Major League Baseball made a lot of changes to the game this year including the implementation of a pitch clock that has shortened the length of games to help keep fans with short attention spans watching.
The latest announcement from the league feels like a peek into the future of sports, a future that is more interactive, and virtual.
On September 20th, the MLB will simulcast a “Virtual Game” between the Tampa Bay Rays and the California Angels.
While the real game is being played in Tampa, a virtual one will be available at MLB.com using its Gameday 3D feature.
Once entering the virtual version of the ballpark, visitors will be able to view computer versions of the players that are emulating the real players in real-time.
Users can move around the field viewing the game from any angle and interact with each other making the ballgame much more interactive.
The game will include a scavenger hunt to encourage guests to wander to parts of the virtual park that they would never be able to see in real life.
For the purists, the actual game will also be broadcast on the virtual video boards.
Kenny Gersh, MLB’s executive vice president of media and business development said “Gameday 3D allows us to experiment even more within the virtual ballpark and should allow our fans to further immerse themselves into the experience of a game.”
The interactive game technology debuted with the MLB Celebrity Softball game earlier this year during the All-Star Weekend.
But the Rays-Angels game is the first time the technology will be used during a regular season game.