Stadium renovations: Is it time?
| September 13, 2013
From getting electric car charging stations to completely modernizing food vendors, stadiums across the country (and across the world) are making improvements and renovating to justify the price of admission. But where to start? Here are a few improvements that venues big and small have recently made.
Art Wright Stadium, Wadsworth High School, Ohio
Sometimes, the improvements you need to make are more than just adding a few seats. For Wadsworth High School in Ohio, the field needed to be leveled out. One side of the field was up to 5 feet higher than the other side! After leveling and widening the field, workers also added a visiting press box, visitor bleachers and a digital scoreboard.
As the popularity of the University of Washington Huskies football program continued to rise, so did the need to upgrade the stadium. The biggest improvement was the removal of the track around the field, allowing for more, closer seats. They also made more standard improvements to their elevators, concessions and video board, among other changes. But the field upgrade marks a real turning point in the athletics department, being able to devote the entire field to the football team.
At 277 feet across, this massive scoreboard at Reliant Stadium is the largest in professional sports.
The Houston Texans just installed an HD scoreboard even larger than the one the Dallas Cowboys have at their stadium. At 277 feet across, this massive scoreboard is the largest in professional sports. However, it will soon be beaten by Jacksonville's Everbank Field in the competition to have the , as the Jaguars plan to unveil a 301-foot-long scoreboard next year.
Dodger Stadium went for broke on this one. They improved so many aspects of their stadium (160 permits in 5 months), that it cost $100 million. But the results are hard to ignore. From USA Today: "New high-resolution video scoreboards were installed; concourses were widened; entryways were improved; plazas where kids could play were added; spacious merchandise stores were constructed; an underground level was added below the field-level seats; a new clubhouse was built; and concession capacity was significantly increased."
And then there’s the upgrade everyone will be talking about. Arrowhead Stadium has recently completed its new multiple-camera-angle replay system. But it’s not for the referees, this system allows patrons to stream instant replays straight to their mobile devices. And there’s no worry about connectivity issues, as they also installed 600 new WiFi connection points, to alleviate the stress on their wireless network. In the near future, they plan to extend the system to allow patrons to order concessions straight from the mobile app.
Whatever the size of your renovation, be sure that it is a worthwhile use of funds. If you have a hard time selling out your stadium, increasing your seating is probably not going to increase ticket sales. Investigate the underlying cause of your venue's issues, and make a smart upgrade that will pay for itself eventually. Nothing you renovate will cause a massive spike in ticket sales, but over time, it’s the little things that add up to big profit.
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