Some of the committee members might grumble that ‘it’s just not cricket’ and W.G.Grace may be spinning in his grave, but Lord’s, the home of English cricket, is embracing modern-day technology as they roll out a free WiFi service throughout the historic and world famous sporting venue.
The owners of Lord’s (the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC)) has signed a five-year agreement with Sky’s The Cloud to install the wireless network.
Cricket enthusiasts at the venue will be able to access a fast, user-friendly connection to the internet that will allow them to surf the web free of charge on their smartphones, laptops, tablets and other digital devices.
The WiFi service was initially showcased during England’s recent Test match against South Africa, but was only available around the Media Centre, Food Village, hospitality and public bar areas.
Following the success of the initial trial period, the MCC is set to provide the free WiFi to all areas of the ground allowing a total of 28,500 spectators to gain access to the internet.
Derek Brewer, the MCC Chief Executive & Secretary commented on how the availability of fast WiFi to all areas will enhance the experience that cricket enthusiasts gain from their visit to Lord’s: “Spectators spend a whole day with us, so having secure access to the internet means that they can post photos and videos of their experience, as well as keeping up to speed with commentary and analysis of the match online.
“The service is also ideal for email access, general web surfing, social networking and media streaming. The introduction of The Cloud represents another step to ensure that Lord’s continues to set the highest standards for spectator experience in the game” continued Brewer.
Managing director of The Cloud, Vince Russell, discussed the increased traffic the network receives which has amassed to over 100 million minutes per day: “Whether they are an avid fan wanting to discuss the game on Twitter or a businessperson who needs to send a couple of quick emails in between overs, there is a huge need for free WiFi to be available,” he added.
As well as providing the free WiFi within the sporting arena, the MCC in conjunction with The Cloud will provide a personalised landing page that will highlight attractions and facilities at the ground, as well as exclusive ticket offers for forthcoming events.