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All posts tagged fan experience

Birmingham’s Edgbaston Stadium has been officially recognised for having the best atmosphere of UK cricket venues in a study of all match days in 2015 undertaken by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

The atmosphere on the third day of last summer’s Investec Ashes Test Match at Edgbaston received a score of 9.5 out of 10 by the spectators in attendance, which was the highest score of any international fixture or final played in the summer of 2015.

Gareth Roberts, Commercial Director at Warwickshire County Cricket Club, said:

The atmosphere at Edgbaston is world-renowned and differentiates the stadium from any other cricket venue in the country. We are very proud that the atmosphere is ranked by the spectators in attendance as the best in the country.

In recent years we have invested in all elements of our match day experience to ensure that our spectators have a memorable day out at Edgbaston. This has included operating shuttle buses from the city centre, improving parking facilities around the stadium, an increased food and drink offering and more entertainment around the bowl of stadium.

It’s fantastic to see this investment recognised in the scores given by spectators who attended our matches in 2015, and we hope that this will lead to many fans returning in the new season.

The ECB issues post-match surveys to ticket buyers of all UK international and NatWest T20 Blast games, with an opportunity to score 10 elements of the match day experience, including atmosphere, seating, public announcements and the food and drink offering.

Steve Elworthy, ECB’s Director of Events said:

Putting fans at the heart of the game is one of the ECB’s key priorities and the atmosphere at Edgbaston last summer shows how passionate people are about this sport.

The team at Edgbaston are to be congratulated on tapping into this passion and the needs of their community in order to deliver a great event for everyone involved.

It is vitally important for all sports fans to know they are going to be offered a fantastic experience when they come to a cricket match.

This summer, Edgbaston hosts England in the Royal London One-Day International (ODI) on Friday 24 June and the Investec Test Match against Pakistan from Wednesday 3 to Sunday 7 August. Edgbaston also hosts the NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day on Saturday 20 August.

 

Image: Spectators in Edgbaston’s iconic Eric Hollies Stand during the Investec Ashes Test Match. BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – JULY 30, 2015: During day two of the 3rd Investec Ashes Test match between England and Australia.  (Photo by Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images)

 

Our forthcoming Q1 edition will include a special roundtable featuring a number of industry experts from global sports venues – including Melbourne Cricket Ground, Sydney Cricket Ground and Twickenham – discussing the latest initiatives and solutions to optimise Fan Engagement and the Fan Experience.

 

Plans are being developed to bring an exciting new tourism product to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), allowing visitors and locals to see and experience Australia’s most famous stadium like never before.

With the assistance of an AUD$650,000 grant from the Federal Government’s Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure program, Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) will now seek to develop the finer details behind a Roof Experience attraction at the MCG.

In addition to the ever-popular stadium tour and National Sports Museum products, visitors will be able to walk on the MCG’s city-end roof, taking in spectacular views of the ground itself, as well as Melbourne’s sporting precinct and city skyline.

As if that wasn’t enough, they will also be able to add to the thrill with a unique zipline that will transport participants from the city end scoreboard to a landing on the opposite side of the stadium.

The roof experience will enhance the MCG’s existing multi-faceted tourism offering and be a must-see attraction that will encourage repeat visitation.

The project represents a multi-million dollar investment by MCC, with management to continue scoping how and when the new attraction will be implemented at the stadium.

MCC CEO Stephen Gough said:

We are very confident that these new products will add value to the experience of visiting the MCG and enhance its reputation as a premier tourist attraction.

This will cement the MCG as a one-stop shop for events, with an all-round, unique Melbourne experience in the one venue – a stadium tour, roof experience, meeting and function facilities, sports museum, and food and beverage services all on site.

Victorian Minister for Tourism and Major Events, John Eren, welcomed funding for the new MCG tourism venture. He confirmed:

The MCG is renowned as one of the world’s top stadiums. This new access will be unprecedented, and will offer great views of the best of everything Melbourne offers.

In this industry Q&A, we hear from Fiona Southam, Sales Director, Sports & Entertainment, at Oracle Hospitality.

Q: Can you give our readers an idea about the solutions that you offer the sports venue sector and the key aims and drivers behind them?

A: Oracle Hospitality delivers a reliable technology platform robust enough to provide catering at exceptional speed to tens of thousands of fans, even during high-volume periods. We design industryspecific technology tailored to maximise efficiency, minimise waste, and enhance the fan experience. Our solutions include point of service software and hardware, inventory and stock management, gift & loyalty, reporting & analytics, labour management and payment solutions. One of the other great strengths of the Oracle Hospitality suites is the ability to integrate to multiple third-party solutions to provide the stadium with consolidated data and visibility across the entire operation.

Q: On major sports projects do you normally deal with a specific group, such as the venue operators or concessionaires, or do you actively look to work with as wide a range of people as possible?

A: There could be a variety of teams involved that all have their own specific business requirements. It’s great when we do get many views involved because then we are sure that we are covering the needs of all parties and that at the end of the day all groups are receiving the best possible solution.

Q: It was only last year that it was announced that Oracle was acquiring MICROS. Can you talk us thought how that process of integration has been and how that has helped in terms of your intention to be a dominant player in the Sports & Entertainment sector?

A: That is correct, and it has been a busy 12 months! Oracle Hospitality has continued its drive to provide specific teams and industry expertise in the various lines of business. Funds for development under Oracle have significantly increased over that which was dedicated under MICROS Systems Inc. Sports and Entertainment is an area of great excitement for Oracle. It doesn’t just touch the operational side of the stadium, operators, we get to engage with the consumer and make a real difference to the fan’s experience. So yes, it sure has been a positive move for our solutions (and our customers) and with so much excitement around engagement at the moment, you can expect to see even more disruptive innovation from Oracle.

