The vast majority of sports stadiums are designed for the teams, not the fans. This means that when fans visit a stadium they are forced to endure uncomfortable seating, obstructed views and long lines in order to have an enjoyable experience. To help create a better fan experience at stadiums and sports arenas, we offer some simple design tweaks that will make attending games more enjoyable.
1. Make it easy to find your seat
It’s a common problem for fans who attend games at stadiums that are older than they are: They can’t find their seats. Or if they can, it takes far longer than it should. The reason is simple: the stadium was built before the days of mobile phones and online ticketing, so finding your seat requires you to navigate through a sea of people and signage that all look alike. It’s no wonder that some fans give up and just sit wherever they can find an open spot.
The solution? Indoor mapping. A modern stadium needs to be designed with the way we use our phones today in mind. It needs to be possible to enter the stadium with your phone and know exactly where you need to go — whether you’re looking for your seat or a place to sit while waiting for friends.
This is one of the most important things that any stadium can do! Not only does making stadiums complete with indoor maps enable fans to find their seats without getting lost, but it also helps them find their way around the stadium more easily. So if you’re designing a new stadium, make sure you include indoor mapping so that fans can use their phones when they want to explore the place on their own.
2. Get rid of those obstructed views
I had never been inside U.S. Bank Stadium before attending the Vikings-Bears game on November 5, 2017 (and I was surprised by what I found). While many stadiums have some obstructed views (particularly those with massive video boards), U.S. Bank Stadium is unique because there are large sections where even if you pay hundreds of dollars per ticket, you won’t see anything but a wall of luxury boxes and/or a giant video board blocking your view of the field.
This is not only unfortunate for fans who buy these tickets, but also bad business practice because it means that thousands of people will be angry when they arrive at their seats — angry enough that they may leave early or not come back again in the future after experiencing such poor sight lines from their seats.
In addition, teams could lose money on concessions sales from angry fans who don’t watch as much of the game as they would otherwise have done had they been able to see most of it from their seats – not exactly an optimal situation for any team trying to win over new fans or sell more tickets!
3. Provide shade for everyone
It’s nice when fans have access to shade during hot summer days at outdoor stadiums, but there are times when shade is just as important for fans sitting in cold weather. And while some teams have started providing shelter for their fans, others could learn a thing or two from them.
For example, U.S. Bank Stadium has only one large canopy over its main concourse that provides some protection against rain and snow — yet this canopy is located far away from most of the seats on either side of the field! If I were an NFL player playing in Minnesota in November or December, I wouldn’t want my fans freezing while watching me play. So why would any team do this?
4. Make sure concessions are close by
While it’s great if concession stands are near every section of seats in a stadium (that way you don’t have to walk too far), it’s even better if they aren’t too far away! A good rule of thumb: Fans shouldn’t need more than 10 minutes (or less) between buying food and eating it (and ideally 5 minutes or less).
This means that concession stands should be placed close enough together so that fans don’t need to walk very far – and if they do, then there should be plenty of space for people waiting in line. In addition, stadiums with multiple levels should make sure that concession stands on different levels can easily communicate with each other so that food can be delivered quickly and efficiently – especially during big games when queues can get quite long!
5. Use Indoor Mapping with Digital Queues to Keep Fans Moving
Digital queues are one of my favorite innovations in sports stadiums, because they help keep people moving and reduce bottlenecks at concession stands and restrooms. They work by giving people in line an estimated time for when they will be able to get into the game or use the restroom (so there’s no need for long lines). And once people get close enough to the front of the line, the digital queue sends them a text message asking them if they want to continue waiting or go somewhere else instead.
This is great because it gives fans more control over what they are doing while waiting in line – which reduces delays even more! In addition, some stadiums have added indoor mapping into their digital queues so that fans can see exactly where they are in line at all times.
This makes it possible for everyone in line to know how much longer it will take before they reach the front — which means less frustration and more happiness! It also makes it easier for concession stand workers to know how many people are still waiting so that they can prepare accordingly. If you’re designing a new stadium, consider adding both indoor mapping and digital queues so that your new stadium becomes known as one of the best fan experiences in sports!
6. Don’t limit WiFi access
This is another important thing that any stadium can do! Not only does providing free WiFi help fans stay connected with the outside world, but it also helps them share their experience with others when they get home.
This is good for everyone involved because more people will want to attend games in the future if they know they can use their phones at the stadium.