The Ever-Evolving Fan Experience – Entertainment Districts

Entertainment districts using LED displays are at the forefront of the ever-evolving fan experience as people show up earlier and stay later.

Justin Ochsner on 4/8/2019

Categories: Pro Sports and Colleges

Going to a live event is a thrilling experience. You’re looking forward to seeing everything firsthand, the atmosphere, the food and beverages, the shared experience with other fans – everything is more exciting. But the experience is changing and evolving.

Today, you show up to the stadium or arena hours before the event to enjoy a bigger, longer experience. You’re grabbing some food at a place near the stadium and gathering with other fans prior to the gates opening. Your enthusiasm is growing as more and more people show up to the area. You’re watching other games on the screens around the venue to see if division rivals are winning or losing. Or even checking in on the games of other local sports teams for updates.

There’s an entire experience evolving for fans before the games, but also after games as well as you can linger in the area with other fans to celebrate your team’s victory. These areas around the stadium and arena are known as entertainment districts and consist of outdoor and indoor gathering areas. Teams and venues are encouraging the development of these areas, if not constructing the area themselves as they look to bring an entire entertainment destination for live events.

A fixture of these entertainment districts is LED video displays to bring an element that engages fans as soon as they arrive. It catches their attention and encourages them to linger near the venue as anticipation for the main event grows. Strategically placed LED displays can show those other sporting events, upcoming event information, hype videos to pump up crowds before an event, direct fans to team stores or seating areas, and much more.

A number of teams and venues are currently creating these entertainment destinations with branded areas and gathering spaces employing LED display technology. One of the most recent examples is Fiserv Forum, home of the Milwaukee Bucks. They’ve installed a large LED video display in their beer garden and bar space to entice fans to arrive earlier and stay later surrounding home games. Right next to the beer garden is the Mecca Bar, an indoor equivalent that also engages and entertains fans near the event taking place inside the venue.

Opening in 2021, McGregor Square at the Colorado Rockies installed a large concave video display featuring 10-millimeter pixel spacing and five double-sided totem displays featuring 6-millimeter pixel spacing. These displays light up the path from McGregor Square to Coors Field and engage with fans before and after events as well as brand the event itself for a longer, more immersive game-day experience.

Moving back indoors, Titletown, across the street from Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers, features three displays featuring 1.5-millimeter pixel spacing in private event areas. These displays are for much closer viewing distances as fans and audiences can be mere feet away and still see great image quality. They talk about the project in this video.

The Denver Broncos have a different take on their entertainment district where they have created Mini-Mile High, a lower-scale version of the iconic stadium located outside their current venue.

Many others have their own version of entertainment districts incorporating LED technology, including St. Louis Cardinals’ Ballpark Village, Chicago Cubs’ Gallagher Way, Oakland Athletics’ plaza, Philadelphia Phillies wiffleball park, Real Salt Lake’s patio and American Airlines Center’s Victory Park. Others with these spaces included the Jacksonville Jaguars, San Diego Padres and San Jose Earthquakes, just to name a few.

As the trend grows, many other existing venues are planning to create or expand the entertainment districts and new stadiums and arenas are planning to build those districts along with the new venues. As these spaces pop up, they include more than just the food and beverage attractions in gathering spaces. And they are used for more than just game day, including movie nights, concerts, team watch parties and more.

This is why the video display element is so crucial. It brings the visual element to those events.  It connects with and engages fans in those areas to build up their experience and keep them connected to the upcoming events.

Crowds of fans also linger after games to take selfies with the displays in the background showing the final score to share with their friends on social media. It’s not just their experience that is being impacted, it’s the shared experience with their friends and the memories they hold on to for years to come. And those fond memories entice them to return to the venue to repeat the experience.

Those shared experiences and fond memories are the ever-evolving fan experience at live events. It’s more than just the game. Every moment of an event – before, during and after – create the entire experience for your fans and they’re looking for that larger experience. LED displays in your entertainment district are there to help you create that larger experience for your fans.