Mark Carter is one of the architects of the firm Tvsdesign. His signature was behind the Mercedes Benz Stadium, the intergalactic stadium that hosts the Atlanta United and Atlanta Falcons games. His gaze is clear: “When you build a stadium today, you have to ask yourself: how do we get fans out of their home halls? Well, if you don’t give them everything they want and have in their homes, in addition to a live experience, it’s a failure, “he says.
The new generations interact in new ways with the sporting event. They don’t want to just go and live the experience: they want to be able to share it, they want to take a memory with them. Atlanta Falcons, the NFL franchise, tried to break the paradigm: they lowered prices within the stadium by 50%, and saw that the fans spent 16% more. It was not the only impact: 6,000 more people per game began to enter the venue two hours before to enjoy the preview. “We want fans not to feel ripped off. We know that when they go to the stadium they spend a lot of money. And we don’t want them to spend it on food: we want them to spend the $ 40 they usually charge for two cocas and a few fries on merchandising, “says Darren Eales, president of Atlanta United that participates in MLS.
There the beer is five dollars and the hot dog two dollars. If they buy a Coke, they can refill whenever they want. They look for people to consume inside. “The most important thing is that those who come to the stadium feel appreciated and valued: their energy, their time and their passion are highly appreciated by us. It’s a way of thanking them, ”says Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United.
The challenge, in short, is not that the fan comes to the stadium: it is that he wants to return. A fan who has a good stadium experience is a more team-connected fan.