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Folks are mad about bad cell phone service in and around Great American Ballpark

Oct 11, 2012, 10:04 AM EDT

Cell Phone

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that cell phone and data service is godawful in Great American Ballpark:

Thousands of fans who have attended Great American Ball Park and watched the games from next-door bars and restaurants have been unable to send text messages, email photos, post to Facebook and access the Internet during the Reds’ postseason games.

They aren’t alone. Residents of nearby apartments also have been experiencing mobile network access problems that may only get worse if the Reds advance deeper into the postseason.

As someone who takes in a fair amount of games at that park, I can attest to these problems. I know all parks have some connectivity issues, but I’ve never seen worse than I’ve seen in Cincinnati.  It’s almost impossible to get a signal when there is even a halfway decent crowd in the joint.

Which, as they say, is a First World Problem.  Maybe not for doctors or people on call for emergencies — and the article does quote one such person, and for him I do have sympathy for her — but for the folks who jut want to text, post pictures and gab, it’s one of those things that not a lot of people in the world are going to have a ton of sympathy for.

Oh well, maybe it’ll be different for today’s game. According to StubHub, there are still a few thousand seats available, so fewer people will be fighting for bandwidth …

  1. whodeytn - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Gotta love having game five at 1pm on a Thursday.

  2. kevinleaptrot - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Cell service was lousy at Nats Park yesterday, and it isn’t the first time that that’s happened either. Looked around outside the park and didn’t see any Cells on Wheels that the carriers deploy when they have events at which high attendance is expected. Other than that and the 8-0 beatdown that the Cards put on the Nats, it was a great day at the ballpark. Didn’t even have much of a problem with traffice, and I drove in from Virginia.

    • natslady - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      Supposedly Nats Park “upgraded” the service. Why? Because they have a “you can order stuff sent to your seat” promo and it wasn’t working because of lousy wifi/cell service. In the modern age, people expect to chat with friends, Tweeter, etc. It’s part of the game “experience.” Y’know, like red rally towels. Get with the program, Nats.

      Oh, yeah, and by the way, WIN THE GAME TODAY.

  3. Stiller43 - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    God forbid you…ya know, watch the game when you go to a ball game.

  4. stoutfiles - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Are you telling me that 45,000+ people all using their phones at once in a small area causes bad cell phone reception? Gasp! Say it ain’t so!

    To be fair, I was at game 3 and my cell on AT&T LTE worked better than it ever has before at a game. Texts and even pictures sent just fine, where as in the past they wouldn’t and I wouldn’t get any texts until after i had left Cincy. I’m sure carrier and phone play a big part in whether you get signal or not.

  5. rollinghighwayblues - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Who cares? I loathe people who feel its necessary to be pecking away on their phone all day. People paid money for tickets to the game and want to text during the duration of the game. I just don’t get it. Just sit and take in the game, a damn playoff game for that!

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      While I don’t regularly text during a game, I may receive messages from a relative who’s watching on TV the game I’m at and wants to comment. No big deal. If I can write good if I can’t, I can’t.

    • gammagammahey - Oct 11, 2012 at 3:11 PM

      Are you forgetting how much downtime there is in between innings? I’d much rather peck away on my cell phone for a few minutes than have to pay attention to whatever inane sponsored promotions are being run on the jumbotron.

  6. bla bla bla - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    If this means that every TV picture shot from the pitcher’s mound won’t show some doofus with a seat behind home plate jumping up and down and waving to whomever is on the other end of the phone that’s jammed to the side of his big water head, I’m all for it.

  7. indaburg - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Back when I was a kid, we didn’t have these new fangled things called “cellular phones.” No, we watched the game, maybe even kept score on paper with a tiny pencil if we needed a little additional entertainment. I would also walk miles and miles in the snow to attend games in Flushing, Queens. It was a simpler time.

    • lazlosother - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      And don’t forget it was uphill both ways.

      • indaburg - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:53 AM

        Hell yeah. It was.

      • mjames1229 - Oct 11, 2012 at 1:19 PM


        In the snow.