Q: During our Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific event in Singapore, you took part in an expert panel discussing the issue of revenue generation for stadiums and arenas. Can you explain about how your products help venue owners, operators and concessionaires unlock new revenue streams or further enhance new streams?

A: At the core of any solution which is designed to maximise yield and reduce costs, you need a great foundation. Orders need to be placed accurately and quickly, exploiting any opportunity to ensure the maximisation of the sale and increase of the average check. Information needs to be up to date and representative of what you have to promote. There are limited opportunities to sell to the fan, so we need to be conscious of optimising every interaction. This is true not just for the concession operators, but also the engagement with the fan. Through engaged programming we ensure the maximum return. This is also supported by various facets of technology, for example in seat ordering and seamless integration to third party systems (such as digital signage and cashless payments) that allow us to ensure that the business goals are surpassed.

Q: One issue which is at the forefront of all clubs and venues is that of enhancing fan engagement or providing an incredible match day experience. How does your technology help in this regard? Is mobile technology an increasingly important part of your services for customers and what do you consider the key characteristics that it needs to offer?

A: It’s all about the fan. We support the operators with the collection of information and turning this information into useable content to enable that sophisticated engagement. Mobile and putting the reins into the hands of the fan is extremely important – our solutions tap into the engagement of the fan and ensure that we capture and report accurately to the business. Again, using that important transactional information, we can keep the fan well informed of various components of their interaction – for example, how long till they get their order? What is the anticipated wait time at various concessions? Promotions based on locations, can they pay cashless, what does the item look like and so on. Providing that information to the consumer will help increase average sales as well as support providing an amazing experience at the venue. Of course, we also want to be able to service across the generations and needs of the fans – so we need to back up the innovation side with reliable and accurate tools for the operators to service the customers.

Q: Although you are a successful global organisation, are there any specific regions which you have identified as being key targets for future growth in terms of sports projects?

A: We have a great installation base in North America and Canada, installations at stadiums and arenas across many kinds of sport and entertainment venues. We think Asia Pacific is a market that is maturing with so many innovative operators in the region. We look forward to supporting their goal of setting the standard of how things are done in the stadium market. Oracle Hospitality has a dedicated team to manage the stadiums in Asia Pacific and we are certainly ready for the groundswell we believe is on its way!

Q:  Are most of your projects retrofit of existing stadia rather than new build? Is this likely to continue in your opinion?

A: With so many stadiums under construction in our region, we see a great opportunity for innovative technology in these new venues. Increasingly though, the existing venues are really starting to look at their technology as they aim to drive more business by becoming multi-use environments. Space in the venues is also of the utmost importance and holds potential for additional revenue. Outsourcing technology to the cloud enables the operators to better utilise space and resources in order to lower their total cost of ownership.

 

For further information, contact Fiona Southam, Sales Director, Sports & Entertainment, Oracle Hospitality, e: fiona.southam@oracle.com or visit the website at: www.oracle.com

 

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The first in a series of consultations opened to the public yesterday, relating to plans for a new Royal Elm Park development proposed by Reading Football Club Prop Co Ltd, a partly-owned subsidiary of Reading Football Club.
The Royal Elm Park proposal involves the transformation of an undeveloped parcel of land into an exceptional mixed-use development, with Madejski Stadium at its heart, providing a world-class convention centre, 630 new homes, more than 1,000 new jobs and delivering an exciting new mix of leisure facilities, including an ice rink, restaurants and a large public square – a new community space for local people to enjoy.

A planning application will be submitted before the end of the year, with a view to starting construction next year.

Peter Brett Associates is acting as development consultant, with Arup providing technical services and Malaysian architectural practice NRY Architects is working on the design of the convention centre.
DevelopmentProposals 468

Speaking live to BBC Radio Berkshire, Royals Chief Executive, Nigel Howe, said:

This is an exciting proposal for both for Reading Football Club and the town itself. When we built Madejski Stadium in 1998, to give the club a sustainable level of income we built a small conference centre and then a hotel. Both have proved amazingly successful and we saw an opportunity for a new convention centre in the south of England situated adjacent to the stadium. This sort of development is about engaging this part of Reading and the stadium in more activities, bringing people to this part of Reading just as similar developments have done in larger towns and cities across the country.

With the support we need from local government, we have grasped the opportunity to put forward a proposal – with the aim of getting the local community more and more involved in Reading Football Club and the Madejski Stadium complex, whilst simultaneously helping the club to become more financially sustainable in the future.

We are always striving to attract new fans to the club and to the stadium and, as you have seen from today’s ‘Price of Football’ study, we can boast some of the cheapest season tickets on sale in the Football League. This development is designed to make the matchday experience for home and away supporters even better in the future.

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Royal Elm Park, the name chosen for the proposal, reflects the club’s pride in its history, and the optimism in its future. Inspired by the club’s former home at Elm Park, the development hopes to capture the history, pride and energy of Reading Football Club and its loyal fans. The potential of this development provides an opportunity to deliver significant community benefits and further fulfil the potential of Reading and the Club.

