The sports world is evolving at a rapid pace. While the product on the field, ice or pitch is still inherently important, today’s savvy spectators are looking for so much more when it comes to the spectator experience.
With the rise of high-definition televisions, PVRs and online streaming services, professional sports franchises are doing more than ever to entice fans into stadiums across Canada and the United States.
As the research continues to be compiled, industry pundits are emphasizing spectator experience paired with the talent on the field to create the perfect combination of the live sport experience. While avid fans are still looking for the win, the stadium experience is becoming equally important.
As a number of major stadiums have undergone or are set to undergo massive renovations, some franchises and organizations are forgoing dated stadiums and instead are opting to start from scratch. With a focus on the spectators’ increasing importance, just what do the next generation of sports fans expect from their favourite venues?
According to reports, among the highest pain points for fans is the organization of people and the flow of foot and vehicle traffic in and around sports venues. A reported 42.5 percent of respondents indicated that they wanted stadiums and venues to have additional parking facilities and to ensure that parking flow was managed more efficiently.
Additionally, inside stadiums and venues, the flow of foot traffic is becoming increasingly important as venues strive to improve pedestrian flow and speed up lines at concessions and restrooms.
We’re living in a connected world and with a smartphone in the hand of nearly every spectator, the expectation for accessible and reliable Wi-Fi is on the rise. With plenty of Facebook and Instagram-worthy moments happening all around these facilities, operators who allow fans to safely and efficiently share them will be the winners of this free form of marketing, leading to increased fan acquisition.
Sightlines and Viewing
Bowl seating is a trend that has been catching on for a number of years in the athletic industry and one that shows no signs of slowing down. Along with the amenities of these venues, fans want to be closer than ever to the game and to those playing it.
While some stadiums are still gargantuan in nature, improved sightlines to the field of play and additional seating areas closer to the action are among the biggest trends in stadium seating today.