The in-stadium experience is rapidly changing (no, not the actual game, but the experience!) due to high-speed Wi-Fi and advanced mobile networks. Simply connecting your phone to the mobile internet used to be impossible thanks to thousands of people in the stadium all connecting to the internet at the same time. But over the past few years, advanced Wi-Fi hotspots placed in stadiums and a progressing mobile network, make sending out the perfect, just-recorded video easy.
Although a big improvement, there is a massive opportunity to provide even more innovation and unique experiences throughout the stadium. Most sports stadiums have begun to (or already have) install(ed) Wi-Fi hotspots throughout their stadium to help users connect to the mobile network. Connecting to the stadium Wi-Fi not only allows users to connect to network faster, but it also allows access to location-based services through the stadium’s application (note that location-based services can be provided by either connecting to the stadium Wi-Fi or to the mobile network).
This is just the tip of the iceberg for stadium apps. What is possible in five years? In ten years? Of course, there is no right answer, but we can guess based on a few key trends. One way to understand what could happen in the stadium is to look at what is happening on TV.
How can stadiums get the fans that choose to watch at home back to the game? One way is with Mobile Edge Computing (MEC). This allows stadiums to provide either push notifications of replays to all fans or provide a section of their stadium app that is dedicated to replays. For other fans, the amazing angles might not be what keeps them away from the stadium, and it might be the on-TV graphics and statistics they’re interested in. In this case, it is not MEC that will get them back into the stadium (although MEC would help).