A series of technical assessments, including highways and public transport, ground conditions (in consultation with the Environment Agency) and ecology, have informed the proposals, which also include 2,000sqm of high quality leisure and retail, a new 250-room hotel, a multi-storey car park and a series of transport measures, including subsidised local public transport for supporters and a new transport hub and shuttle bus services to work in conjunction with the arrival of Crossrail and the opening of the new Green Park station.
DevelopmentProposals 468[1]

Having met with STAR representatives to introduce the project to the supporters’ trust, Howe explained:

This four-sessional public consultation is aiming to let people see how we envisage a development like this working in the long term and for their questions to be answered.
Further exhibitions will be held as follows:Wednesday 21 October 2015, 2pm – 6pm
Venue: The Concert Hall, Reading Town Hall, Blagrave Street, RG1 1QHThursday 22 October 2015, 2pm – 8pm
Venue: The Concert Hall, Reading Town Hall, Blagrave Street, RG1 1QH

Saturday 24 October 2015, 10am – 4pm
Venue: South Reading Community Centre, 252-260 Northumberland Ave, RG2 7QA

The project team and a STAR representative will be on hand at each of the exhibitions in order to answer any questions about the proposal, further details of which will be available on www.RoyalElmPark.com.

Images courtesy: © Royal Elm Park 2015.

Two digital perimeter advertising specialists have joined forces to launch the world’s first broadcast quality LED virtual advertising solution.  digiBOARD DBR sees Supponor’s DBRLive technology and ADI’s digiBOARD LED perimeter system combine to produce a new product, which the partners believe will create the biggest impact in live sports perimeter advertising in more than a decade.

digiBOARD DBR allows – for the first time – stadium audiences to benefit from a dynamic LED perimeter advertising system whilst global broadcast audiences can be served with geographic and audience-specific promotional messages.

Following over a year of collaboration between the companies’ Research and Development teams, Supponor and ADI expect to deliver the first digiBOARD DBR systems in time for the start of the 2016/17 football season and expect to bring the widespread adoption of digital replacement technology for the first time.

Targeted Advertising and Enhanced Stadium Experience

digiBOARD DBR delivers both international commercial benefits and an enhanced matchday experience for fans, opening new revenue streams to clubs, leagues and federations to activate promotional partnerships on an audience targeted scale across the globe, whilst freeing up a new platform for in-stadium fan engagement.

In addition to allowing for targeting of advertising on an audience specific level, digiBOARD DBR will allow venues to utilise their LED perimeter as a fan engagement platform purely for fans in the stadium to deliver club messages and promotions, localised advertising, in game statistics etc. without compromising their broadcast advertising value.

Both Supponor and ADI will continue to serve their existing customers on their current respective technology platforms whilst offering a clear upgrade path to the new LED product.  digiBOARD DBR has been built around the same architecture as ADI’s latest generation of digiBOARD ensuring backwards compatibility and upgradeability for many of ADI’s 20 current digiBOARD customers.

Roger Hall, Chief Executive Officer at Supponor comments:

As the standard bearer for digital billboard replacement, Supponor is delighted to announce the positive results of a successful collaboration with ADI that will see DBRLive delivered for the first time on animated LED systems.  Our number one priority has always been – and will remain – delivering a virtual product that has all the quality hallmarks demanded in top tier sports production environments.  ADI has the same production excellence values as we do – it is no surprise that our collaboration is now starting to bear fruit.  We look forward to continuing our work together to drive digiBOARD DBR to the next level.

ADI Chief Executive Officer Geraint Williams comments:

digiBOARD DBR is a product that combines the very best features from Supponor and ADI and is one that we firmly believe will revolutionise the sport perimeter market. This is an example of a solution that only two companies like ADI and Supponor could create.  Like Supponor, one of ADI’s key competitive advantages in the market is our R&D.  None of our competitors in the digital advertising space develop and manufacture their own screens, which gives us a huge advantage in being able to develop this solution to the precise specifications required by Supponor.  Additionally, because of our established pedigree in the sector and our expertise in venue connectivity we have the ideal route to market for digiBOARD DBR.

Expert Combination

Supponor has created and grown the market for digital advertising replacement in sports.  Its unique and transformational DBRLive system, deployed extensively in La Liga (Spain) and Serie A (Italy) is the only virtual advertising system of its kind in commercial operation.  DBRLive revolutionises sports marketing through the delivery of targeted in-event signage to different audience groups watching the same live sports broadcast.

ADI’s digiBOARD systems account for 13 of the 20 LED perimeter systems in the English Premier League and has built a content management ecosystem that unites and simplifies the delivery of all forms of video content around a live event – from the stadium to the consumer device – through its Live Venue broadcast fibre network that currently connects over 100 venues including all 72 English Premier and Football League clubs.

In addition to ADI’s LED expertise, the partnership will also utilise ADI’s Live Venue sports fibre network to realise benefits and efficiencies within the delivery of the multiple feeds to global audiences without the requirement for broadcast units at each location.

To coincide with this season’s introduction of an expanded Etihad Stadium, Manchester City FC are launching a new initiative designed to give young fans from across the UK the chance to experience their first ever ‘live’ Premier League match.

Designed to appeal to young football fans, aged 5-12 years, ‘My First Match‘ offers young UK fans the opportunity to win a money-can’t-buy, immersive experience, which puts them at the heart of the action at the Etihad Stadium on a Premier League matchday.

Manchester City are working in partnership with national kids’ media titles to launch My First Match via a competition mechanic that runs across a number of Premier League home games.

Open exclusively to competition entrants, winners of My First Match are rewarded with an unforgettable matchday, which includes a Blue Carpet experience where they can high-five the first team players as they arrive at the venue, a Stadium & Club Tour, a pre-match tour of the state-of-the-art City Football Academy, a meet and greet with the club mascots Moonchester and Moonbeam and a chance to stand pitchside and watch their heroes warm up before kick-off.

