Jan 26, 2017

Millennials Will Force Sports Venues to Rethink the Upper Deck

Thanks to millennials, sports venues need to shuffle the plans for the upper deck.

Don Muret of Sports Business Journal recently explored what he calls “Venues 3.0” — the ways sports venues are not simply downsizing but adapting to new attitudes, habits and expectations of generations of younger fans.

New buildings and older facilities built in the ‘90s are competing with the home theater experience and other activities. They’re adjusting, Muret reports, to a millennial generation more interested in socializing than watching the game itself.

This is especially true for seats in the upper deck where the cost is high for construction, the opportunities for revenue are lower and fans are further from the action. Designers, therefore, are challenged with finding ways to make the upper bowl profitable.

The challenge, though, is that today’s upper deck fans have different expectations than their parents:

“In many cases, the younger generation and how it consumes a sports event is driving the need for change and a reduction of upper-deck seats. For those in their 20s and 30s, the focus is on having a shared experience at a live event instead of the game itself being the center of attention.”

That tidbit about the shared experience excites the teams at Advent for the future of sports venues. Advent believes Brand Loyalty is Forged in Shared Experiences. Therefore creating opportunities for fans to engage in social moments — both in real time and through a mobile device — creates bonds between fans and teams, customers and brands.

Through design, venues must play an active role in fostering these moments that create shared experiences.

“We believe as storytellers that — more than visuals on a wall — we want to create moments where fans can interact with a story, where they can interact with a brand and a story,” says Brad Jones, Advent’s vice president of design. “We try to create photo opportunities, Instagrammable moments that allows me to insert myself into that story.”