A group of fans of the Dutch football team PSV Eindhoven have voiced their opposition to the introduction of Wi-Fi at the Philip’s Stadium, the team’s home ground.
PSV Eindhoven installed Wi-Fi as part of the ‘Connected Stadium’ project – a collaboration between PSV Eindhoven, Infostrada Sports and UPC. The aim was to provide all fans in the stadium with continuous connectivity to the internet and enhance their match-day experience. PSV Eindhoven became the first team in the Netherlands to provide fans with this facility when it was launched in August 2014.
The introduction of Wi-Fi in football stadiums is intended to offer fans certain benefits, such as the ability to check scores of other matches and find the best public transport routes before the game ends. The Connected Stadium project includes access to the internet, social media and a custom made app which fans can view videos and statistics throughout the game. In this way, the Wi-Fi ensures that fans opting for the live event don’t miss out on digital analysis and opinions of the game.
However, a group of PSV Eindhoven fans have voiced their concerns that the Wi-Fi was distracting fans from the game, removing them from the real, physical experience. The group unveiled a huge banner during the match telling fans to support the team, along with multiple other placards of a crossed out Wi-Fi sign. Their concern may have been well founded as 17,000 of the 34,000 fans who attended the match were connected to the Wi-Fi system. The protestors worry that connectivity damages the atmosphere of the game, as fans who are not fully engaged with the live match become less involved in cheering for their team.
Image Credits: Ruben Lamers/Flickr