The return of live events has been a welcome development for all. But, it hasn’t come without challenges for facilities operators. Staff shortages are impacting service delivery, and fans are ready to embrace a digital future where the stadium also becomes an immersive, self-guided tour.
The fan expectation increased post-pandemic due to digitalization. Fans are showing that stadium operators need to provide an experience that embraces self-service and reduces the reliance on human interactions. In Oracle Food and Beverage’s "Stadium Without Borders: Stadium Technology and Trends in 2022 and Beyond" report, 70% of attendees would prefer to have service jobs replaced by digital solutions in the future.
Costs to attend events continue to rise, so it’s no surprise consumers want technology that will give them more return for the price they paid to attend the event. In most fans eyes, high ticket process are a direct function of insanely high contracts athletes, in particular, receive.
- 53% of fans want to engage with their favorite teams and artists in the metaverse. This includes virtual "backstage/stadium" tours and meet-ups, shopping for merchandise, etc. This sentiment was especially true of sports fans and millennials, both around 65%.
- 42% of fans say they'd like to use their fingerprint, rather than a ticket, to enter a stadium.
- 38% of fans want to view sports stats through their mobile device.
- 53% of respondents are interested in receiving special offers for pre-game activities.
"While providing an immersive and seamless journey presents challenges to stadium operators, fans' increased expectations have also created opportunity to bring innovation and digitalization into the traditional stadium sphere," said Simon de Montfort Walker, senior vice president and general manager at Oracle Food and Beverage.
Additionally, fans want to experience some of the in-person live event benefits while viewing from home. Sports fans would prefer receiving personalized promotions to enhance the game-day fun with stadium-brand food and drinks when watching from their home. When fans do attend events in person, they’re eager to add to the live portion of the day with digital pre- and post-event content to create a more well-rounded, all-day experience:
- 57% of people want to purchase an all-inclusive experience at a pre-game partner restaurant and exclusive post-game content on their device.
- Half want to participate as part of a virtual crowd, support their team and interact with fans in the metaverse.
Fans today seek the excitement of live, in-person viewing but want the experience to feel as convenient as if they were watching from their home. They want the fun to begin before they enter the stadium and continue after they exit.
Edited by Erik Linask