Cory’s Corner: Live sports are losing out to living rooms
It was only a matter of time before the living room caught up to the at-the-game experience.
And now we’re here.
When legions of Packers fans decided to turn down playoff tickets because of a myriad of things ranging from greed at 1265 Lombardi Ave., weather and the gameday experience many people around the country took notice.
If Packers fans are turning down playoff tickets, what’s next on the horizon for live sporting events?
Greed was why I turned down my playoff tickets. This was the first year the Packers opted to sit on season ticketholders’ money if the Packers failed to make the playoffs. I didn’t think it was right for the Packers to keep the money and reinvest it for themselves.
Obviously the weather has been hashed and re-hashed. But when the notice came for season ticketholders prior to Thanksgiving, weather wasn’t an issue. (Heck, at that point, the playoffs weren’t really an issue).
The last thing is what should scare the Packers and every sports team that has its games televised. High definition TV’s are commonplace now. The picture quality is clearer than ever before and it also affords angles that fans sitting in the stands cannot see.
The NFL knows they have a problem on its hands because it took steps to remedy the situation by offering to have cameras in the locker room moments before the teams were ready to take the field. I can’t speak for other NFL venues, but at Lambeau Field, the majority of fans will never see that. The amount of gridlock caused by the beefed up security has created a sea of people that engulf Armed Forces Dr. before whittling themselves down into smaller security lines.
One glaring problem that has arisen is the need for either better cellular service or the addition of WiFi. What’s the best way for the NFL to expand its already gargantuan brand? Let its fans flood social media with pictures and comments relishing in the product.
I know the NFL has really worked hard to crack down on this, but the language still needs to be cleaned up. I know the usual argument is that you should be able to say whatever and whenever you want. And that’s right when you’re tailgating at your car. But when you’re packed tight in a bowl on aluminum benches, a stronger vocabulary than the abundance of four-letter words as both nouns and verbs is required.
There really isn’t much NFL stadiums can do with the bathroom long lines, steep food and beer prices or the parking. Those things are going to remain and in the case with food and beer, most likely to rise.
I’m not proud to admit it, but this is the age of ADHD. People need constant stimulation. Just look at TV. The number of channels has exponentially increased to the hundreds and some channels have not one but two scrolls at the time. Many people wear out the previous channel button on their remote because they try to watch more than one thing at once.
Aside from putting in Ferris wheels and a bearded lady, I’m not sure what else sports venues can do to combat this? There will always be the folks that want to breathe the same air as the players in hopes of witnessing something they’ve never witnessed before.
Unfortunately, I think that segment of society is quickly shrinking. With multiple games on TV, not to mention fantasy scores to check, beers in the fridge and ribs in the slow cooker, many fans don’t see a need to go further than the living room.
If sports teams decide not to combat this need for live attendance, will teams try and reach this virtual crowd? I’m not saying on a pay-per-view basis, but I do think that day is coming. But maybe for a small price, TV viewers would pay extra money to hear and see Mike McCarthy address the team before kickoff? Or how about peeks at the War Room leading up to the NFL Draft?
Teams aren’t making any beer, food or parking money from the fans planted on the couch. That means that teams are going to have to start getting even more creative at how they plan to generate cash.——————
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn