The immediate future of stadia is significantly impacted by the closures or partial closures as a result of COVID-19. Innovative clubs have ensured that, despite this, stadium facilities remain a vehicle for positive community and supporter engagement, pivoting to create vaccination hubs and food distribution centres whilst engaging with fans with bespoke advertising and eye-catching ideas such as cardboard cut-out supporters.
The short term challenge for stadia as they reopen is the need to create COVID Secure environments, reassuring supporters and staff that they are a clean and safe. Much of the work to achieve optimum socially distanced capacity whilst complying with guidance has already been planned. Schemes that show creativity in their implementation will achieve the greatest brand impact.
The pandemic will also influence future stadium design, but other pre-coronavirus factors will remain key as venues seek to embrace technology, diversity and to adapt to the increased integration of Esports into mainstream entertainment. Esports will offer an opportunity for multipurpose venues and grow to anchor developments in their own right. Integration of technology, seen as key to supporter experience, is likely to play a part in COVID-19 security and those clubs that invest for the long term are likely to ultimately profit.
We look forward to luxurious, connected, contactless facilities with generous circulation spaces fit to accept a diverse set of fans (where you can still get a pie and a pint.)
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