The stadium experience of the future according to Samin Macdonald

Samin Macdonald, Project Director at Legends International, shared his thoughts on how the stadium experience of the future will look like.

Interview with Samin Macdonald

“What makes attending a live event special for me is the moment you step into the stadium bowl: the lights, the sounds and soaking in the atmosphere for the first time.”

Which is the most important step in creating unique fan experiences?

It’s important that people really understand their fans and understand the experiences that they want in their venues. In the past, there may have been a tendency for clubs to focus on driving revenues in the short term through commercial deals, success on the pitch and buying the best players. However, making sure that your fans have an experience that keeps them coming back, time after time, is vitally important as well. The first step is understanding what your fans want, which means conducting research to figure out what they want and what they're willing to pay for it.

‘The most important step is to figure out what your fans want and what they're willing to pay for it.”

What do you believe is the main technological experience European fans are hoping for?

From a technological perspective it's important to see: what is possible with your content, what is reasonable for your location and what do your fans want to see? 

Personally, I love stadium maps. Tottenham Hotspur for example has done an amazing job integrating all the key parts of the fan experience into an app. By using beacon technology and wayfinding to find the closest concession stands to you, information on how to get to the stadium easily, what gate to use, to browse retail offers, mobile ticketing, etc.. 

When will European stadiums make the shift towards creating an entertainment hub?

In the US, stadiums have a lot more space to do things where often restricted in Europe by the amount of footprint we have for our buildings. However, in Europe you can find a lot of stadiums which are entertainment hubs already. Every stadium is looking at non-matchday activity as a revenue stream. Bring in things like shared offices, conference and events, space restaurants that are open all year round destinations for their fans. 

Key takeaways on how to enhance the stadium experience:

  • Research, understand your fans and invest in your sales resource

  • Create and deliver the optimal set of experiences for your content, in your location, in on matchdays and non-matchdays

  • Optimal number of happy guests who stay longer in your venue

  • Optimal ROI from a brand and financial perspective

Access his presentation on the ESSMA Knowledge Platform