Each competition partner is offered 5 pairs of tickets for a specific game, with the winners   invited for an extra special matchday for their first experience of live Premier League action.

This immersive, money-can’t-buy, experience reinforces City’s dedication to its legion of young fans, whilst highlighting the Club as a Premier League leader in offering unique and innovative experiences.

Recent signing Raheem Sterling recalls his very first football match:

The first football match I ever went to was Manchester United versus Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley and I was 12 years old. I used to play football with friends as a 10 year old and it makes me just as happy now as it did then.

 

Fresno State Bulldog Stadium renovation

Fresno State Director of Athletics Jim Bartko has presented an update on the department’s progress of the five-point vision he announced in late February and has introduced renovation plans for Bulldog Stadium that will transcend the 35-year-old facility into a new era for Fresno State Athletics. 

The conceptual design Bartko revealed called for plans to improve all amenities, enhance the fan experience and modernize Bulldog Stadium where Fresno State has won over 77 percent of its games since it opened in 1980. Bartko said:

This is three months of brainstorming what are the possibilities and coming up with a concept that all parties from the University, to the athletic department, football program and the Red Wave can be excited about.

We will build Bulldog Stadium so it is a place for you and your families to go.

It is not a matter of if or when this happens, it has to happen. We will do this together.

The plans for the stadium overhaul were conceived by AECOM Sports, LLC in conjunction with athletic department officials over the past three months.

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As part of the five-point plan, construction is currently taking place at the Spalding Wathen Tennis Center to give the facility new courts, the soccer and lacrosse programs are receiving renovated locker rooms; the basketball and volleyball facilities at the Save Mart Center are undergoing a facelift and just recently completed at the North Gym was the installation of the new practice court. Later on this summer, a new track will be going in at Warmerdam Field.

Fresno State Bulldog Stadium renovation

Fresno State Bulldog Stadium renovation

Head coach Tim DeRuyter said:

This is an extremely exciting time for us in Bulldog football. The vision that Jim [Bartko] and AECOM laid out for the future of Bulldog football is tremendous. This is something that is going to be fantastic for all constituents – the Red Wave, alumni and in particular our future Bulldogs, the recruits we are going after. This shows a big-time commitment and greatly enhances the fan experience.

When this is complete I anticipate this will be the best facility in the Mountain West and with our support from the Red Wave, it will help us solidify our reputation going into the future that Bulldog Stadium is the toughest place to play in the conference.

Fresno State will address the accessibility issues with access tunnels built into the berm and a cross-sectional concourse at the midpoint of the bowl, making it easier for patrons to reach their seats.

Access to restrooms and concessions, and doubling the number of those facilities, is one key area that will improve the fan experience. To further enhance the game day atmosphere Fresno State will be making changes to the tailgating policies and open up hospitality opportunities in the stadium.

The addition of new revenue sources in the form of additional suites, club seats, loge areas, sponsorship displays and the possibility of naming rights can help fund the escalating costs in this current age of intercollegiate athletics.

A new press box will be constructed and a new two-story football facility will go in the south end zone with a HD video board sitting on top of that.

The conceptual design is planned to take place in phases. The first step in that is already underway with the new HD video and ribbon board being installed in the north end zone this summer.

No price tag has been stamped on the project at this point. The Bulldogs will privately fund the project and Athletics will work with the University procurement process and follow CSU System policies.

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About Bulldog Stadium

First opened in 1980, the original Bulldog Stadium footprint began construction in June of 1979 for the then 30,000-seat stadium at the price tag of $7 million that was completely privately funded. Fresno State played its first game in Bulldog Stadium on Nov. 25, 1980, a 21-14 win over Montana State. In 1991 Bulldog Stadium underwent a two-phase expansion, which included the addition of more than 10,000 seats – increasing the stadiums capacity to 41,031 — and the construction of 22 sky suites to go with additional restrooms and concession facilities.

Bulldog Stadium played host to the California Raisin Bowl from 1981-91 and it also hosted friendly matches prior to the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

The Bulldogs have gone 165-47-2 (.771) at Bulldog Stadium playing in front of an average crowd of 34,127 over the last 35 full seasons in the stadium. Fresno State has led the Mountain West in attendance in each of the past two seasons and has gone 17-2 at home under head coach Tim DeRuyter.

Motorsport and Grand Prix Drivers Association

A global survey of motorsport fans has highlighted concerns that F1 is failing to attract new audiences – with 75% of respondents saying they have been following the sport for more than 10 years and many of those admitting to not watching it as avidly as they did in the past.

The Global Fan Survey – claimed to be the biggest project of its kind ever conducted in sports – was carried out by Motorsport.com and the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA), in association with expert research company Repucom.

Despite the worries about the current state of F1, it is clear from the results that fans are not demanding any knee-jerk reactions nor a radical overhaul of grand prix racing that takes it away from its historic roots.

The majority of fans are against gimmicks like success ballast, sprinkler systems, standard engines or fewer teams running more cars. Instead, they favour initiatives that have been a success in the past, such as a return to tire competition (79.6%) or refueling (60%).

Motorsport.com Editor in Chief Charles Bradley said:

The fans have spoken in numbers greater than ever that they want to see change in F1. But while they feel a need for a revamp, they also want to protect F1’s core values of racing purity and historic venues.

There’s a clear message here for the sport’s rule makers to consider a back-to-basics approach, and allowing room for engineering innovation to make the cars look – and sound – more exciting. This data from fans is priceless.

