Smart Stadiums Change the Game for Fans at Home and in the Stands

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Here’s what’s is in store for the future of live entertainment and sports. Don’t miss out!

How was your first live, major league sporting event?

I grew up as far away as I could from sports, but going to my first baseball game at age 18 changed all of that.

There was something about actually being there that impressed me; the sight of tens of thousands of fans, the noise of their passing and cheering, and the size of the field all gave me a love of the game that I’ve held onto ever since.

It made me a fan.

For the MLB, that means I’m a cash cow.

I do not begrudge them for it if, and only if it keeps the sport alive and relevant to mainstream culture.

The nostalgia I built for sports will have to come to newer generations in new ways. For those on the cutting edge of technology, as I was some years ago, VR and the smart stadium will make sports personally important.

Forget About the Skybox

The future of being a sports fan is going to be great, and it’s a pretty good example of what you get when you embrace of the Internet of Things.

Soon, sports fans will love the #smartstadium and #VRbroadcast.Click To Tweet

Let’s start with the NBA, which has arguably the most high-tech sports experience offered to its fans.

We told you back in December of 2016 that the NBA had partnered up with Second Spectrum to add an AR/VR component to their broadcasts, and my hope for front-seat VR viewing has been a mainstay in conversations ever since.

Luckily, I was right, but a VR broadcast is just the tip of the iceberg compared to the rest that the NBA has planned.

For example, take a look at what Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé has planned for the Golden 1 Center, perhaps one of the world’s premier smart stadiums.

smart stadiums
Golden 1 Center | the Sacramento Kings | NBA.com

Ranadivé calls it the ‘Tesla of sports stadiums’ because of its focus on delivering a high-tech fan experience.

This king among smart stadiums has everything from security robots to remotely controlled concession stands, and the cherry on top is that it’s actually saving the team money through apps designed to control inventory and pricing.

According to Ranadivé everything is controlled via a room they call ‘mission control’ where screens displaying all parts of the business give up to date information on everything from security to traffic flow near the arena.

With this kind of information feed, the stadium can optimize the numerous aspects that make the experience possible for the fans, but the benefits extend far beyond the walls of the stadium itself.

With this kind of information feed, the stadium can optimize the numerous aspects that make the experience exceptional for fans, but the benefits extend far beyond the walls of the stadium itself.

Smart Stadiums and Another Good Platform for VR

I’ll admit that I’ve mostly considered VR tech in terms of what it can do for gaming and education, but the entertainment industry as a whole stands to reap lots of benefits from VR.

The NBA is a star example–with their embrace of VR broadcasts. I was hoping that the future would bring me a front row seat from my couch, and this delivers pretty much any perspective I can think of including behind the net.

It isn’t just basketball, either.

The MLB has their own VR experience called At Bat VR, and while At Bat doesn’t give you all the fancy perspectives, it does display its own ‘command center’ style stat readout, making it the method of choice for stat nerds everywhere to view games.

smart stadiums

And what about the rock bands and pop stars of the world?

They’ll be playing in the same augmented, smart stadiums, and offering live music events via VR will be a perfect way to edge out scalpers and sell more tickets.

Combine that with the recent moves by companies like Ticketmaster and LiveNation to target advertisements of unsold tickets to potential buyers and we may well be seeing the end of scalping as we know it altogether.

This is a big step for VR and the IoT in general.

I hope that the Golden 1 Center shines brightly in the coming days as an example for all stadiums to follow because I want to have a whole new reason to love my favorite sports and live shows. It may be a big gamble for the Sacramento Kings, but if it pays off then we’re all going to benefit.

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