Nothing beats watching your favourite team live – whether that’s Ireland in the 6 Nations or your County in the GAA – it’s a great day out. These days, we’ve got some pretty impressive stadiums and it doesn’t matter where your seats are – you can see the action up close thanks to AV advancements and big screens. AV is certainly changing the game especially with VAR (Video Assistant Referee) coming into football.
Attending live sports is a lucrative industry but with advances in in-home TV systems and so much sport available through paid TV services, the pressure is on to keep the crowds coming. Sports teams and venues are working hard to provide added value over and above what you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home. Enticing people off their couches and into the stadium is the name of the game and sports teams see the value in using AV to enhance the fan experience.
According to a recent Industry Outlook and Trends Analysis Report, venues and events were expected to produce $27.7 billion in pro-AV revenue in 2018 worldwide and grow at a pretty impressive rate over the five to ten years.
Here’s a closer look at what’s happening on the ground in terms of how venues are using AV to enhance the in-stadium experience…..
It’s well known that there’s a lot of money in the professional sports industries, but the teams and venues need fans to leave their homes and get into the stadium to keep the revenue streams moving in their direction.
So they understand the need to pay for top quality AV and are now happy to invest in not just initial quality, but equipment that can be easily upgraded and adapted to stay current with fast changes AV trends.
Fan expectations of AV quality are high. They expect to see clear pictures on stunning screens. When trying to get the highest resolution possible on huge screens, some venues might be worried about latency but with the right equipment, latency and other issues such as connectivity with other equipment/devices shouldn’t pose a problem.
Stadium Big Screens
Wembley Stadium in London is a world-famous venue that takes the fan and AV experience very seriously. The main attraction, apart from the match of course, are the two massive LED video displays positioned at each end of the stadium. They measure an impressive 8.15m x 23.88m.
The video walls are constructed with a concave design to maximise the visual impact for the crowd.
With a resolution of 528 pixels x 1560 pixels in a 15HD pixel layout, the displays provide views of the action that are hard to match on a home TV setup.
Start Thinking Like a Fan
How do you take the AV experience to the next level and past what a fan would have in their own sitting room setup? That’s how teams are starting to think and plan and then working with AV specialists to create an amazing experience for their venue.
Audio is a key component in this context and the fan experience is centred around shared events, so the sounds associated with that experience is vital to each persons perception of the event. In both open-air and indoor venues there’s different challenges that need to be considered when it comes to sound design; but outdoor venues pose particular challenges as there is less control over the elements e.g. weather, the natural acoustics of the venue itself, the number of people in attendance etc.
In the open air, audio can almost evaporate and in indoor spaces, you’ll want to enhance the excitement of the match without damaging people’s eardrums – so getting the balance right is important. Sound design that works well for the venue is a crucial part of fan experience.
It’s an evolving field and Meritec is always interested in sharing the latest AV news and the best tech with clients. Call us if you are looking to source a supplier to address your AV needs – it’s a core area of expertise!