Back in the Arena

For many people, nearly a year has passed since their last outing to a major sports or music event. But while caution remains the norm as COVID-19 continues to impact lives around the globe, new research by Oracle shows that the public longs for a return to stadiums and arenas.

Sports and Entertainment Consumer Trends

People have really missed live events, and their desire to get back out has intensified in the last six months.

82% of people who used to attend live events say that they miss the experience and a staggering 85% are nostalgic for stadium food.

The good news is that consumers are more optimistic than ever about the return to live events: more than a quarter of people now say they will attend live events as soon as they are able to. This is a huge improvement over last year and marks a positive shift in consumer confidence.

% of UK & US consumers that plan to go back to stadiums soon as they're deemed safe

This isn’t true for all groups and it doesn’t mean that events should look exactly the same as in pre-pandemic times.

Age greatly influences who is ready to make the return to live events. Of all the age demographics, baby boomers are the least likely to make an immediate return to live events, with nearly 50% saying they would abstain for the time being. And over half of all respondents were keen to keep social distancing measures in place, even once mass gatherings are deemed safe again.

Boomers are the largest generation planning to stay away this year

The future of stadiums

Our new research shows that fans are counting on stadiums to provide a 360° digital experience that helps customers plan their trip ahead of time. Providing self-service options to fans makes attendees feel in control of their experience, and creates a lasting impact beyond the event itself. This will play a huge role in boosting stadium attendance in the coming year.

Our 360-degree stadium experience

Our 360° stadium experience

Create a connected experience for your customer starts before they step foot in the stadium. Every step of the journey, from pre-event planning to enjoying the game live must be consistent across your tech stack.

Let visitors plan ahead

Before the event

Let visitors plan ahead

Customers may be ready to return, but many aren't comfortable playing it by ear—they want to be able to plan their itinerary and experience ahead of time in order to reduce stress on the day. Our research shows customers like having options for things like planning their trip, preordering concessions, and more.

Inside the stadium

Make customers feel like VIPs

In these uncertain times, customers crave convenience. Stadium owners have a huge opportunity to invest in technology like self-service kiosks, and mobile payments for stadium concessions that makes visitors feel like VIPs. Offering these premium experiences gives people the freedom to create their ideal stadium experience and encourages fans to enjoy game day their way.

Inside the stadium
Adapt to new standards

Enjoying the show

Adapt to new standards

Social distancing practices aren't going anywhere soon—many fans now expect these new standards to be available when they return. Our research shows fans are willing to pay more money to skip lines and have food delivered directly to their seat. Now is the time to invest in technology that gives visitors a sense of control.

After the event

Extend your reach

Avoiding close contact with large crowds will be a main priority for fans in the coming year. Customers who are keen to avoid peak times and crowd bottlenecks will be looking for additional food and leisure options.

Building a partner network of bars and restaurants in your area that are located at strategic transport locations will be key to creating additional revenue streams.

Extend your reach
Provide at-home experiences

Beyond the stadium

Provide at-home experiences

While the past year has been a challenge, our new normal has opened up a world of possibilities. Many expressed interest in things like drone deliveries, game-day packages, and more. One thing is for sure, fans are excited about what the future of sports could look like.

Back in the arena: Sports and entertainment consumer trends across Australia, UK and US

Independent study conducted by Untold, a marketing and growth consultancy.

Read the United Kingdom report (PDF) | Read the Australia report (PDF)

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