Patriots newcomers Danny Amendola and Zach Sudfeld looked pretty good catching passes from Tom Brady in Friday’s preseason win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but from my seat in the third deck at Gillette Stadium, the real star was the Patriots Gameday app.
The app isn’t new, but it’s tricked-out this season to take advantage of a high-capacity Wi-Fi network installed at the stadium by Enterasys Systems of Salem, N.H. I’ve been eager to try it since the end of last season, when I heard team president Jonathan Kraft talk about enhancing the live viewing experience, and got excited all over again when I interviewed Enterasys chief executive Chris Crowell for Sunday’s Hot Seat a week before the game.
Among the cool features: Access to the Red Zone channel on your mobile device, exclusive replay camera angles, live stats, real-time estimates of restroom wait times and — get this — the ability to order food and drink from your seat. You get a notification when it’s ready and directions to the nearest pickup point.
Alas, this enabler of gastronomical laziness is available only in sections 118-123, 138-143 and 239-240. I had to buy my french fries the old fashioned way.
And, being preseason and all, the restroom-wait-time feature wasn’t operating. It’ll be available for the regular season home opener on Sept. 12.
But the video and statistical components were terrific. Nothing beats being at the game, but your eye can miss things from section 315. With the gameday app, I could stream footage of the game on my iPhone, watching from either sideline, the end zone behind the offense, or a quarterback camera.
There was a slight delay, which was actually a good thing. I could watch the field as a play unfolded, then glance at my phone to see it again from a different angle.
The app also built a highlight log of big plays — even ones that hurt the Patriots, which didn’t always end up on the stadium video board. Funny how that happened.
And, basic as it seems, it was handy to have a running box score available at all times.
Essentially, the app took some of my favorite things about watching at home and gave them to me at the stadium, which is exactly what it’s designed to do.
Did you try the Patriots Gameday app on Friday, or have you used earlier versions? What did you think? Which features are you most excited about? What should the Pats add?
Post your comments here or tweet at me (@callumborchers).