CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- This season is an exciting one for the Carolina Panthers and their fans who seem to want to be more involved in the game experience; this includes using Facebook and Twitter. Now, they can have immediate internet access, all the time!
Touchdown Panthers and time to tweet! At least that's part of the new live experience for thousands of Carolina Panthers fans, which team officials know poses a challenge to get people out of their homes.
"While they're at the comforts of their home, they can pause the game, they can watch on their laptop, bring up stats to see what's going on with other games," said Jon Credit, Panthers IT director.
So to keep the stands full, they’re keeping up with the digital times.
"For fans who come to our games [and] get on our wireless network, they can see replays of any play from multiple camera angles," said Credit.
Working with AT&T, they have the stadium rigged up with wireless boxes, including in the handrails.
"We've gone from 460 access points from last season, to now: we have 645 access points," said AT&T officials.
Two, three years ago, thousands of fans wouldn't have been able to take a ‘selfie’ at the game, and then immediately have it pop up on their Facebook timeline.
Using the Panthers’ free WiFi service alone, there were 32,000 connections in the first six games, which is up 50-percent from last year. Of course, that doesn't include everyone using their own phone carrier service and the usage on their DAS, or Distributed Antenna System, for voice calls and text messages.
"The accessibility on the network is tremendous, 99-percent accessibility with all the people here; they have no trouble accessing the voice network," said AT&T officials.
And team officials say expect to see more exciting features still to come.
"One of the things talked about last year was a camera in the locker room, and that would be something for fans here, at half time they could see what's going on in the locker room," said Credit.
A new digital experience indeed.