"Ice Hockey: IRL > on TV #nhl #nyislander" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by MattHurst
Over the past couple of decades, we have seen a large amount of money spent by American sports leagues to upgrade the technological side of their game. The system works differently, depending on the sport, but what all of the major leagues have in common is that they have spent to improve.
Could we be about to see more of this in the next few years?
There has been a big change in the US recently, with the legalization of sports betting in many states. This has led to bookmakers and gambling companies working together with the big leagues, offering sponsorship to them in return for being partners of the league.
This money is all brand new money, something the leagues have never had before. The question on everyone’s lips surrounds how this money will be spent. There will be a lot of focus on this, ensuring that something is done with the money that can push things forward and help the leagues improve.
Where Could Additional Funds Be Spent?Each league will have their own priorities. A league such as the NFL, for example, has on-field technology almost perfect at the moment and offers great camera angles for reviews. Elsewhere, this may be an area that the NHL wants to focus on with the money.
"Arena" (CC BY 2.0) by Photographing Travis
We have seen a few changes in the NHL, but work continues, because the league and fans who watch know that things are not yet perfect. With the introduction of betting in America, more eyes will be on the NHL, and there is even more importance on getting the right decision with that too.
With the money coming from gambling, anything that can be done to aid technology and help to make sure the right decision is made will be welcomed. Those who are taking the latest NHL betting odds ahead of the new season will want to ensure that, assuming this all goes ahead, it could make the sport more appealing to those who don’t currently watch.
What Could We See Introduced?One area where the NHL currently sits behind other sports is with the number of cameras they have and the quality of them. With a video review room in Toronto looking at various incidents as they are reviewed, these could be improved to aid the people there making the decisions.
"NHL War Room" (CC BY-ND 2.0) by CavinB
These should also be available for TV companies, to show fans why a decision is being made. We already see referees and linesmen using tablet devices to review plays on the ice when needed, and both better and more camera angles would help here too.
This seems to be a perfect time for many sports, including the NHL, to invest in their product. New money is coming in, and the leagues already have focus on them, ensuring that they bring in this money and spend it wisely. Using technology to aid the game and its officials is certainly one way in which this could be spent to improve the experience.