A photo in a tweet posted by Blue Jays' senior vice president of business operations Stephen Brooks confirmed that free Wi-Fi will be coming to the Rogers Centre for the 2015 season. The story was first reported by Bluebird Banter in early February.
Staff putting the finishing touches on things today. A few of the new things you'll see around the park tomorrow... pic.twitter.com/u2tg668VNZ— Stephen R Brooks (@sbrooksbaseball) April 12, 2015
Last season the Rogers Centre was one of just nine major league stadiums to not provide free wireless internet access to all fans in attendance. The new wireless network, with internet access provided by the Blue Jays' parent company and the owner of the stadium Rogers Communications, will provide stadium-wide coverage, according to a club official.
In early October last year, the CEO of MLB Advanced Media called on all teams to have Wi-Fi installed in their home stadiums by 2015. Major League Baseball has recognized, several years late perhaps, that fans enjoy posting their photos and videos from ballgames and how that gives the sport free publicity on social media networks.
It is unknown how the wireless network would perform under the conditions of the sold-out Home Opener as the club has not commented on the number of access points that were installed in the stadium. If a significant fraction of the 48,000 fans in attendance try to connect, I wouldn't count on it providing good quality, fast connection.
The arrival of Wi-Fi comes with the enabling of the MLB Ballpark app. Although you won't be able to order food and drinks directly from the app unlike some other stadiums, season ticket holders and flex pack holders can have their tickets along with any ecash stored digitally in the app. The app also features a fun list of the Blue Jays' warmup and walkup music.
Brooks also tweeted some other changes to the ballpark, which includes a photo of the new turf, which has now been groomed to make it look like real mowed grass.
Ready to go. pic.twitter.com/R4sUGB19w0— Stephen R Brooks (@sbrooksbaseball) April 10, 2015
It certainly looks much better to the eyes than the previous turf. We'll have to see what the players feel and how the new surface plays before we can truly see whether it is an improvement or not.
Of course, the change that will have the biggest effect on the fans is the arrival of the new league-wide enhanced security measures at Rogers Centre. All fans will be forced to walk through a metal detector (they can also elect to have a pat-down instead). However, the magnetometers are turned to be less sensitive than the types you may have encountered in airports, so fans will be allowed to keep most metal-containing items on their person while passing through. However, cell phones, computers, and cameras will have to be taken out for examination prior to admittance.