5 ways technology is enhancing the live sports experience – for better or for worse?

“The sole purpose of a sports venue is to entertain the fan”.

So said a leading US exec in the industry and seemingly sitting on the grassy hill with a meat pie and beer is becoming  a distant memory in watching live sport. For those that yearn for the good old days hang on to your picnic blankets because here are 5 ways technology is changing the live fan experience.

  1. 2016 sees more than 1000 “Smart Seats” in Etihad stadium where the seat holder will have personal use of their own tablet to watch live, high definition replays as well as access to other sporting channels to keep up to date with what else is going on elsewhere. For the younger fans Nickelodeon will be available.
  2. Back in 2011 Super Bowl viewers were already able to view a 360 degree tour of the Dallas Cowboys stadium, receive real time player stats and watch replays via their mobile devices. The future (and present) use of mobile devices includes viewing stadium maps to locate the nearest amenities and receiving real time player stats by pointing the device at the athelete in action.
  3. Wimbledon 2016 will introduce Android/IOS apps allowing attendees to customise the “Plan Your Visit” feature to receive a countdown to events and specific info and news about the matches they plan to attend as well as a social media slideshow of action from the day. For those playing at home similar apps will also be available.
  4. In the US many venues already enable fans in premium seats to check out  a menu and order food and drinks via their mobile device to be delivered straight to their seat or collected at a VIP window avoiding those lengthy queues. Alternatively you can check in to see how long the queue to the loos is (to minimise missing that crucial moment while otherwise occupied).
  5. “Loaded tickets” are already in use in Australia allowing fans to load up value on their ticket and simply scan it when purchasing F&B and merchandise – avoiding the need for cash or using ATM facilities and decreasing wait time in queues.

So sees the brand new world of watching live sport in an effort to appeal to a new demographic, lure fans off their comfy couches and develop further revenue streams.

But in a society where we are already glued, if  not addicted, to checking in on our devices will all this technology enhance the experience or create a generation of sports fans who are too busy watching their mobile to experience truly goose-bump, history making moments to pass on to generations to come?


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