At CitiField, iPads are welcome, but the Yankees have banned this technology. (Photo by Amanda Rykoff)
For Bronx-bound patrons coming from work, Yankee Stadium security represents a unique challenge. In the days of 24-hour connectivity, many workers need to cart laptops back and forth from home, and few have the chance to make a pitstop on the way up to the ballpark. Yet, the Yankees have long banned laptops from the stadium, leaving fans with no choice but to pay the exorbitant bag-check rates at the bowling or Stan’s across the street.
According to the team’s vague security guidelines, the technology ban in a stadium equipped with state-of-the-art, well, everything extends beyond just personal computers. Included in the ban are “any other devices that may interfere with and/or distract any sports participant, other patron, audio or audio/visual telecast or recording of the game or any technology-related service provided in Yankee Stadium.” Based on recent reports, that ban now includes iPads as well.
This odd news broke when a woman on the IGN tech boards wrote about how security denied her iPad entrance into the stadium. Eventually, she was able to sneak it in, but fans were confused as to the ban. Maybe the Yankees don’t want to risk someone’s retransmitting the game from their seats. Maybe the Yankees are afraid that laptops will distract from the game experience or bring unwanted noise to the stadium. Yet, the team made a show of touting the way technologies would be able to interact with the new stadium.
The TSA, according to Mashable, doesn’t consider the iPad a laptop, but the Yanks have extended their security policies to encompass what could be personal wireless device. Yet, the inherent contradiction is laid bare when we realize that the entire stadium is one giant wireless network. The Yankees provide free wireless but do not allow the technology into the stadium to take advantage of it. They want Yankee Stadium to be state of the art but do not want people to take full advantage of it. As other parks allow iPads, laptops and similar devices in because they understand the way people commute and the inconvenience of not doing so, the Yankees are content to slam that door. What exactly is the point of that ban?