Opening Day in Texas Opens Up to Wi-Fi

Wayport, an operator of hotspots in public venues, is teaming up with a minor-league baseball team to allow fans to access the Internet from the ballpark's stands.

The Round Rock Express, a triple-A minor-league baseball team, is set to take on the neighboring major-league Houston Astros on opening day Friday in the minor-leaguers own stadium in Round Rock, Texas: the just-gone-wireless Dell Diamond.

The Express has teamed up with Wayport, the nationwide Internet access provider and operator of some 7,000 hotspots in public venues such as airports, hotels, car rental agencies and even McDonalds, to insure that fans in the stands can wirelessly access the Internet—specifically the teams own Web site.

"The ballpark is a great venue for fans and their families, and Wayports Wi-Fi service gives them another great reason to visit the ballpark," said Wayport CEO Dave Vucina.

Wireless access will be available throughout the park to fans and sports reporters, as well as coaches, players, vendors and folks in the front office.

"Our media can bring their wireless devices and handhelds, and the coaches will use it to file reports after the game," said Kirk Dressendorfer, director of media, public and community relations for the team.

"We also have various spots around the stadium where we sell merchandise that will use the system to tie back into our Railyard Gift Shop."

The service will also be made available in suites and meeting rooms to make the park more attractive as a place for business meetings where participants can tote along their laptops.

Michelle DeWenter, marketing communications manager for Wayport, said fans will pay a $3.95 daily connection fee.

/zimages/5/28571.gifClick here to read more about why sports venues are opening up to wireless.

"Every year they try and do something new and different for their fans," said DeWenter.

Next Page: Other additions for the fans.