, I have to pay a lot of money to see the inside of a resource that I pay for.

    I don't buy the "increased tax revenue" bit- people would spend their money in other ways. It isn't like I can tell my friends, "hey let's go down to the stadium and play football on the grass". This is a pure taxpayer takeaway, and it sickens me how city after city falls for it. If they want to conduct a business, they should have to pay for the facility just like any other business.
    • the problem with the ceiling tiles was fixable for less than a half billion dollars

      Did you skip three orders of magnitude or where they really expensive tiles?

      • I was being facetious. I have no idea how much it would have cost to replace the tiles, but it certainly would not have cost as much as demolishing one facility and then building two new state-of-the-art facilities (I guess by an order of three magnitudes).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Aqua OS X (458522)
      Well, you can argue that a new stadium is an investment in the city. It can revitalize an area of town and attract new business.

      Case in point, PacBell/SBC/AT&T Park has been a contributing factor to completely revamping the Embarcadero in San Francisco. That said, although SF contributed a few million dollars in tax abatements, the stadium has been privately funded.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jlarocco (851450)

        Well, you can argue that a new stadium is an investment in the city. It can revitalize an area of town and attract new business.

        Bullshit. I could say that about any building. "If you build this new Intel fab for us, it will revitalize the area and attract new businesses. It's an investment." Every other business is lucky if they get tax breaks when they build a new building. They sure as hell aren't paid for with tax dollars. Why should sports stadiums be any different?

        • by Aqua OS X (458522)
          You're honestly comparing a intel fab to a ball park?

          Once again, case in point, AT&T Park. The SF Embarcadero an industrial area, much of which sat under a freeway until it collapsed in '89. It was a land of warehouses sprinkled with crack heads and liquor stores. That's really not the case any more, and I would argue AT&T park has played the biggest role in initiating that change. It bought tourists, which attracted restaurants and, gasp, stores. You can actually buy food of the non-funion variety
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Agreed, and this is just the tip of the iceberg of government waste. If we took all of the money being spent on the war in Iraq and redirected it towards building baseball stadiums, we could build a new ballpark (at a cost of $250 million) EVERY SINGLE DAY. Or if we built nicer $500 million ballparks we could put one up every other day. Imagine, your kid could play little league in a real 50,000 seat baseball stadium when he's 11 instead of being blown up by some militant in some godforsaken desert when
      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        Why do you hate our troops?
    • by kfg (145172)
      I don't buy the "increased tax revenue" bit- people would spend their money in other ways.

      It's the Fallacy of the Broken Stadium.

      KFG
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I am in the same boat as you. I love baseball, football, basketball (SF Giants, 49ers, and Sac Kings) but I still think it is a joke that the public needs to help finance stadium/arena deals for billionaire owners. The only thing a city and its residents should be doing is providing unused land. I live in Sacramento, and the arena deal here was just shot down big time by the voters. The owners are casino running billionaires but still need the public to finance just about every cent of their arena? The
    • by damsa (840364)
      They didn't tear the Kingdome to make two different buildings. The baseball park was built along side the Kingdome, it was only when the football stadium was built that the Kingdome was demolished. The increase in revenue also comes from higher property values and increase in the number of residential homes in the area. But anyways your point is invalid as it applies to the Oakland/Fremont park, as that park is privately financed.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      One of those buildings is perhaps used 14 days out of the year. The Seahawks aren't the only tenants.
      • by MojoStan (776183)

        One of those buildings is perhaps used 14 days out of the year.

        The Seahawks aren't the only tenants.

        You are correct. In fact, that building the GP was referring to ("14 days out of the year") is hosting 17 "events" (2-day events counted twice) this month alone [qwestfield.com].

        That's not the only information the GP left out (I'm not from WA, so please correct my mistakes). I'm now replying to the GP:

        Just pay for the building yourself, don't use my tax dollars. Case in point - my hometown Seattle...

        ...the second

    • You what ??? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sane? (179855) on Sunday November 12, 2006 @09:06AM (#16813062)

      So, lets get this straight. The local government pays for team stadia in the US? That's insane. In the UK not only is it private money, often the teams will have to bribe the local council with roads, housing etc. to be allowed to build in the first place.

      Sounds like someone is missing a trick

      • between the two models is that in the US, teams always threaten to leave the city.

        Many of the contracts are written such that if attendance and profit drops below certain levels, the team is free to shop elsewhere. Also, the city tends to own the stadiums, since they pay for it, not the owner of the team.

        Can you imagine Man U moving to Liverpool? Or Arsenal moving to Manchester to take their place?

