Creating the stadium of tomorrow is an interdisciplinary task. Architects, designers, engineers, communications experts and ecologists are being called on to conceive of and build the stadium of the future. Many modern stadium concepts are part of the “smart city.” In a society dominated by information and communication technology, these areas will also play a role in the stadium of the future.
The fan experience in the smart stadium
A variety of ideas about the stadium experience fall into the category of digitalization. One thing is certain, though: the stadium experience is changing. The first successful projects have already been completed. Here are three of them.
Holograms: not quite live, but still in the middle of it all
The first hologram press conference was held in May 2017. Four coaches from four European soccer clubs held the conference in a virtual space, with each coach being projected from a different European city. The hologram press conference marks the beginning of a development that could be used for a number of other aspects of the stadium experience. Take the Champions League quarterfinal, for example. A team could travel to its opponent’s stadium, while fans gather at their home stadium to cheer them on. All made possible by hologram technology. A hologram Michael Jackson concert held after the artist’s death and attended by thousands of fans shows just how far the technology has come https.
Smart seat: the luxury fan experience
A smart stadium seat should feel like traveling in first class: a comfortable seat, a touchscreen right next to you, and a variety of entertainment programs and information about the game. Second screen options, just like at home but in the special, unique stadium atmosphere. It’s not something that would be appropriate in all areas of the stadium, but it will certainly find a place in the business segment.
For many other fans, this additional information and the possibility of following the game from different angles on head-mounted displays may soon become a reality.
The StadiumVision concept familiar to soccer fans in Munich and Leverkusen is also used at Madrid’s Bernabéu Stadium, London’s Wembley Stadium and Amsterdam ArenA, among others. The main purpose of the concept is to create the modern fan experience: a wireless internet network in the stadium lets fans follow game stats, watch video replays and retrieve much more information. It makes it easier for the club and fans to interact. The technology could also be of financial interest to clubs, which could use it to sell jerseys on impulse, for example.
Always a classic: hot dogs at halftime
The smart stadium also has something to offer fans who are more interested in satisfying basic human needs during halftime than finding out more about the game. Fans can use technology to reliably locate which restrooms are the least popular and which concession stands have the shortest lines.
Nothing is impossible
There are many more possibilities for fans, from helping to choose jersey colors to picking the right lineup. It’s also increasingly likely that players will someday be equipped with mini cameras to allow us to watch the game from their perspective. Spectators will also be able to pull up stats about the player’s fitness. To be continued…
The energy-producing stadium
Stadiums of the future will set new standards in energy use and renewable technologies. Engineers are hard at work on new materials for stadium construction. In addition to renewable building materials, other possibilities include cement bricks “grown” using bacteria and sidewalks made of panels that convert spectators’ steps into electricity.
The idea is for arenas to be both consumers and producers – “outsourced” power plants, storage, and substations for electricity used elsewhere.
These stadiums are considered pioneers in innovative stadium technology. They have found solutions to future issues in energy, security, sustainable water use and renewable building materials.
Amsterdam ArenA, Netherlands
Amsterdam ArenA is an example of best practices in connecting stadiums to the smart city. A storage system was developed to make power management for the arena more efficient, sustainable and reliable. It relies on 280 used batteries from electric cars, which act as an emergency power supply. At some point in the future, they will replace the stadium’s diesel generators. The batteries will then be able to deliver four megawatts of power, and store the same amount. Amsterdam ArenA is on its way to becoming the world’s first stadium to be entirely independent from fossil fuels.
Allianz Riviera, Nice/France
Combined energy: solar energy is often combined with other initiatives to create a hybrid green solution. Allianz Riviera uses a solar installation consisting of 4,000 panels to cover its energy use. Designers also invested a lot of time in making the stadium sustainable. Wood is built into the structure. A ventilation system allows wind to flow through the building to cool it – a technique used back in Roman times. The roof collects and stores rainwater to water the field.
Sport City Stadium Doha, Qatar
Stadion Estadio Chivas, Mexiko
Mexico, too, has its own environmentally friendly stadium, which recycles rainwater and uses wind power. The stadium is designed to blend into the local flora and fauna as best as possible, which is why grass is planted on its exterior walls.
Siena Stadium, Italy
Forest Green Rovers Stadium, England
Estadio da Luz, Lisbon/Portugal