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NFL encourages live game attendance

04/27/2013 9:22 PM ET
By Matt Hughes

2012 actually saw a slight increase in attendance, but the NFL is eager to continue this trend in the upcoming season.(AP)
The National Football League is taking steps to make sure stadiums remain full on game day.

There is growing concern in NFL circles that the convenience of watching a game from the comfort of one's home will start to chip away at ticket sales. While TV ratings continue to soar, NFL officials know that keeping fans in the seats is vital to the long-term health of the league. 

Attendance was up slightly in 2012, but the NFL is taking steps to ensure that attending a game remains a premium experience. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the league is placing an emphasis on improving the technology for fans at the stadium. Plans include improved video boards, wireless Internet access and locker room cameras that will provide content exclusively for fans at the stadium. 

Also in plans are initiatives that help keep ticket prices under control and a loyalty initiative that Eric Grubman, the NFL's vice president of business operations, compared to a "frequent flyer" program in which season-ticket holders would be privy to special discounts and perks. 

The NFL has become a victim of its own success. The advent of the NFL Sunday Ticket package and a host of online services have made watching a game from home more luxurious than ever. When combined with high ticket prices, traffic and inclement weather, it's easy to see why some fans prefer the convenience of home on game day. Part of the visual appeal of games on TV is the backdrop of a raucous, sold out stadium -- a priceless view the NFL seeks to protect.

Follow Matt Hughes on Twitter: @MattHughes

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