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The San Francisco Giants continue to demonstrate how they are on the cutting edge when it comes to the utilization of technology throughout their stadium and the day to day operations of the team. While the team hasn’t played any home games since last September, the Giants’ front office has been busy upgrading the technology around the ballpark to improve the overall experience at AT&T Park.
Jens Wieden, the Marketing Manager for Giants Enterprises, spoke with the San Francisco Chronicle’s Barry Evangelista after a media preview the Giants put on last week to unveil these changes.
The first major improvement relates to the stadium tours. The team has purchased 60 tablet computers, which utilize a custom-designed app to enhance the tour with video, audio and additional photos. Say for example, a fan touring the warning track could now listen to a game-saving catch that happened at the exact spot on the field. When visiting the dugout, a fan could watch video of a Barry Bonds home run curtain call.Check Out: SF Giants to Stream First Intersquad Game: Sign of Things to Come?
The app will only add to the experience of the already popular tours. The inspiration for the app came from a tour Wieden took last year of the Roman Coliseum. According to her, the accompanying audio device took her visit “to the next level”. She also said at the unveiling that “it gives people more connection to the space they are in, the idea is similar when you go to a museum and you can pay a little extra to get a device that gives you a behind-the-scenes look, or a video that you wouldn’t normally get.” The Giants plan to price stadium tours at $17.50 without the tablet and an additional $7.50 with it.
MLB teams seeking out additional revenue streams may want to pay attention to what the Giants are doing. With nearly 30,000 tour visitors in 2011, the team likely brought in over $525,000 in tour revenue alone. Reportedly, bookings for this year are already ahead of that pace.
The Giants also announced that they will be upgrading the TV screens in the promenade and field club level to 52 and 55-inch LED HDTV monitors, replacing the Plasma displays that were installed in 2006. The ballpark’s naming rights holder, AT&T, has also strengthened its service from 3G to 4G and has beefed up its mobile phone and Wi-Fi access points. In a surprising move, the club also allowed AT&T’s chief competitor, Verizon, to strengthen its service in the park.
While the novelty of the Giants new ballpark has worn out as the team enters its 13th season off the shores of McCovey Cove, the team is determined to leverage technology to ensure that their park remains ahead of the curve.