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Facebook Sports Stadium Connects Fans on Game Day

If you can't watch your favorite sporting events in person, you might as well watch them with 650 million other people. Facebook launched the "Sports Stadium" yesterday (Jan. 20) to provide a place to comment on the game, share your favorite moments or heckle the opposing team's fans.

Facebook Sports is accessible both in your browser and on the Facebook mobile app on iPhone, with support for other platforms arriving "in the coming weeks." When a game is live, Facebook Sports will show a play-by-play of the game, as well as all of the content on Facebook related to the match up. You'll also get posts and video from the team's official pages, sportswriters and other expert commentators.

At the moment, the only way to find a game is to search for it. There aren't any notifications, a special section, or stories in the News Feed, which I found a little unwieldy. It's also limited to American professional football, so if you're a basketball, baseball, or soccer fan or want to hear about sports at the college level (I couldn't find my beloved Maryland Terrapins), you'll have to wait for further updates.

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When I looked up the upcoming NFC championship game between the Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers on the iOS app, I was shown where the game will be held and when it takes place, but the rest was a bit sparse — the experts were all relegated to their own tab, but none of my friends have commented on the game, leaving an empty space for commentary. I'm not sure my friends will ever comment on the game, but the stats will hopefully fill up during the game.

Facebook isn't pushing the web version, but there was more there, including the option to pick the team I want to win. The top posts were comprised of videos from Fox Sports in Arizona and the NFL on Fox, along with a bunch of public posts from fans, blogs and even a St. Peter's, Mo. bar showing off their deal for 69-cent wings on game day.

Starting with just the NFL will limit the audience, and Facebook's own news feed is already a popular spot for prolific sports posters. We'll see in the coming weeks if Facebook Sports takes off, starting with the AFC and NFC championships on Sunday.