GPDA chairman Alex Wurz said:

The scientific nature of this survey, as well as the data that we have been able to extract from it, is like gold and we should value it as such. Not only do we get clear trends and answers to the 52 questions, but we gather a very deep and scientific profile of fans around the globe.

Formula 1 may need to ask itself some important questions; that’s why we wanted the fans to have their say. But through the survey the fans are clear: They don’t want a radical overhaul of grand prix racing that takes it away from its historic roots.

Ohio University (Ohio) has decided to implement Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement’s  ticketing, fundraising, access and email marketing solutions. Jim Schaus, Director of Athletics at Ohio University, said:

It’s exciting to partner with an industry leader in Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement to launch a new system that creates a user-friendly experience for our fans.

Working with Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement will help us in our goal to improve the overall experience for our fans at events and online, and continue our efforts to provide the highest level of customer service.

Ohio launched Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement’s online ticketing system on July 1 to efficiently sell tickets to all athletics events and process donations in real-time at OhioBobcats.com. The eCommerce site is a one-stop source for fans and donors to purchase tickets, select seats from a pick-your-own seat map, easily make donations and manage accounts online. The online box office integrates with Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement’s fundraising system to seamlessly process donations for the Ohio Bobcat Club Annual Fund.

To adopt digital ticketing and print-at-home tickets, Ohio will implement Access Management, a digital ticketing solution, to provide fans with print-at-home delivery methods to streamline the process of ticket fulfillment. The Access solution allows fans to bypass will call lines and quickly enter each venue upon arrival. Ohio will also look to expand its digital ticketing technology in the future to provide mobile ticket delivery and mobile scanning at a future date to be determined.

Additionally, Ohio will utilize the PACmail email marketing solution to expand its communication and broaden its marketing reach to season ticket holders, donors, fans and students. PACmail will enable Ohio to tailor segmented messages to instantly reach season ticket holders, donors and fans to increase awareness of ticket sales, fundraising opportunities, promotions and upcoming events.

Michael Stephens, Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Operations at Ohio University, said:

We are excited to implement new technology powered by Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement and provide our customers with a seamless platform to purchase tickets and make donations,” said  “These solutions not only helps us sell more tickets and further brand the Ohio Bobcats, but it assists our fans with a positive buying experience and improved service.

In June Comcast Spectacor combined Paciolan and its two other divisions – Global Spectrum, and Ovations Food Services – to operate as Spectra, a singular, new brand. Dave Butler, Chief Executive Officer of Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement, said:

We are delighted to partner with Ohio University and provide them with integrated solutions to improve the fan and donor experience. We strive to deliver leading and innovative solutions that enable our partners to host memorable events and inspire them to engage their fans and donors, drive revenue, and build loyalty.

LA Galaxy appoint design company to complete rebrand of StubHub Center

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Reigning Major League Soccer (MLS) champions, Los Angeles Galaxy, have appointed design company Downstream to rebrand their home ground, StubHub Center.

The Portland-based firm will create new Galaxy-themed branding and graphics for the venue’s entryways, public plazas, concourses, stadium bowl, team store, and locker room tunnel.

The first phase of Downstream’s work is expected to be completed by July.

Galaxy President, Chris Klein, said:

Downstream has a holistic view of how things work in a stadium setting. StubHub Center is a hallowed ground for soccer in North America and this collaboration will continue to reinforce StubHub Center as the home of the Galaxy.

Katie Pandolfo, StubHub Center’s General Manager, added:

It was important to us to work with one of the preeminent stadium branding firms as we continue to grow and improve the experience at StubHub Center.

The stadium rebranding effort is part of a wider upgrade program that LA Galaxy and AEG announced back in October, which will see the club invest over US$15m to improve facilities and the fan experience at StubHub Center. Highlighting the multi-faceted improvements will be the largest LED video board in MLS, as well as dedicated locker rooms and training facilities for the Galaxy’s player development program, including LA Galaxy II and the LA Galaxy Academy.

See more at: http://www.soccerex.com/news/2015/03/la-galaxy-head-downstream-stadium-rebrand#sthash.NguVdWVP.dpuf

Melbourne Cricket Ground to take stadium technology and fan engagement to new levels

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Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) today unveiled plans to turn Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) into one of Australia’s most technically-advanced and connected stadiums for fans, members and stakeholders.

In conjunction with partners Cockram, IBM and Cisco, the MCC announced that it will progressively deliver a range of technology infrastructure during 2015. The solution will connect fans and improve the spectator experience, bringing them closer to the action as it happens. It includes:
•    A super-fast, secure, high-density Wi-Fi network in and around the stadium, allowing fans to access real-time and interactive content and to engage with other fans.
•    A state-of-the-art exterior LED lighting system that will enhance the visual appearance of the MCG and allow teams/clubs to personalise and theme the stadium for their fans.
•    A best-of-breed Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) system to deliver digital content to high-definition displays throughout the MCG, displaying information as it happens.
•    Best-in-class facilities for media and broadcasters that will enable faster supply of event content to fans around the world.

The works are the next phase in a AUD$45m investment by the MCC, which has already delivered the two largest, high-definition scoreboards in Australia and the next generation of high-definition television production facilities.

The project will deliver a cutting-edge, high-density Wi-Fi network inside the MCG, allowing fans, members and stakeholders fast access to the internet on any device at the stadium.

The IPTV solution will see installation of 800 high-definition screens. Fans will be able to watch high-definition replays and keep track of the action as it unfolds. Coupled with existing screens, a total of 2800 televisions around the stadium will mean that fans won’t miss a moment.

