New Oracle survey shows sports and music fans are ready to get back in the stands if venues enact safety precautions and rethink concessionsAustin, Texas—March 23, 2021
Last year was rough on stadium goers, some (21%) even cried over missing their favorite sports and concerts, according to a new Oracle Food and Beverage survey of 1,000 consumers in the United States. Moreover, they can’t wait to go back. Thirty-two percent of people plan to return to stadiums immediately and 54% within the first four months after stadiums reopen.
But this enthusiasm comes with caveats. Fifty-six percent of respondents said social distancing measures should remain in place with stadiums operating at a reduced capacity. Many also want operators to rethink concessions, such as offering in-seat delivery to reduce crowded lines, and are willing to pay more for that option.
“From season ticket holders to casual fans, consumers are looking forward to the return of in-person events, but like so many industries, sports and entertainment won’t return to the status quo for some time, if ever,” said Simon de Montfort Walker, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Food and Beverage. “Operators have worked hard during the shutdown to create better, safer experiences that customers not only want but have come to expect. Technology will play a key role in the evolution of the 360-degree fan experience.”
The survey, conducted by Untold Insights in January 2021, polled 3,000 consumers in the US, United Kingdom and Australia on their sentiment towards returning to stadiums this year. Access the complete Back in the Arena: Consumer trends in AU, UK and US report here.
Almost everyone (83%) missed attending live events, but some took their absence harder than others:
Ninety-three percent of consumers surveyed said they were nostalgic about stadium food – but many want operators to rethink current models. On average, consumers don’t want to wait more than nine minutes for food and beverage, both for safety reasons and because they don’t want to miss the event.
Nearly half of consumers want to skip the line altogether:
Many consumers would prefer to place their order before they arrive at the stadium:
The 360-degree fan experience will extend outside the arena as consumers are increasingly interested in “making a day of it.” In fact, 59% of consumers said that personalized offers and promotions for nearby restaurants/bars would impact their likelihood to go out before or after the event.
“The 360-degree fan experience starts before fans arrive and extends well beyond the park,” said Joe Rembold, Technical Innovation at Delaware North Companies. “Building partnerships and introducing ways to leverage technology to engage all our fans will simultaneously improve their experience and create new revenue streams.”
More than 30 major pro sports franchises rely on Delaware North to provide their fans with dining and concessions at their home venue. Hear Rembold talk more about the 360-degree fan experience at the SportsTechie ‘State of the Industry’ event on March 24.
In addition, although many people are eager to experience events in person again, not everyone plans to rejoin the crowds immediately. The survey found that 25% of event goers have no plans to return in 2021. This holds particularly true for Baby Boomers, 43% of whom plan to stay away this year.
Extending the fan experience to connect and engage fans everywhere requires new engagement models:
Download the full Back in the Arena: AU, UK and US consumer trends report.
Oracle Food and Beverage, formerly MICROS, brings 40 years of experience in providing software and hardware solutions to restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs, coffee shops, cafes, stadiums, and theme parks. Thousands of operators, both large and small, around the world are using Oracle technology to deliver exceptional guest experiences, maximize sales, and reduce running costs.
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