Sports venues have come a long way in the last few decades. In the next few years, we could start to see even more changes as smart technology, automation and 5G become more established. Below are some of the big tech transformations currently happening right now in sports venues across the world.
While many sports venues have abandoned paper tickets, some are still yet to fully embrace the possibilities of mobile tickets. Many stadiums are now developing apps that not only allow users to easily scan their ticket, but also allows users to easily locate their seat and even order food and drink. As sports ticket prices continue to rise, spectators will want more for their money – a digital ticket app could be one way of easily enriching the experience.
Sports venues have previously struggled to handle the internet demands of a crowd of people – especially in the last few years now that most of us own smartphones. 5G is changing all of this, allowing faster internet speeds and greater levels of connectivity. This will help to push forward technologies such as smart ticketing. Many venues have been racing to install 5G infrastructures throughout the pandemic – 2021 could be the year when truly experience 5G’s capabilities.
Many sports venues have been upping their amount of screens. In fact, the recently opened SoFi stadium in California has 2500 screens. This is certain to improve the viewing experience for crowds. With the added technology of television automation, we could also start to see many other changes to the way in which televisions are used in sports venues (as well as the way in which the game is broadcasted around the world).
Augmented reality (AR) has many exciting possibilities. AR companies already have plans to implement AR in stadiums, allowing spectators to view scoreboards and player info on their phone while viewing the game. There have even been plans to unveil AR games in stadiums. 5G will be the catalyst for this technology – until now it has been largely impossible to use AR in a crowded stadium because of the internet demands.
Some sports venues have already started using drones to take aerial live footage of games. It’s cheaper than using a helicopter and allows cameras to be used more flexibly. In the future, we could start to see automated drones flying around stadiums recording footage. Others have proposed the idea of using drones purely for surveillance around stadiums – automated drones may be able to detect intruders, which could reduce the need for as much manned surveillance.
Forget retractable roofs. White Hart Lane Stadium in the UK recently became the first football stadium to implement a retractable pitch. This allows the stadium to be easily converted for other uses such as music concerts and other performances. More proposals for retractable pitches have already been made by other stadiums.