Williams ChoiceSeat(TM) Advances to the National League Championship Series in San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium; Smart Seats Revolutionize Spectator Sports
06:31 p.m Oct 08, 1998 Eastern

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Thousands of fortunate fans attending the 1998 National League Championship Series at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium on Oct. 10-12 will experience championship baseball as never before with ChoiceSeat(TM), an interactive, in-stadium sports network from Williams (NYSE: WMB), a leading telecommunications and energy company.

ChoiceSeat(TM) enables fans to experience the in-park excitement and atmosphere of the playoff series with more information and greater perspective than if they were home watching the game on television or over the Internet. These "smart seats" give fans true insight into the game with historical and up-to-the-second statistics, replays from multiple angles, sophisticated pitch tracking systems and league highlights at the touch of a finger to a screen attached to their seats. ChoiceSeat(TM) fans even can buy official merchandise and, soon, concessions without leaving their seats.

"ChoiceSeat(TM) provides the kind of added value in the ballpark that fans are used to getting at home from network broadcasts and the Internet, but much, much more. The fan becomes the director. Fans no longer will have to choose between their desire to be a part of a game-day crowd or the convenience of watching at home," says Del Bothof, president of Williams Network Applications. "ChoiceSeat(TM) fans can create their own unforgettable experience at the National League Championship Series."

"ChoiceSeat(TM) is revolutionizing the way fans experience spectator sports. Through the use of unique and compelling content and applications we create real-time environments which enable fans to become immersed in and experience first-hand the excitement, competition, insight and strategy of baseball. It certainly doesn't hurt that, in the process of enhancing fan value, the team and its constituencies benefit from multimedia concessions, merchandising, interactive advertising and information," explains Barry Goldberg, ChoiceSeat(TM) vice president and general manager. "This may be one of the best, the most compelling, and certainly the most fun example of television and computer convergence."

The San Diego Padres organization is the first playoff team to offer ChoiceSeat(TM). More than 400 units are attached to stadium seats during the National League Championship Series games at Qualcomm Stadium, along with units in selected suites, kiosk units in club lounges, and five large flat screen monitors in the press area and owners' suites. The fan-friendly, touch-sensitive 10-inch screens have been in use throughout the 1998 baseball season in San Diego as well as in Tampa Bay.

Williams, working with Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW), is advancing the next generation of "smart seat" technology. New to fans this season is SuperVision, an animated pitch tracking system developed by QuesTec Imaging Inc., which graphically displays a three-dimensional view of the speed, trajectory, movement and location of every pitch as soon as it crosses home plate.

"We are excited to be working with ChoiceSeat(TM) on the presentation of the latest technology to fans at Qualcomm Stadium," said Charles Steinberg, senior vice president of public affairs for the San Diego Padres. "We see ChoiceSeat(TM) as an ideal way to enhance the experience of Padres fans. It provides a new opportunity to see and understand the game. It also provides remarkable new conveniences for our fans."

ChoiceSeat(TM) made its debut at Super Bowl XXXII in San Diego earlier this year, and was also installed for the inaugural baseball season with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. ChoiceSeat(TM) technology was developed in 1997 by Williams Vyvx(R) Services, another unit of Williams.

About Williams

Williams, through its subsidiaries, provides a full range of traditional and leading-edge communications and energy services, and is the nation's largest volume transporter of natural gas. Williams' communications enterprises include a U.S.-based wholesale multimedia fiber-optic network, nationwide single-source business communication systems integration, international video satellite and fiber-optic transmission, and multipoint video and audio conferencing applications. Company information is available at and

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. SOURCE Williams

Copyright 1998, PR Newswire

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