Colts kill rowdiness via text system

October 30, 2008
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textIf you’re feeling threatened at this Sunday’s Indianapolis Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium, or if some obnoxious fan near you is dropping the F-bomb left and right for all your kids to hear, or if someone with a sign is blocking your view, help is just a text message away.

This week, the Colts unveiled a new communication system at Lucas Oil Stadium to help keep the peace and assure everyone enjoys the game. Colts officials emphasized this isn’t a response to recent rowdiness during home games, merely a proactive measure using the latest technology available.

Fans who need help should text INDY, followed by a space and the issue and location to 78247. Colts officials are asking fans texting for help to include a seat number if possible. The system can also be used for medical emergencies, but Colts officials said it might be speedier to grab the nearest security person instead.

“This system is for any need a fan might have during a game,” said Larry C. Hall, Colts vice president of ticket operations and guest services. “Even if it’s just a spilled Coke, we don’t want our fans to have to sit in that all game. It’s also to help assure everyone is acting properly.”

The system allows fans to call for help without causing a scene or turning the incident into an altercation between spectators, Hall said. Hall insists Colts officials aren’t being killjoys. The Miami Dolphins were the first team to introduce this system earlier this year, and now about six of the NFL’s 32 teams have the system.

“Everyone has the right to have a good time at the games, but not at anyone else’s expense,” Hall said.

The system is for need, not wants. In other words, Colts fans can’t text for a bucket of popcorn or serving of nachos. “No,” Hall said through a laugh, “We’re not at that stage yet.”
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  • Sprint is my cell provider. One of my buddies who also has season tickets in my row has AT&T. Both of us have had trouble getting service inside Lucas Oil Stadium. I question how effective this will be.
  • good idea, but how efficent will it be? Certain locations (reguardless of your carrier) will be interfeared by the structure of the building. I have experienced this before in my old college's dining hall building. It had terrible reception, unless you went to a window. Is it the Builder's fault? Is it the Fault of the Cell Phone companies? I don't know. but until we can call from ANYWHERE at any time, this might just be a pipe dream.
  • Like any social engineering project, the devil is in the details. The details here being the subjective nature of what individuals consider offensive behavior. Does the organization have a well-defined definition of offensive fan behavior? Certainly a majority consensus could be found on extreme behaviors, but what about other perceived transgressions? I have personally experienced game-attending individuals behind my seats that became enraged because of my audacity to stand up and cheer on defensive third and fourth down stands. What will happen in these situations?
  • I find this a great in principle but overwhelmingly comical. My phone (AT&T) displays full service within the stadium, yet I can't send or receive text messages, browse the net, or make phone calls at the games for some unkown reason. My seats are 12th row on the North end/main entrance side, so maybe I'm in one of the not so hot spots (can you hear me now? Hello? haha). It looks like I'll just request services from the yellow jacket gang if there's ever a need (does anyone remember the annoying Pats fans last year??).
  • Surely, Colts and LOS officials tested this system before they launched it and offered it up. Anyone out there know?
  • What happens if you don't insert a space between INDY and your message? They made a big deal of this. And what if it's not uppercase? ;)

    LOTS quicker to grab a security guy if there's a problem.

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