Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross unveiled this afternoon his latest innovation aimed at boosting the fan experience at Land Shark Stadium – Dolphins Mobile Vision.
The wireless mobile device, which looks something like a Playstation Portable with a 4.3-inch screen, is a brand new, completely customized version of Kangaroo TV’s handheld device that is used at NASCAR races and some NFL games. In partnership with Cisco Systems and Kangaroo Media, Ross came up with the idea of offering fans even more football information quickly, fantasy football statistics and a way to order food.
The devices will only be available – for free - in the stadium’s premium seating areas, but Ross promised he’ll be rolling out more surprises for fans across the stadium in the next few weeks. Ross said he hopes the mobile devices will encourage some fans to want to buy tickets in the club level -- sales of those seats are slower than the team would like.
The team has purchased 5,000 of the devices, which will be shared by roughly two seats each, in the stadium’s club and premium seating areas. Fans will be able to choose to see the game on the field from among the nearly one dozen cameras covering it; have access to all the other games airing at the same time; and be able to search statistics for their fantasy football teams. They’ll also be able to view replays and order food.
Ross said surveys of Dolphins fans showed 95 percent considered themselves avid football fans; 75 percent said they were interested in information the handheld device could provide; and 54 percent said they’d prefer a device separate from their cell phones.
“This does not exist anywhere in America today,” said Ross, who showed off the device at the close of the NFL owners spring meeting at the Ritz-Carlton in Fort Lauderdale. “This handheld instrument will allow the fans to customize their experience watching the game.”
As time goes on, more features will be added, said Ross and Kangaroo Media President Robert Mimeault, such as a camera at the entrance to the team locker room or a “cheerleader cam.”
Kangaroo Media experimented with an earlier version of the handheld devices in a couple of NFL stadiums, including the Dolphins’ home stadium in 2006-07 and 2007-08 for a fee per game or for the season. This new version is unlike anything that’s been designed before, Ross insisted.
“For years, fans have been getting used to having immediate access to information they want,” Mimeault said. “This will allow them to do just that.”