Fast Pitches and Faster Connectivity – What to Expect in the 2024 MLB™ Season

Apr 26, 2024 | Blog, Sports & Venues

Today’s the day baseball fans have been waiting for since November: Opening Day™ for the 2024 season! This season brings in a wave of changes that are set to enhance the fan experience. Games this season will be faster and more action-packed than ever before, ushering in a new era of baseball defined by innovation, connectivity, and unforgettable experiences.

Faster games mean increasing demand for ballpark operations to be efficient. At the heart of a good fan experience and an efficient ballpark is the network – the driving force behind the seamless flow of data that powers every aspect of the modern ballpark experience.

2023 Season Recap

The 2023 MLB season was a game-changer, focusing on shorter games, increased action, and enhanced fan experiences, which will all be further emphasized this upcoming season. From limiting pick-off attempts to larger bases and shift restrictions, MLB refined the game to ensure player safety and elevate the viewing experience. Arguably the biggest impact was made by the pitch clock, which helped to reduce game times and keep the action rolling throughout the game.

Hear from Foul Territory podcast host Scott Braun explaining how this past season will impact baseball for years to come:

Rising Demand on Ballpark Operations

Shorter game time has been a great way to get more fans engaged with the game and create more action on the field. Bill Schlough, CIO for the San Francisco Giants™, shared insight into what shorter games means from an operational perspective emphasizing the importance of leverage technology to reduce friction for fans on gameday.

The Giants have implemented Extreme Wi-Fi 6E access points that provide seamless connectivity, not just to fans looking to check in on other games and share their experience, but to the different concessions and shops throughout the venue that fans are purchasing from. With games moving faster, it is more important than ever that fans can go through lines quickly and get back to their seat, and Wi-Fi 6E-connected devices play a huge role in that.

Hear more from Bill on how the Giants are able to create a frictionless fan experience at Oracle Park:

Fan-Facing Technology

Fan expectations have evolved beyond the thrill of the game; they want to share their experience, access other content, and enjoy an immersive experience. As technology continues to advance, fans now expect a personalized and interactive journey from the moment they enter the ballpark. Fans used to be able to go to the game and forget the world outside of the ballpark, but now they want to be connected. They want to show people they are at the game; they want to check out scores of other games and make live sports bets. Fans can’t even enter the ballpark without using their phone since tickets have gone digital.

Wi-Fi has become a critical component of ballparks and how they operate, support fans, and support players. Watch this video to hear from Bill how the fan experience has evolved from Wi-Fi being a nice to have to a necessity:

Technology’s Impact on Baseball Players

Even beyond the stands, technology is having an impact on the field. In-dugout iPads have become indispensable tools, offering real-time access to game footage, spray charts, and more. This enables players to learn from their previous at-bats and adjust, accordingly, marrying their instincts with data.

Hear from Bill how player-facing technology has evolved over the years:

As we dive into the 2024 season, the intersection of technology and baseball promises to help create a better fan experience than ever before!

By Cammy Perry,

Content Marketing Specialist

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