MCC CEO, Stephen Gough, said:

I am delighted that the MCG will soon be one of the most connected stadiums in the country. This is a significant investment to improve and personalise the MCG customer experience and also operate a more efficient stadium. This will take the fan experience to another level with significant improvements to the MCG’s connectivity. This increased capacity will be great news for the four million people who visit the MCG each year.

One of the central pillars of the MCG technology improvements surrounds the ability to ‘theme’ the stadium in the colours of the home team. Approximately 240 LED lamps will ‘light’ the entire underside of the upper area of Level 4 seating, enabling the exterior of the stadium to be lit up in team/club colours, allowing AFL and cricket tenants to differentiate their home matches, as Mr Gough advised:

Whether you are a Collingwood, Hawthorn or Melbourne Stars fan, you want to feel like you are at a home game. We can now add to that true home team feeling at the MCG.

LED strip lighting will also be installed on the exterior façade to highlight the stadium, including gate entrances. Improved external digital way finding signage will be provided in Yarra Park.

The MCC has assessed a number of the world’s best stadiums – including Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Metlife Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Citifield, AT&T Park, Levi’s Stadium, Emirates Stadium, Staples CenterCamp Nou and Wembley Stadium – to find a solution with the fans’ best interests in mind.

Mr Gough said:

We have witnessed new technologies in action elsewhere and we want to ensure the MCG remains one of the greatest stadiums in the world.

Cockram Construction has been engaged as head contractor of the project.

“We look forward to delivering a critical piece of technology infrastructure for the most iconic sporting stadium in the country,” said Cockram Managing Director, Malcolm Batten.

MCC appointed IBM as head technical contractor to design, evaluate technology options and implement the selected solution to further enable the delivery of fan engagement innovations.

Catherine Caruana-McManus, Director IBM Smarter Cities Australia, said:

The technology solution IBM has designed and is implementing will deliver the foundational backbone for MCC to future-proof Australia’s premier, world-renowned stadium. This work will enable MCC to take advantage of the latest mobile, social and analytics technologies. It will create unrivalled and personalised in-stadium fan engagement and ensure premier game day experiences, giving fans more reasons to visit more often.

IBM’s expertise in delivering world leading innovation and digital solutions for sport and entertainment industries will deliver new commercial possibilities and attract more world-class events to the MCG. 

IBM is excited to partner with MCC on this transformation journey.

Cisco Systems Director, Jonathon Dixon, said:

The MCG is an iconic global sporting venue, and the MCC is transforming the stadium into one of the most technologically advanced in the world with the help of Cisco Sports & Entertainment solutions.

We believe that as the Internet of Everything connects more people, processes, data and things, the fan experience will become more immersive, customised and engaging. We are thrilled to be working with leaders like the MCC and IBM on this project.

For further information, please visit www.mcg.org.au.
MCG Transformation_570

Kia Oval deploys venue management solution

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NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR), a global leader in consumer transaction technologies, announced this week that the Kia Oval cricket ground has chosen NCR and its channel partner, Centegra, to improve the food, drink and hospitality experience for supporters at its iconic cricket ground in central London, UK.

 

The Kia Oval has deployed NCR hospitality software and technology solutions that will be operated by Levy Restaurants UK, the sport, leisure and hospitality business of Compass Group UK & Ireland. This will allow the catering provider to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its operation at the stadium, thereby extending the customer experience and increasing profitability.
The Kia Oval has been the home of Surrey County Cricket Club (Surrey CCC) since its foundation in 1845, one of the UK’s leading cricket teams, and a regular venue for England international cricket fixtures. It is also one of London’s leading venues for exhibitions, conferences and weddings. Surrey CCC has a unique relationship with its supporters who expect the premium fan experience for which the Kia Oval is known.
Elliott Moore, General Manager Catering for Levy Restaurants UK at the Kia Oval said:

Cricket fans expect the best possible experience when they come to watch a match or attend an event at the Kia Oval. By investing in the future of the club and providing technology that facilitates a great fan experience, we are able to run our business more effectively and profitably. The software and hardware solutions provided by NCR and deployed by Centegra have helped make this a reality.

Selected for its strong UK presence and innovative solutions, NCR has deployed its NCR Venue Manager software that works seamlessly to manage and integrate a range of NCR’s latest point-of-sale (POS) solutions also installed by Kia Oval. NCR Venue Manager software is a proven and reliable solution designed specifically for stadia and arena. It enables food and beverage managers and venue operators to accurately integrate all their venue hospitality operations with consolidated real-time reporting. It also allows them to analyze and forecast event usage to boost their bottom line and maximize profitability.

 

Kevin Briggs, venue and arena business lead for Europe at NCR, added:

Fan loyalty is driven by the overall experience when they visit a stadium, such as Kia Oval. Great technology can help achieve this, thereby increasing revenues and the bottom line, and allowing operators to run their businesses more effectively. NCR is the leader in hospitality technology solutions with solutions deployed at over 250 stadia and arena around the world. We are focused on providing stadium operators, such as Surrey Cricket Club, with innovative software and hardware solutions that deliver significant value to their business and help provide a better experience for their fans.

NCR POS solutions deployed include ninety nine NCR QS710 POS, that provide a rugged, reliable solution for fast moving environments, such as cricket grounds. The versatile POS features ease-of-use for operators, fast and secure payment processing and the ability to operate on mobile kiosks. Kia Oval has also deployed the powerful Q1515 POS for its high-volume front of house operations where more diverse menus are offered.
Centegra, a NCR Interact Partner that lead the deployment of NCR technology at the Kia Oval, has been working with NCR for more than 15 years in the UK, specializing on hospitality solutions for stadium and arena.

