Technology and sporting venues are on parallel paths. Both are growing at a rapid pace, and each continue to surprise consumers with every press release.
Gone are the times that instant replay and animated LED boards are the best features a stadium can provide to the in-game experience. Mascots used to be the most entertaining aspect of the fan experience aside from the game itself. Fans used to have to wait for the scoreboard to be physically adjusted by a scoreboard operator. Qualities as simple as these may appear, were large additions and huge selling points to fans and sponsors alike.
We live in an age where the perks and technology around us are seen as commodities, but when compared to the greatest features of the past, seem to be much more advanced. Imagine walking into an arena that does not provide free Wi-Fi, or tickets were not able to be loaded onto a mobile device. These privileges are now close to be considered in the “past”.
Cashless/card-less payments have become a huge focus for venues, in conjunction with team-specific mobile apps being created as hubs for any information on major sports teams. These innovative advances to the in-game experience will soon become the norm with capabilities such as having food and merchandise delivered to seats and finding wait times for restrooms and concession lines.
Not to mention the arms race that has always been evident when comparing video board sizes. The Atlanta Falcon’s halo board is 58 ft. tall and 1,075 ft. in circumference, coming in at an astonishing 62,350 sq. ft.
It is difficult to look past the present, when looking towards the future.
Twenty years ago, we could not imagine the technology in venues that would affect fans. It has come to the point that new advancements do not even shock me anymore. Soon, you’ll be able to walk into any stadium without any identification or proof you purchased a ticket because of facial recognition.
In the meantime, we will transition into using our fingerprint to allow access or payment for products Multiple organizations are already working with the Clear, a biometrics company that utilizes this technology with the hope to create a greater gameday experience for those in attendance by shortening lines.
What lies ahead in the sports industry and the fan experience? We have some thoughts…