The new season comes off a year that TV ratings averaged 17.6 million viewers per game telecast, the second most-watched ever, slightly behind the 2010 average of 17.9 million.
While Super Bowl XLVIII was no contest on the field, the 115 million plus people who tuned in at halftime surpassed record viewership numbers. However, while broadcast and online viewership is soaring, so is the price of secondary ticket sales. Fans who aren't season ticket holders will be paying an average increase of more than 25-percent per game from 2013.
Concerned that attendance is down because fans' couch-potato options-both on television and on mobile devices-have become so advanced, the league has had to rethink the in-stadium experience. The NFLs goal coming into this season is clear: bring the living room to the game, not the other way around. Last October, a mandate was issued that all stadiums must meet newly crafted minimum Wi-Fi and cellular standards by the end of the 2014 NFL schedule.
In response, stadiums everywhere have been busy adding bandwidth capacity, wireless internet and digital displays to appease the ever-growing number of high-tech gadgets that fans carry. All told, cities from 9 of the league's 32 teams spent over $1 billion this off-season to put the finishing technology touches on new facilities or retrofit existing ones.
However, for the thousands that gather in stadium parking lot hours before kickoff, the true Sunday ritual begins at the tailgate. An estimated $35 billion is spent on food and beverages alone for tailgating every year.
And just like the game itself, every tailgate has a little friendly competition. It's no surprise that scoring parking lot perfection these days, requires a heaping portion of technology on the menu.
Whether you want to replicate their digital dens, mobilize their man caves or just want to feel connected to the couch, Sean Graddy of EA Sports and James Bell of General Motors shows tailgaters can "tech it on the road" with them. During remote satellite interviews on Thursday, September 4th, James and Sean will provide your viewers with the latest hi-tech tailgate tips to replicate their living rooms on game day.