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Volume 23 No. 8
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Keeping pace with the mobile sports fan

Teams and venues are finding new ways to cater to an on-the-go crowd that would rather explore than stay put in a traditional seat.
The Sierra Nevada Draught House at Golden 1 Center is one of the places fans can take in a Sacramento Kings game.
Photo: Sacramento Kings
The Sierra Nevada Draught House at Golden 1 Center is one of the places fans can take in a Sacramento Kings game.
Photo: Sacramento Kings
The Sierra Nevada Draught House at Golden 1 Center is one of the places fans can take in a Sacramento Kings game.
Photo: Sacramento Kings

Where were you for Dwight Clark’s catch, Michael Jordan’s buzzer beater against the Jazz, or Boise State’s Statue of Liberty play?

 

If you were at the game when those events happened today, you might be watching them from a stadium’s party deck, while you are in line buying a craft cocktail, or from the concourse as you post on Instagram or Twitter.

Indeed, today’s fans are less interested in staying glued to their seats and prefer instead to explore stadiums and arenas and watch games as they mingle in social zones and bars. They enjoy trying out new food and drinks and posting images of their experience on social media.

“Fans are seeking a more layered and diverse experience within a single event,” said Ryan Gedney, national design director for architecture firm HNTB. “So having the ability to move through the venue — change their vantage points, engage in a lot more amenities and offerings — creates the need for a different kind of engagement.”

In the pages that follow, stadium managers, architects, concessionaires and teams discuss how they are offering experiences that are more fitting to modern fans, the technology they use and their culinary and social tastes.

Where will those fans be when the next big moment happens?