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Sports activities groups are reinventing tailgating because the corona virus retains followers away from the stands

Renderings showing the potential future of sports stadiums and arenas.

Source: densely populated

Coronavirus has forced sports teams to rethink their business operations as soon as fans have to return.

The Milwaukee Bucks are one of several sports teams preparing for the possibility of the unknown when it comes to welcoming fans back next season. Amid mounting concerns about another fall or winter spike, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the NBA was unlikely to return until 2021. Sports managers take this time to create contingency plans, according to leading sports design and architecture firm Populous.

One area that is of great interest: the outdoor tailgate space. Well-populated executives said they worked with many of their sports customers, including the Milwaukee Bucks, to give fans the opportunity to watch the game outdoors in a socially distant way, using parking garages, shipping bins and even a drive-in movie -Create a similar experience. According to Populous, these changes can cost anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the size of the project.

It's not just the goats who want to do this. The Miami Dolphins and Las Vegas Raiders recently unveiled their own outdoor experiences.

Peter Feigin, the president of Milwaukee Bucks, said he had seen success in theaters and watch parties during the pandemic and was trying to create a similar experience outside of his sports arena.

"People have an innate need to be together and to be apart from something," Feigin said. "We think that in the next six to nine months this is the reality of how people can collect and experience sporting events."

He's partnered with Populous, the same architectural firm that designed the $ 524 million Fiserv Forum two years ago to make this a reality.

Feigin said the bucks hope to have an outdoor plan as soon as local officials allow.

Renderings showing the potential future of sports stadiums and arenas.

Source: densely populated

Populous works with teams like the Bucks to create these unique outdoor viewing areas. The global design firm is the architect of many of the most famous sports venues in the country. You have designed stadiums for the New York Yankees (Yankee Stadium), Baltimore Oriole (Camden Yards) and most recently the Vegas Golden Knights (T-Mobile Arena). In addition to the last 12 Olympics, they have also helped design and plan every single Super Bowl since 1985.

Plans considered by the Bucks are to convert a 10-acre area outside the Fiserv Forum into a 360-degree outdoor experience that includes a range of visitor experiences at different prices.

The space is structured around four focal points created by setting up large temporary screens, similar to a drive-in movie configuration.

The south screen has a live entertainment stage and a food truck area. Up to 230 cars can be parked in this area with at least one empty space between them.

Standard tailgates are the cheapest option. This includes a parking lot with a view of a screen.

For fans looking for more of a premium experience, Populous has developed an "Opera Box" option where visitors can park their cars in a parking garage, set up their own tailgates and have a raised view of the screens from five floors can. This option can be delivered with food and drink.

Other high-end categories include an area with two-tier, stacked shipping containers and modular "suite towers" in the middle of the tailgate campus. Guests can park on the lower level and go up a flight of stairs to the suite, which is designed for 4-6 people.

"It gives us the opportunity to step back and look at creative and innovative design solutions that can take us not only through this transition point but beyond the end of the pandemic," said Brian Mirakian, senior principal at Populous.

Renderings showing the potential future of sports stadiums and arenas.

Source: densely populated

When it comes to cost, Populous says the price tag offers plenty of choice, just like building arenas. Much of what they have been working on with the Bucks uses a lot of the structures in place and it's all about paying for the shipping containers, LED screens and more.

"For us, I think we would probably start with a smaller capital investment to grow that," Feigin said.

The price of this hatchback depends on the space and will likely be similar to the cost of premium arena seating, Feigin said.

He said if the bucks invest in the outdoor experiences it will be long term, which means they will use the space or reuse the shipping containers once the pandemic is under control.

"We don't just want to do this for a specific period of time. We believe we can move the modular shipping containers to food and beverage and refrigerated bars very quickly," said Feigin.

Shawn Quill, who heads KPMG's sports practice, said if tech-related fan engagements are marketed and executed well, he sees the potential for broadcast in the "new normal."

"From improvements such as planned arrival and entry times to order concessions and enable contactless collection via an app, to creative approaches for safe tailgating, every improvement This can safely encourage and get fans back on the scene to reduce lost game day revenue that is mission critical for sports teams, "Quill said.

Depiction of the Miami Dolphins game day theater at Hard Rock Stadium

Source: Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins recently launched their own outdoor viewing experience with their new game day theater at Hard Rock Stadium. Tom Garfinkel, CEO of Dolphins, had the idea to use the existing videos in the stadium for a drive-up theater and a video board in the outdoor area. Their setup allows 386 fans to enjoy beanbag and private cabana shell games.

Other teams like the Las Vegas Raiders are looking at outdoor tailgating as a new form of revenue. Playing their first season in Las Vegas, the Raiders announced that they would have no fans this season. The club recently announced a $ 400 deal or $ 500 VIP experience that allows fans to watch Raiders games from their vehicles next to Allegiant Stadium. You have access to two parking spaces and a food and drink package.

Populous design director Byron Chambers said the trend over time with stadiums and arenas is to offer guests an increasing number of experiences within the venue. The pandemic will accelerate this even further.

"Moving away from the pandemic that people will still want to go to games but they will want high value for their experience," Chambers said.

But the technical changes don't stop there.

"And the final piece really is how to get (fans) in safely," said Kim Damron, CEO of Paciolan, a live entertainment technology company that works with sports teams on ticketing and technology solutions.

Damron said the teams are switching to contactless tickets. Gone are the days of handing over your paper ticket or even scanning your mobile ticket.

"This year, because of the security factor, we're working with our customers to make contactless entry into the venues so they can get within range of the scanner," she said.

Damron said her company has over 70 customers who are implementing contactless technology with near field communications (NFC) built into their mobile ticket.

"I've never seen technology adoption so accelerated. This pandemic definitely impacted it," she said.

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