SBD/April 21, 2017/World Congress of Sports

Experience At Venues, Not Cost, Largely Remains Primary Draw For Fans

Miller said research showed that customers value experience as much as price
The experience, and not the cost, is the primary factor driving people to venues, said panelists at the '17 CAA World Congress of Sports. In a bit of a shot at AMB Group CEO Steve Cannon, who on Wednesday said that stadium operators had lost their way by overcharging for food, the response was that cheap food is not going to win the day. “We have a different approach to food, it is not just about price sensitivity, but about the quality of the food,” said NBA Kings President Chris Granger, whose team opened Golden 1 Center this past season. Asked if he agreed with Cannon’s remark that venues selling $8 hot dogs had lost their way, Granger replied, “It depends on the hot dog. It depends on the quality.” StubHub GM for North America Perkins Miller said his company’s research showed that customers value experience as much as, if not more than, price. To that end, new venues, and renovations, are now geared toward communal spaces. “It is about creating places that people can socialize in and not looking at their tickets and saying row 4 seat 2,” said ICON Venue Group Founder & CEO Tim Romani, whose company helped develop Golden 1 Center. There are about 500 people a game who never go to their seats at that arena. “The building was designed to foster social interaction,” Granger added. Brian Murphy, the VP/Creative Product & Strategy at STRIVR Labs, which offers virtual reality areas at arenas and stadiums, said there are many fans milling around and looking for things to do other than watch the game. “I am hearing the word experience, experience, experience,” Murphy said. “That is what we create.”

THEMES ON THE FAN EXPERIENCE: SBJ/SBD's Eric Fisher and Abe Madkour take time to discuss the themes of the fan experience panel this year.

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