        Being chased by the mafia being chased by G-men.

      • gammagammahey - Oct 11, 2012 at 3:09 PM

        There are sheer cliff faces less steep than the upper deck at Shea Stadium.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      When I was kid the state of the art in cell phones was that exact image Craig is using for this post. Otherwise known as the lovable brick. I mean THAT was a cell phone, not these tiny flat things we have today. It could be used to make calls AND defend yourself from a would be mugger. Today’s phones? I can barely kill a roach with one. And they break into little pieces if I try. They just don’t make them like in the good old days…

      • cur68 - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:45 AM

        Ha! You young whippersnappers! In my day a “cell phone” was the black bakelite thing on the wall at the hoosegow that you got to use for your one phone call. Had a rotary dial and about a metre of curly flex wire. It was so filthy you instantly caught cholera, dysentery, and an Alien pregnancy just from speaking into it. BUT you could use the flex to render the guard unconscious, steal his keys, uniform, and weapon, saunter nonchalantly out of the clink, secure in the knowledge that there were no cameras and the desk guy only saw uniforms and non-uniforms. Of course you only made it a short way due to the cholera, dysentery, and Alien pregnancy you caught from the Cell Phone, but at least you died/delivered your Alien Baby in the fresh air. Now get off my lawn.

  8. Francisco (FC) - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Which, as they say, is a First World Problem. Maybe not for doctors or people on call for emergencies —
    Well, most people would like to be able to at least receive emergency calls. From the wife, husband, father, mother, family member, significant other, etc. Just in case.

    for him I do have sympathy for her

    Er.. whaa?

  9. reasonableperson1 - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    As the advances of watching the game at home have improved, through HDTV, so must the stadium experience improve as well. Is watching the game live better? Yes, of course. But many fans who might be 50/50 on going to the game, dealing with high ticket prices, traffic jams, and lousy reception could keep them at home.

    Reception is more of an issue for NFL purposes due to fantasy football and what is happening around the league. But the fact remains that people want to stay connected in today’s society. Stadiums must adapt and improve or risk losing fans on the fence of staying home. Is this an all important issue? No. But is it still an issue sports venues must improve to make the best possible fan viewing experience.

  10. stlouis1baseball - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    I haven’t had a problem with my cell phone signal at anytime while taking in a game at the Great American Smallpark. Of course…it’s only been sold out one time in the 15 – 20 trips I have made since it opened.
    Even then…I could make calls if necessary. It’s just that…while at a game…I ACTUALLY WATCH IT.
    Speaking of which…a friend has season tickets (including all the playoff games).
    He called me last night about going to today’s game. There ARE still tickets available. Cheap at that – $25.00.

  11. vallewho - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    DBs, put down your phones and watch the F’ing game.

  12. MattJanik - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    The “ZOMG put away the phone and watch the game” crowd cracks me up. I suppose both texting and watching a baseball game at the same time is impossible?

  13. hojo20 - Oct 11, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Just sit in your seat and watch the F***in’ game.

  14. Stiller43 - Oct 11, 2012 at 1:51 PM


    The point is, why go through all the stuggles to pay for the ticket, parking, food, beer, gas, etc., take the time to drive with traffic and deal with crowds just to sit there not even effin watching the game. Are you so important that its impossible for you not to send a text for 3 hours? If youre gonna sit there and text, dont complain theres bad service…just add it to all the negatives about going and deal with it.

    And dont forget, part of the complaints were about not being to access fb…you kiddin? “oh em gee, i cant update my status!!!!” give me a freakin break.

    I say this as a 24 year old.

  15. gammagammahey - Oct 11, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    I went to half a dozen games at Citi Field this year and never had… oh, right.

  16. eyeh8goodell - Oct 12, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    Anybody that goes to a playoff game and can’t separate themselves from texting and facebooking for 3 hours is a total and complete loser anyway. So who cares if they’re upset. Deal with it…… millions have for many decades before cell phones even existed. No surprise those millions that came before got far more out of their baseball experience than the clowns attending games today.

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