If you’re going to a Yankees baseball game, you can’t bring a laptop. And now you can’t bring in your iPad either. When I saw the headline about the ban I wondered why they would initiate such a “security” policy. Perhaps when fans are surfing, they are less prone to get up and walk to the concessions? It’s too bad. Baseball is a game of numbers. The iPad could give fans a way to enjoy the game even further by tracking stats on the iPad, looking up information on opponents, and even (of course) get social online with fans in the ballpark to discuss the game. To me, these are all interesting things that can add to the joy of the game, not take away from it.
At least with the iPad, you won’t need to worry about sitting next to someone chatting loudly into a cell phone. It can’t make calls. With devices morphing in size and utility, it will be interesting to watch how organizers of public events react to the growing always connected class. Many smartphones today sport screens about 4-inches in size. But what happens when or if they grow to 5 to 6-inches? Will they also be banned. Or is it just that the Apple iPad with a 10-inch display is too similar to a laptop or netbook, devices already banned.
I can understand not wanting a ballpark to look like a giant outdoor office with a nice lawn. People pecking away on keyboards, swiping grandly across their new Wired iPad app, and kibitzing online can be distracting. There must be a way to harness all of this communication technology for the better, however. For example, why not create a Yankee app that people can track through the game, connecting with other fans, reacting to plays, etc. The fear I gather is that it removes some of the live aspects of the game; the raw celebration, devoid of tech. Probably true. I know this: times are changing and so too will the way people “interact” with live sporting events.
Parting thought: What next? How about a cheering and clapping app?
Note: I’m not sure if the SF Giants or Oakland A’s employ similar policies.