IT pros from Boston's professional teams -- the Patriots, Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox -- met at Gillette Stadium to talk tech, the future of live sports, and how to deliver real-time, high-definition video to a crowd of 70,000.
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Heidi Labritz, pictured above, director of business applications and IT for the Red Sox, said her killer app is anything that will lure ticketholders into actually attending games. The Sox, while riding an unprecedented ticket sell-out wave, saw actual attendance at Fenway Park drop off sharply last season. The lost revenue is significant; Labritz said the average per-fan spend once they're in the park is $20. She's focusing on social media efforts and looking to trial in-seat payments, while looking to the Washington Nationals as a model. A roadblock is that the 100-plus-year-old Fenway is not exactly known for ubiquitous connectivity.
Finally, Lorraine Spadaro, the Bruins' VP of technology and e-business, pointed out that IT does benefit from a winning season. "When you get into the playoffs, the league sends you a manual of what's required to host a playoff game," she said. One legacy: Miles of fiber, which may be better than a big honking championship ring to a CIO.
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