NFL placing trackers in pads

Updated: July 31, 2014, 1:13 PM ET
By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com

Hoping to keep up with the fans' insatiable appetite for player statistics, the NFL will install real-time location systems in 17 of its stadiums this year.

[+] EnlargeNFL device
Courtesy NFL The NFL hopes to use tracking devices to enhance player statistics.

Receivers, placed in the players' shoulder pads, will work in tandem with radio frequency identification transmitters to turn player movement into meaningful measurements.

The league, in its announcement Thursday, said that it hopes being able to track distance and speed will not only enhance the fan experience but allow the teams to learn more about their players from a competitive standpoint.

The NFL said the RFID technology will be installed in the home stadiums of the 15 teams (Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Green Bay, Houston, Jacksonville, Miami, New England, Oakland, San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington) that will host Thursday Night Football this year, as well as Detroit and New Orleans.

The league is doing this in partnership with tracking company Zebra Technologies, whose business tracks everything from player movements to hospital patients to police tickets.

Darren Rovell | email

ESPN.com Sports Business reporter

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