A Brave New World...
... in the San Francisco Bay Area, we have a few sports teams. There's the Oakland Raiders, and the San Francisco 49ers for foortball. The San Jose Sharks for hockey. The San Francisco Giants, and the Oakland A's for baseball. We have the minor league San Jose Giants baseball team, and the San Jose Sabercats arena football team. A plethora of sports.
As you know, the sports world, sometimes things get shaken up. And my area of the world is no exception. We actually saw the Raiders leave and head for Los Angeles for a few years (good riddance, too bad they came back). For *years* now we've heard the threats that the 49ers might leave if they don't get a new stadium, and that's looking like it's probably a reality now, which throws the 2016 bid for the Olympics to be in San Francisco into a tizzy. But nothing is as strange as the fact that the A's are actually *going* to leave. They're moving away. Out of Oakland where the population is dense in that little area, and where there's plenty of easy ways to get from the city to the stadium across the bay.
They're moving to Fremont. Who the heck has ever heard (unless you're from here) of Fremont? And we're not going to know the name of the team for some time, other than to say that the name Fremont is going to somehow be incorporated. I can see it now: The Silly.Com Valley A's of Fremont. Try saying that 3 times fast. Even if they managed to remain the Oakland A's. they're going to be playing in a stadium that's going to be about 30 minutes drive south of where they were. And the stadium is going to be named after a company that is headquartered another half hour south of where it's being built.
Cisco Field. Doesn't that have a lovely ring to it? Yeah, thought you'd agree.
But wait! There's more! It's Cisco - a worldwide technology leader. This isn't going to be your ordinary ballpark. It's going to be tech-driven. Oh, speaking of driving, the 880 corridor where this field is going to be built is going to be a nightmare when games are on. Pure evil. I think I'll start driving 680 *now* when I go north just to get used to it, although there's rumor that there will be digital signs helping to direct a smarter traffic flow on 880. Someone please tell me how you can take a stretch of road that goes from 5 lanes down to 2 lanes (after 2 highway interchanges - 280 & 101) and then increases back to about 3-4 lanes (with another interchange to a very busy and very overcrowded highway (237, anyone?) near the space where the stadium is to be built. Going to and coming from the game if you live in the San Jose area isn't going to be pretty. And those back streets are going to get very crowded.
Anyway, back to Mega-Stadium... Would you like to be able to order your hot dog from your Crackberry? It's going to be possible. How about an instant reply on your laptop at your seat on the play that just happened? It's going to be possible. Ah, what great power.
But with great power comes great responsibility. How about being able to share a picture with the entire stadium from your cellphone? Can you just imagine what unfriendly pictures we might see if they don't hire a staff to screen those carefully? Children who are taken to the ballpark to learn about baseball might get an eyeful and be educated about things other than what an RBI is and the infield fly rule. I'm sure they'll be responsible about who can and cannot post pictures on the scoreboard. At least I should hope so, else there are going to be privacy lawsuits abounding.
But something else I heard bothers me a bit - it wasn't in the official release, but it may come eventually. The idea is to have digital ad boards that could flash an advertisement based on what's been keyed into your cellphone/crackberry for buying habits. So I'd really like to chalk that up to not being possible, else we're going to have to say that the advertising methods in "Minority Report" are really coming to life. Considering that we get bombarded with about 3000 marketing and advertising pushes a day, EVERY DAY, I'd really like to avoid them at the ballpark if it's possible.
Now I'm not so sure how true the above advertising idea is and it seems like a logistical nightmare with that many people wandering around the concessions areas. Not to mention a privacy thing, but I suspect that it would be one of those agreement statements that everyone always clicks "yes" on to get the software installed that will provide the OK to do this. Either way, there's a new ballpark coming, and it's being funded by a high tech giant...
...So, who's ready to go to the ballpark and instead watch ESPN at your seat?