 

Tom Bell, Managing Director at Centegra Ltd commented:

The stadium environment has very specific requirements for hospitality technology, as systems may not be used for several weeks and are then required to perform at the highest level. This includes massive peaks in the breaks, when the tills must work. That is why NCR’s innovative POS technology is so valuable to a venue like Kia Oval, as its reliability is phenomenal, it boots up instantaneously and can work off line without dependence. So whatever else is happening in the stadium the POS operates seamlessly and customers will get served.

Churchill Downs capital improvement project enhances owners’ experience

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Churchill Downs Racetrack plans to enhance the experience for owners that start horses in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and the Longines Kentucky Oaks through a $4.2 million capital improvement project that includes the construction of 20 private, open-air, all-inclusive Winner’s Circle Suites in a premium location under the Twin Spires between the sixteenth pole and finish line.

The notable project also includes a remodelled Trackside Winner’s Circle and the creation of a new Courtyard that will accommodate temporary premium seating during Derby Week while providing a relaxed park-like setting for everyday racing fans. Kevin Flanery, Churchill Downs Racetrack President, said:

There are many wonderful seating options at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks but these new Winner’s Circle Suites are where anyone who has ever owned or dreamed of owning a racehorse wants to be.

We’re thrilled to make this investment and truly thank our Derby and Oaks owners by creating an exclusive area that will provide more complimentary tickets, food and beverage and other extraordinary amenities than ever before.

Construction on the $4.2 million project will begin in December after the conclusion of the Fall Meet, and will be complete before the start of the 2015 Spring Meet on Saturday, April 25, 2015.

Churchill Downs is currently working with architectural firm Populous on the project designs.

Churchill Downs has retained PC Sports, a division of Texas-based Raba Kistner, Inc., to assist in the project’s management. A General Contractor for the project has not yet been selected.

The new and exclusive Winner’s Circle Suites will be conveniently located adjacent to the Trackside Winner’s Circle with easy access to the racetrack and paddock runway with minimised congestion. The number of complimentary tickets for all participating owners in the Derby and Oaks will be tripled to 18 tickets for their respective race day.

The Winner’s Circle Suites will feature comfortable undercover seating with in-venue wagering options and full-service hospitality, including a premium open bar and gourmet food. Also, guests will have access to an indoor, semi-private hospitality area and restrooms exclusive to the venue. All areas of the project will be accessible for persons with mobility disabilities.

In prior years, owners of Oaks and Derby horses received a complimentary six-person box in Section 318, food and beverage hospitality in a separate area overlooking the paddock, and the opportunity to purchase two additional boxes in 318. Should owners require additional seating in 2015 beyond the 18 complimentary tickets provided, they may still purchase an additional box of six seats in Section 318.

The project is the latest investment by Churchill Downs to upgrade and enhance its historic racing and entertainment facility. More than $178 million has been devoted in the last decade to enrich the on-track experience, including: a sweeping Clubhouse and Grandstand renovation (2005); permanent lights (2010); the Plaza/Plaza Balcony (2012); The Mansion (2013); The Parlay (2013); the Grandstand Terrace (2014); and the world’s largest 4K ultra-high definition Big Board with an enhanced sound system (2014).

The new Winner’s Circle Suites and Courtyard will be constructed in a premium location of the facility by converting what are now box seats in Section 118 and 119 Clubhouse on the south side of the paddock runway, and bleacher seats in Section 119 Grandstand and one-third of Section 120 Grandstand on the paddock runway’s north side. Total seating in the areas before renovation was 3,345, and the new space will accommodate more than 1,800.

The Courtyard, a family-friendly green space that will create a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere for everyday racing, will be a spacious lawn area in front of the new Winner’s Circle Suites. For Derby Week, more than 600 temporary premium seats will be configured in traditional rows and aisles with padded chairs, and those guests will have access to an exclusive hospitality space with an all-inclusive menu and restrooms. Seating in the existing Sections 218-219 will have access to the hospitality space, as well.

The versatile Courtyard also will be utilised to enrich the experience of big-event days throughout the rest of the year, including Downs After Dark night racing and Family Adventure Days.

Select guests that are affected by the Winner’s Circle Suites and Courtyard Project are in the process of being contacted personally by track officials, and every effort will be made to relocate those guests to a comparable area. Additionally, those guests can opt to upgrade their seating packages with new inventory, including more availability in Section 318, or premium areas that include food and beverage hospitality.

The new Courtyard seats for Derby Week will be offered to existing customers first. Any remaining inventory will be sold to the general public through an online sale in mid-November. The deadline to register for the online sale at KentuckyDerby.com/Tickets has been extended to Friday, Nov. 7.

Guests seated in most sections, including the new Winner’s Circle Suites and Courtyard, will have unobstructed views of the racetrack and the Big Board, which is 171-feet wide, 90-feet tall and towers 80-feet above the ground to top out at 170 feet high.

The Trackside Winner’s Circle will be remodelled and repositioned directly next to the paddock runway on the south side to create more space for winning horses, their connections and other dignitaries.

 

 

 

Diary: IAVM stadiums hybrid meeting 23 October – Sofa vs. stadium

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IAVM is holding a Stadiums Hybrid Meeting on the topic of how do stadiums keep the fans coming out to events? Presented by industry veterans, this hybrid meeting will explore these challenges and highlight some of the innovative approaches sports teams, event promoters and stadium operators are taking to make the in-stadium experience something fans do not want to miss. There are three ways to join the meeting:

View the live streaming video of the meeting – Watch the presentation live from the convenience of your office.

