Like other forms of entertainment, sports have more competition than ever for entertainment dollars. As a result, fans have come to expect to get more out of the stadium experience than in days past. 

Sports teams that want to convince fans to leave the comfort of their couch and come see a sporting event in person have to find ways to improve the fan experience. 

These are six ways to improve sports stadiums.

1. Making Stadiums Greener

Sports fans are more socially conscious than they used to be, which is reflected in theme nights for LGBTQ fans, women, racial minorities, and others. It is also reflected in efforts to make sports stadiums greener. 

Some franchises are choosing to use renewable energy sources, such as solar panels to reduce their carbon footprint. Other changes include using more energy-efficient light bulbs, encouraging fans to recycle, and providing public transportation to and from stadiums.

2. Offering Ticketless Entry

Most sporting events have made it possible for fans to purchase tickets digitally and enter the stadium by displaying a code on their smartphone. 

However, fans returning to stadiums after COVID-19 restrictions in 2021 prompted many organizations to push towards a completely ticketless experience. 

Because ticketless entry also reduces the need for fans to stand in lines, organizations will likely continue to offer ticketless entry beyond the pandemic. Expect to see technologies such as biometrics and facial recognition used to reduce wait times and prevent fraud.

3. Providing Better and Faster Food Options

Gone are the days when fans were content to get a hot dog and a soda at a ballgame. Fans expect more variety and higher quality dining options. Additionally, fans don't want to miss out on the action while they are standing in line waiting to get food. 

Expect to see more stadiums incorporate apps that allow guests to order food and drinks from their seats, instead of standing in line. 

Additionally, expect the trend of stadiums offering a wide variety of upscale food to continue, though you'll no doubt still be able to buy a hotdog if that's your thing.

4. Adding More Features for Both Casual and Hardcore Fans

Casual fans mostly attend sporting events for entertainment and social value, while hardcore fans are more into the nitty-gritty details of the game. Expect to see more stadium features that cater to both types of fans. 

Free wi-fi in stadiums will become standard, along with interactive experiences that can only be consumed within the stadium. This might take the form of a quiz on the video board that you answer on your smartphone or a virtual or augmented reality experience. 

For casual fans, organizations will use this technology to provide additional entertainment options, particularly in those lulls between the sports action. 

For more hardcore fans, these technologies might be leveraged to provide in-depth stats, background information on players, enhanced camera angles of highlight reel or controversial plays, and more.

5. Incorporating Real-Time Sports Betting

With fan attitudes and state legislation becoming more favorable to legalized sports betting, stadiums will likely utilize new technology to offer more real-time betting opportunities. 

Some stadiums have already been offering fans the chance to place real-time bets from their smartphones. 

However, advancements in internet speed and smartphone technology have opened up the possibility of incorporating micro-betting, such as betting on an individual down of a football game. This has the opportunity to increase both fan engagement and revenues.

6. Improving Crowd Management Systems

Mass shootings, terrorist attacks, and other types of crime make some fans nervous about attending games. Stadiums will likely turn to technologies such as facial recognition and smart blockchain ticketing to improve security.

With almost every sporting event being available in beautiful high-definition and new entertainment options cropping up all the time, sports organizations must find new ways to attract fans to the stadium. 

These six ways of improving sports stadiums can help get fans off the couch and into the stadium. 


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