Impressive and enriching Fan Experience Tour in New York - Dallas

By November 13, 2015

For this first time, ESSMA organized a Fan Experience Tour to the USA from 2-7 September. A delegation of 23 stadium experts visited 7 venues in New York and Dallas. The technical stadium visits and presentations were enriched with 2 match day experiences, enabling the participants to see how fan entertainment is managed in practice. 

Wednesday 2 September

Yankee Stadium

New York was the starting point for the ESSMA Fan Experience Tour. In 3 days, 4 state-of-the-art venues were visited. First on the list was Yankee Stadium. This baseball stadium is owned and used by the New York Yankees, but since 2015 as well the home of New York City FC. Cindy Kamradt - Director Stadium Planning & Special Projects and Dough Behar - Senior Vice President Stadium Operations guided the delegation through this magnificent stadium.

Thursday 3 September

MetLife Stadium & Red Bull Arena

The visit to MetLife Stadium started with a presentation and tour from Brad Mayne, president and CEO of the stadium. MetLife is a beautiful example of brand activation before a game.

After the first part of the visit, the participants enjoyed a visit of the Red Bull Arena, where both Bill Wiswesser - Director of Operations (Red Bull Arena) and Brent Delgado (MLS) were present to talk about the evolution of the stadium and soccer in the USA.

After this visit the delegation travelled back to the MetLife Stadium, where the pre-season game between the NY Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles was a highlight of the day. This game experience allowed participants to get a practical view on how the club and stadium interact with their fans.

Friday 4 September 

Madison Square Garden

Last venue in New York was Madison Square Garden. Building the arena on top of a major underground railway station was a serious challenge from a construction and operational point of view. This mythical venue hosts concerts, basketball (New York Knicks), ice hockey (New York Rangers) and various other sport events. Karen Hoffman - Director of event services gave some great insights in how the venue is operated. Additionally, Tom Tercek and Vicky Shapiro gave a more in-depth presentation on the technology integrated in the ‘Garden’. 

Saturday 5 September

AT&T Stadium

The second part of the tour started in Dallas, with a visit of the incredible AT&T Stadium (home of Dallas Cowboys). Paul Turner, Director of Event Operations & Security, gave us a warm welcome and a very detailed tour in his stadium, which was in full preparation for the college game between Alabama and Wisconsin: a unique experience to see all match day preparations, from the kitchen prep work over the spidercam testing to the welcoming of the fans on the plaza. It was impressive to see more than 60 000 people attending this College game, something unimaginable in Europe. The atmosphere during the game was magnificent. A few days later the stadium put in natural turf for the soccer game between Mexico and Argentina: amazing how multifunctional this venue is. 

Sunday 6 September

American Airlines Center

During the last day of the tour, the American Airlines Center, hosting venue for the Dallas Mavericks (NBA) and Dallas Stars (NHL) was visited. Bobbie Nichols - Event Coordinator showed the delegation around in this multifunctional venue. Incredible to see how the ice is under the parquet during a basketball game and how fast the venue changes from 1 sport to another.

Apogee Stadium

Last venue of the first Fan Experience Tour was the Apogee stadium, a stadium owned and operated by the University of North Texas. This stadium, with a capacity of 30 850 is the home ground of the North Texas Mean Grean Football team. Nick Nagel, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Facilities and Event Management, presented the stadium and approach used to operate this stadium. The Apogee Stadium gave a completely new look on the subject and however it was one of the smallest stadiums, looking at these smaller-sized stadiums is very interesting. 


Most of these venues are great references in the world of architecture. Visiting them and meeting the people who make them work, especially in event mode, made me understand why.
ATSP - Stéphanie Porchet (Business Development & PR)

"It is undeniable that the quality of the ESSMA network and stakeholders have made this an exceptional tour. Many ideas and ambitions have become clear for our own stadiums. The quality and level of interest of this tour was just great and that's why this will certainly not be the last ESSMA event I will attend. The game day experiences and seeing the staff in preparations was just top of the bill."
Cédric Dufoix -  Secretary General Olympique Marseille


Summary by participants and staff:

We were impressed by how well stadiums are managed in the US. Especially seeing these stadiums in action during event mode made this tour worthwhile. We had the opportunity to take a close look at the American sports culture, which is a real entertainment culture. Not all examples can be replicated and used in Europe, but some are definitely worth trying and others are inspiring and mind-opening in order to find new solutions to use in European stadiums. Thank you to the participants for making this experience a very rich one. To all the host venues: huge thanks for taking the time to host us and to show us your wonderful venues.


For more information about this tour, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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