If the start of the new baseball season isn’t reason enough for baseball fans to get excited, new wireless technology that’s enhancing the fan experience is giving them another.
Currently, there are 16 stadiums across the league offering free Wi-Fi, including the home parks for two of the four teams in the recent league championship series, and that number continues to grow.
"You're always on the go, between church and school and synagogue or work," Major League Baseball Advanced Media CEO Bob Bowman told CNBC. "Wherever you may be, you open up your mobile device – phone or tablet – you get up-to-date information."
For example, free Wi-Fi also recently arrived at San Diego’s Petco Park from Verizon Wireless as part of a long-term deal signed with the Padres.
Teams are also using wireless technology to help generate deeper social interactions with fans and enhance the game experience. The goal is to get people to come to games more often and stay longer.
At some stadiums, fans are encouraged to tweet game references using designated hashtags. Their comments might land on the big scoreboard or win them a prize.
Additionally, a growing number of mobile apps – CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports, Rotoworld and GameChanger – are helping baseball enthusiasts keep up with both real and fantasy teams whether they are at the stadium or not.
Los Angeles sports fan Marc Vielledent can easily follow his fantasy teams when he’s on the go. He uses the ESPN Fantasy Baseball app to track all of the latest player stats.
“I have been participating in fantasy leagues the past three seasons,” Vielledent said. “All of the new applications available for phones and tablets take the guess work out of being in more than one fantasy league and make it easy to get involved with more than just your hometown team.”