Originally created 04/01/04

Giants' ballpark pitches wireless access to Internet fans



SAN FRANCISCO -- If Barry Bonds ties Willie Mays' career home run record at home in the next few weeks, Giants fans can spread the news with e-mails and instant messages - without ever leaving their stadium seats.

When SBC Park opens Thursday for the first of three home exhibition games leading up to the regular season, 121 wireless access points will provide high-speed Internet access in all concourses and seating areas.

The ballpark, known until this year as Pacific Bell Park, will become one of the world's largest public Wi-Fi "hot spots" for people with laptops and handheld computers.

Fans who bring Wi-Fi-enabled devices may use the ballpark's network for free during the 2004 season. SBC Communications Inc., which installed the equipment with Nortel Networks Corp., may charge for access next year.

San Antonio-based SBC charges $7.95 per day for its wireless Freedomlink network, or $19.95 per month.