Spring signals sport in this nation, in case you haven't noticed. Last year, Belden helped Accu-Tech describe the top trends in Sports after the Wireless migration that occurred in 2020. Since then, live streaming services have only become more critical to dedicated fanbases.
Accu-Tech wants to help your venue, whatever size it might be, to improve overall fan experience. Sports will only continue to demand more Wireless capabilities from the facilities their players perform in. No matter the game - softball, soccer, or basketball - viewers and attendees should have access to a safe and seamless experience.
- Having a Smooth and Seamless Experience
Sports fans want to avoid gameday stressors. Accessing mobile tickets, waiting in lines, and locating the public restroom are all examples of potential challenges for fans, depending on the infrastructure of the venue.
As a result, technologies like custom mobile applications are becoming more popular. Custom mobile apps can allow fans to do things like purchase tickets before their favorite game, find parking directions, and view real-time density mapping. Some apps even let fans order food and merchandise directly from their seats! With the help of mobile applications, venues can have more visibility into what individual fans want and need during the big game day.
Additionally, venues are becoming cashless environments, a trend that signals how sports fans would rather swap out cash for a credit card or digital wallet. All in all, integrated technologies have allowed venues to sell more tickets, food, beverages, and merchandise in less time than ever before.
- Feeling Safe and Secure Inside of the Venue
Safety is undoubtedly a priority for sports fans. The good news is that there are plenty of technologies available for venues to provide state-of-the-art access control and security to benefit the safety of every person that enters the venue.
Surveillance cameras, digital signage, and a first-responder communication system are just a few examples of Security solutions that can be put in place to protect fans, players, and employees in the event of an emergency.
Unfortunately, it’s also essential to consider cybersecurity, as establishing a secure network will not only protect fans’ and players' data, but will also prevent damages from ransomware and external breaches.
Beyond physical security and cybersecurity, Belden suggests arenas consider how they might be called upon to transform into a shelter after a natural disaster, a voting site before an election, or, like most recently, a pop-up vaccination site. Therefore, the security technology and network infrastructure in sports venues need to be adaptable enough to support any type of situation.
3. Having Uninterrupted Access to Wi-Fi and Connected Devices
Let's be honest... Sports fans go to venues to connect with other sports fans, whether it's live, in-person, or on Instagram Live. They want to be able to sit comfortably in the arena, and still connect to the broader fanbase online, because connectivity has always been a key part of the beloved game day experience. How else can they tag their favorite players online mid-game?
Applications like Wi-Fi 6E, 5G, and CBRS will be necessary for facilities to adapt because they'll give attendees the ultimate ability to connect online. In order to support higher bandwidth, faster speeds, and lower latency, many stadiums will need to upgrade their distributed antenna systems (DASs).
- Enjoying In-Venue Entertainment
Last but not least, fans want to be entertained in a unique and engaging way. In-venue content production boosts fan engagement by using mixed reality and 8K cameras for high quality angles and replays.
To support more customized experiences, technology will need to continue evolving. Better second-screen experiences, for example, will pave the way for a more accessible game-day for all sports fans.