In-person at the broadcasting stadium, the AT&T Center in Arlington, Texas (pictured, photo: GE) – Registration for this option includes lunch, the live presentation and a stadium tour.

In-person at a satellite stadium – In Georgia, host sites are the Georgia Dome and Georgia State University in Atlanta, and Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw. In Arizona, the host sites are the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, the Golf Academy of America in Chandler, and Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. Registration for this option includes a live video stream of the meeting, networking and a venue tour.

New Orleans Arena lights up ahead of All-Star hosting

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US arenas hosting pro sport are gearing up for next year. New Orleans Arena has installed a 360-degree LED video/ribbon display approximately 924 feet long by 1.6 feet high in the centre area between the seating levels. The arena will host the 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend. Pelicans President Dennis Lauscha, said:

When fans come to a Pelicans game, we want them to have a unique, exciting experience. Panasonic’s custom plan for the New Orleans Arena will enhance fan engagement and make coming to Pelicans games even more enjoyable and interactive for fans.

Richard Ballard, Vice President of Sales for Panasonic Eco Solutions North America (the supplier) said:

To integrate the new system components into the existing legacy control system, Panasonic had custom-sized top-service cabinets manufactured – just another way we provide solutions to meet the needs of our customers.

The programming will include local and national sponsor messages, audience participation features and game highlights. The system will be installed by a local contractor, Citadel Builders, L.L.C., the general contractor for the project. By integrating the display with the legacy control system, the LED boards can be synchronised with the existing displays in the arena for a richer fan experience.

The New Orleans Arena, completed in 1999 at a cost of $114 million, offers up to 19,000 seats for events. The arena is the home to the New Orleans Pelicans, the city’s NBA basketball team. In addition to sporting events, the arena is also a popular venue for concerts, trade shows and conventions.

Daytona envisions stadium atmosphere for motorsport

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International Speedway Corporation (ISC), parent company of historic Daytona International Speedway, is transforming the nearly mile-long grandstand into a brand new experience for fans, media, sponsors, drivers and employees. The project, dubbed DAYTONA Rising: Reimagining an American Icon, is scheduled for completion in January 2016 and being carried out in partnership with the design build team of ROSSETTI and Barton Malow.

ROSSETTI began working with ISC through extensive visioning workshops to determine new design themes, programming of the grandstand and master planning of the site. Barton Malow joined the team to lead the design build project. The challenge: transition 50 years of history at the venue into a modern venue for the next 50 years.

According to ROSSETTI Principal in Charge, Jim Renne, the firm analysed extensive customer research to develop the key components for the redevelopment:

What fans want from their in-venue experience has changed dramatically in the last 15 years. Besides the modern amenities, they want to experience a sports community and social atmosphere that they can’t get anywhere else. We will give them that experience.

Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said:

The team of ROSSETTI and Barton Malow make ideal partners for the historic DAYTONA Rising project – the single largest investment in our company’s history. We will work together over the next three years to bring our fans, partners, community and the industry a unique experience unmatched in motorsports. We’re looking forward to the kick-off of this project and its completion in 2016.

The vision for the DIS redevelopment emphasises a complete street-to-seat fan experience.The architectural design of the grandstand is a visual and experiential interpretation of racing itself that will immerse fans in the experience. In place of the current grandstand will be a modern, 120-feet high structure that spans nearly a mile along the front straightaway. The design creates a modern stadium-like atmosphere by using contemporary forms and materials.

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Sponsors will have the opportunity to create a brand immersion experience at each of the five new entrances (‘injectors’) along International Speedway Boulevard. Escalators will deliver fans to ‘neighbourhood’ social areas – each the size of a football field. The central neighbourhood, the World Center of Racing, will celebrate the history of Daytona International Speedway and its many historic moments throughout more than 50 years of racing.

The DAYTONA Rising project provides a series of construction challenges with the replacement of seating, re-construction of the Sprint tower, added amenities throughout the concourse, and improved access/egress walkways for fans – all of which will take place in between hosted race events over the next three years.

Daytona Rising facts and figures.

Daytona Rising facts and figures.

More than half of US pro sport venues use comms software

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ISS 24/7 has reached a new milestone with over 50% of the National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), National Basketball Association (NBA), and Major League Baseball (MLB) sports facilities now using its facility management and text messaging communications software.

In 2008, ISS 24/7 released the first version of its two-way text messaging software to the Miami Dolphins. Following the recent acquisition of the Los Angeles Angels and the Los Angeles Dodgers, ISS 24/7 is now the provider of facility management and text messaging communications software to over 50% of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States. said Scott Meyers, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, said:

“We developed a strategy early on to make every new client a member of our development team. We understood that the direction of our software should be guided by the best minds in the industry. After all, it’s the stadium operators that know best what is needed and wanted to help manage their buildings and events.”

ISS says that it encourages a permanent relationship that cultivates feedback and recommendations from clients and industry experts to help it develop the intuitiveness of the software, its ability to improve communication and reduce risk for facilities and venues.

In addition to its presence in over 50% of the four major professional sports leagues, ISS 24/7 software is now implemented in over 50 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) stadiums and arenas , and over 90% of the tracks where the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) Sprint Cup Series races are held. ISS 24/7 has also supplied venues outside the USA such as the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and the O2 Arena in London.

 

The Miami Dolphins organisation was the first to use ISS24/7 software.

The Miami Dolphins organisation was the first to use ISS 24/7 software.