Americans are passionate about their sports. From the pros to collegiate teams – and even some elite high schools – fans love heading to their home stadium or arena for a game.
But the way fans watch a game has shifted dramatically over the last 10 to 15 years, says Tom Tingle, Skanska SVP and national director of our Sports & Entertainment Center of Excellence (COE), and venues are responding with a retooling of stadium and arena amenities from seating to concessions to technology.
“Owners are incredibly strategic about the amenities they build into their facilities,” says Tingle, “Being smart about what to offer your fans to enhance their experience while at the game can make or break a team’s revenue stream. We help owners see the possibilities of not just building new, but renovating what they already have to keep pace with the demands of the new fan.”
Trying to get someone with a stocked refrigerator easily within reach off their couch? Tingle says to give them lounge seating at the game, waiter service and big screen TVs at their seats (in addition to a great view of the field).
Want to attract the fans that use second screens – including social media platforms – as part of their experience? Tingle points to distributed antenna systems that can support thousands of mobile devices, paired with active campaigns from teams that encourage fans to interact online, post pictures of their experience and use pre-determined hashtags, which he says can also help drive additional revenue.
“Gone are the days of watching a game from the seat you paid for. The modern fan moves around the stadium to take in the game from multiple vantage points,” says Tingle. “That means giving these mobile fans places to land, including standing food and beverage areas with clear views of the field of play that encourage traffic flow and further enhance the experience.”
Owners are also rethinking the premium experience, he says. “Suites don’t have the allure they once did and so incorporating premium seating, with access to services including food and beverage, are being accomplished through surgical renovations to stadiums and arenas rather than full scale, tear down jobs.”
Skanska’s Sports & Entertainment COE experts are responsible for some of the more amazing NFL Stadiums, including MetLife Stadium (home of the NY Giants and NY Jets), Gillette Stadium (home of the New England Patriots) and NRG Stadium (home of the Houston Texans).
Read more from Tom about the “Battle for the Fan” in this piece on Construction Dive.