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SBJ/May 5-11, 2014/People and Pop Culture
Martin Dinitto, Ballpark Design Associates
Published May 5, 2014, Page 3
Improving the fan experience is the primary focus, and giving a lot of diversity to the experience adds to that.”
Designing for a social experience: The real aspect of people socializing can be a problem if you don’t provide the architectural means to accommodate that practice. In Charlotte, we have 702 drink rail positions around the park. ... I like the idea of going to the concession stand, and I have my hands full, but I’m not ready to go back to my seat yet and just want to stand there to watch the game. I can set my drink down and don’t have to sit on a trash can or balance [my drink] on a railing.
Ripe for renovations: I think you’re going to see that boom again that occurred in the late ’90s. As it turns the corner approaching 25 years, you’ll see more interest in renovation projects to update and create new fan amenities and, consequently, upgrade their revenue-stream production.
Other trends: There’s a great opportunity to make ballparks greener, and I really mean that in the true sense of green … really getting more lush texture, color and fabric from plants and trees back into the ballpark landscape internally. I don’t think we see enough of that. Ribbon boards are slowly making their way into these facilities. As minor league teams learn how to sell that [technology] to sponsors, that’s going to improve. I’m anxious to see more results from Minor League Baseball’s national marketing campaign to attract sponsors, people like Captain Morgan. I’m sure we’ll be developing more specialized areas as those things become familiar. We see it in MLB, but not quite in minor league parks.