        It happened in the NFL several years ago when one of the oldest franchises literally snuck out of the city

        • Can you imagine Man U moving to Liverpool? Or Arsenal moving to Manchester to take their place?
          No, because there's tradition and history involved, not just money. Plus, they'd be beaten to a pulp by an angry mob of inhabitants from both the old and the new city. We take soccer seriously in Europe.
        • Don't you mean "It happened in the NFL several years ago when one of the oldest franchises literally snuck out of the city and moved from Baltimore to Indianapolis."?
      • So, lets get this straight. The local government pays for team stadia in the US? That's insane. In the UK not only is it private money, often the teams will have to bribe the local council with roads, housing etc. to be allowed to build in the first place. Sounds like someone is missing a trick

        Indeed. As an American, I can tell you exactly how this happens. Team A announces that it will leave unless it gets a new stadium paid for by the city where the team plays. Other greedy cities, fooled by neb
    • I have no idea if the "increased tax revenues" really offset the cost of a half-billion dollar stadium, but the fact that people will spend their money in other ways isn't the point. the fact that people will travel to Seattle to spend their money for a baseball game that would have spent that money somewhere other than Seattle is the heart of the argument. Sports stadiums are tourist attractions.
    • Ya know. Imagine that a thief busted into your house, put a gun to your face, and demanded 10000 dollars. You pay, then a few months later the thief comes back and promises to split 10200 between all your friends and family - and takes full credit for it. The mroal is....

      Technically on paper, the group is better off financially, but in practice you are all far worse off because you have all lost the right to determine how you sepnd your money and resources. Not to mention that the reputation and credit
    • by BoberFett (127537)
      Minneapolis/Hennepin County/State of Minnesota is screwing us over in the same way. I feel your pain.
    • by isaac (2852)

      Look, I have nothing against sports, or sports fans. If they want to go cheer whomever they want, that is fine. Just pay for the building yourself, don't use my tax dollars. Case in point - my hometown Seattle.

      Yep. That's why voters in Seattle approved Initiative 91 [nwsource.com] requiring the city to receive a "fair value" cash profit greater than or equal to the rate of return on a 30-year U.S. Treasury Bond in exchange for any subsidy. It was approved by a 3-1 margin (74%-26%), I think accurately reflecting how fed u

    • by jdelisle (582839)
      A professional athletic team is much more valuable to a city than you might think. The stadium alone is a source of revenue and advertisement for the city, not to mention the benefits of hosting many other activities (high school sports, monster trucks, professional wrestling, concerts, etc) that benefit citizens. Most stadiums also come with gigantic convention centers that are an additional source of income. If these things weren't making money and benefitting the city, they wouldn't continue to be bui
  • by cucucu (953756) on Sunday November 12, 2006 @03:43AM (#16811914)
    pitch: ping
    home run: tracert
    out: ttl expired

    you say...

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Sunday November 12, 2006 @03:51AM (#16811952) Homepage Journal
    I haven't watched baseball in a while(I'm from Pittsburgh, so maybe that explains why :P) but on a recent trip to Japan I was in Hiroshima and heard that you just HAVE to see a Hiroshima Carp game. So I plunked down the 2000 yen to get a pretty good seat on a bench(there are security guards there whose job it is to find people seats) and was amazed at just how much fun baseball really could be. From the cheers to the fast pace of the game(9 innings only took 2 hours and some change IIRC) it was an environment I had never seen in the US. It was organized chaos.

    Granted, the players in the US are probably better than the Japanese players, but damn the Japanese games are much more fun to watch.
  • Look at the picture in the article. There are stands in the middle of outfield and they look like they block the football field too. The baseball/football field stadium makes for a bad seating arrangement.
  • Tickets (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cnorrisjr (998373) on Sunday November 12, 2006 @04:04AM (#16812004)
    if your ticket was on your cellphone, you would never lose your ticket. BUT. if your cellphone is stolen, there goes your game, if not the whole series. And what if you wanted to sell your tickets or give them to a friend. would my friend have to take my cell phone?
    • by gatesvp (957062)

      And what if you wanted to sell your tickets or give them to a friend. would my friend have to take my cell phone?

      Not an issue, nobody wants you to transfer tickets. Customers want to do it all the time (especially if you have season tickets), but the ticket sellers want nothing to do with it (probably something to do with scalpers). So ticket sellers just kind of ignore that transferring of tickets even exists.

  • Advertising Overload (Score:2, Interesting)

    by poormanjoe (889634)
    Ad technology that is.
    I agree although it probly won't be as obvious to an average person as it is to us that loath advertisments.

    People really still drag themselves to a stadium through all that traffic when HDTV exists?
    You can easily make it to Wrigly Field by way of "The L." Location is everything in bussiness.
    From the article:and pay to show them on the Jumbotron.
    For the /.er's who aren't baseball fans thats the equvilent of paying someone to boost your XBox Live score. If you want to get o
  • Corporate Dollars (Score:5, Informative)

    by wanax (46819) on Sunday November 12, 2006 @04:47AM (#16812154)
    First of all, I'd like to point people to: http://www.fieldofschemes.com/ [fieldofschemes.com] which details how sports teams use public money. Although the editorial is certainly against stadiums, the numbers are about the best you can find.

    Since I've been following the A's stadium on the site mentioned above for over a year, I can tell you that it is by no means a done deal. Among other things, there aren't enough police to regulate games, and who's to pay for the increase necessary for that is absent in the current deal.
  • The A's are a perfect example of why we all should stop watching baseball. First they threaten to leave Oakland, so the city dumps money into them on the condition that they sell last minute tickets at a price Oakland residents can actually afford. Then a year or so later they complain they need more money and that selling tickets people can actually buy is cutting into their profits and they also want more money to pay off more players because the MLB doesn't have salary caps on players or teams. So Fremon
    • You come close, but then veer so far off.

