More than 70,000 fans at M&T Bank Stadium trying to access information on their fantasy football teams and updates from games around the NFL on Sundays put a drain on wireless data networks and smartphone batteries, and the Ravens are addressing that with a new Wi-Fi network at the downtown stadium.
Team president Dick Cass said at the annual “State of the Ravens” address that a $5 million offseason improvement project would bring Wi-Fi access to fans on Sundays.
“It should enable all of our fans to be able to access everything they want to access during the game,” Cass said. “I hope most of the fans are watching the game, but if you get bored, you can turn to your phone and get whatever you want. It’ll be a state of the art Wi-Fi system that’s going to cost about $5 million to put in.”
The NFL has been working to improve Internet access in stadiums for several seasons. Fans aren’t totally in the dark about other games around the league — M&T Bank Stadium regularly shows out-of-town scores and highlights. But a dedicated Wi-Fi system for fans will make the in-stadium experience more like what they would get at their home.
Cass said these improvements, along with a two-year, $35 million project completed last year that updated concessions and amenities in the concourses, have been completed without raising ticket prices.
“We do think that given the money we spend and the improvements we keep making at the stadium, we can justify being one of the more expensive tickets in the league, but we don’t like to be the most expensive,” Cass said. “We don’t want to be in the top five, so we kind of look at what everyone else is doing and make adjustments each year and we just didn’t think this was the right time to do it.”