      Baseball truly does need a salary cap to keep things competitive. I live in Milwaukee, where we recognize that the Brewers are essentially an expensive minor-league team, and so we never expect another season like the pennant run in 1984. If you're expecting a good won/lost figure, the smaller-market teams will never have it. And, if they ever get close, their rosters will be torn apart by actual big-league teams throwing money at their players.

      And of course, the
      • by Reziac (43301) *
        For me, the new stadiums have no soul. I'd rather see a game (whether live or on TV) in a beat-up old stadium that feels like home, and is part of my team's character, than in some state of the art stadium that feels like "generic commercial team".

        And I agree about the salary cap -- it's one thing for a bigger market to attract more money overall, that's just economic reality. But the salary inequity is so great that the smaller markets can't compete with their peer teams on anything like an equal footing.
      • by cnorrisjr (998373)
        "However, the cost of a ticket isn't what keeps people out of baseball. Checking the A's website, I find that I can purchase an advance ticket for $10, and fairly nice seats for $30" That is the going rate. It's between $8 and $35 bucks for a seat at comerica park. If baseball didnt have so many mid-afternoon games, id consider season tickets some day.
    • by MtViewGuy (197597)
      (getting on soapbox)

      Personally, I blame soon-to-be former Mayor Jerry Brown for the A's leaving Oakland. The A's had an excellent, privately-financed plan to put up a new stadium just north of Jack London Square that would have literally transformed Oakland, since having some 80 games there per year would attract a lot of development around the ballpark, which would have strongly revived the economy of the city since the stadium would be so close to downtown and Jack London Square (I believe it would have b
      • by ackatack (310522)
        You should also remember that Lou Wolff, the A's newest owner, is looking to build a "baseball village". This village has a number of condos that Wolff is planning to sell to "finance the rest of the ballpark". I see this as his greed overwhelming any sense of compassion for the loyal fans that have been going to the games for decades. Furthermore, this new baseball village will lack any sort of public transit access as BART's currently closest stop is 5 miles away and their planned extension only shorte
  • Oh come on....... everyone knows that the future of sports stadiums is...... cube shaped! [ironicsans.com]
  • Give me a ballpark figure.
  • ...but its in the same ballpark
  • by Slyfoot (1020559)
    I'm probably tired, but my first thought was that in the ballpark stadium of the future, hot dogs will be made of Soylent Green.
  • Presumably they'll have normal paper or smartcard tickets as well. Not everyone has a cell phone in 2006 - I highly doubt everyone will in 2011. And what about people who lost their phone a week before the game and are waiting on a new one? Let's not turn possession of a cell phone into a "living license..."

    -b.

  • Just goes to show you that big bother is going to find very odd ways to sell things to people
  • The mayor is quoted as saying:

    "It's fabulous -- the technology is something else. It went over my head. It only takes about 10 seconds to go beyond me when you're talking about technology. I can't say I understand it all, but it's going to be quite a ballpark."

    He didn't understand it so the default answer was sure go ahead. What an irresponsible idiot. He committed to spending a bazillion tax dollars (and likely forcing people to spend another bazillion) in order to let Cisco and others abuse his citizens'

  • by StikyPad (445176) on Sunday November 12, 2006 @06:32PM (#16817034) Homepage
    It seems like the SSDD. Targeted advertising? Come on, this has been a pipe dream for years. Targeted advertising is about as useful as it is desirable -- which is to say, not very. Sure, it works for Google... because people are actively seeking something. Nobody goes to the ballpark to find out about a new car.

    Tickets on a cellphone? This is obviously change for change's sake. Two peices of paper are just fine as it. You can put them in your shirt pocket, give one to a friend, or sell them when you can't make a game. Why in the hell would I want to tie that to my cellphone? Even if it worked exactly as intended, it would be less functional than the existing solution. There's a reason e-books haven't caught on.

    Paying to show your face on the big screen? This has got to be the worst idea ever. Any and all excitement related to seeing yourself on the large display is directly related to the serendipity of the event (aside from those morons who propose at baseball games). People who don't want to pay will resent it, it will be abused by morons, and it's not like it couldn't be done just fine with existing technology. Call or log in up to a week in advance, give your seat number and CC#, and congratulations! You're on TV.

    Watching instant replays? Everybody who wants this feature carries a small TV. If you're going to go digital with this, how about streaming the entire game in HD to the internet at large. I bet far more people would be interested in that than there are people who want to watch laptops in the stadium.

    In short, adding a few new features that nobody wants and changing a perfectly working process would make this the Windows Vista of stadiums.

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  • Watch the video of John Chambers demonstrate the converged IP network along with
    • HD Telepresence videoconferencing
    • e-commerce
    • ballpark security
    • Digital signage

    http://www.stadiumofthefuture.com/ [stadiumofthefuture.com]

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