Last year, the European Stadium & Safety Management Association organised its first Fan Experience Stadium Tour to the USA from 2 to 7 September. Together with 23 stadium experts, venues in New York and Dallas were visited. In full preparations of the Fan Experience Tour to the West Coast later this year, I just had to share some insights on everything we experienced during this amazing tour.

Yankee Stadium

Yankee Stadium New York

New York $2,3 billion construction cost
Opened in 2009 56 VIP boxes
50,287 seats 4,300 business/club seats

#Yankee Stadium is a baseball stadium owned and used by the New York Yankees, but since 2015 also the home of New York City FC

#NYCFC is looking hard for a new stadium, but will until then call Yankee Stadium their home

#A ridiculous 90 games per season are played in the stadium, both baseball and soccer

#The fans are different: baseball fans stay a lot longer in the stadium, while a football game lasts 90 mins and “that’s it”

#The sense of space in the stadium is incredible, the eye for detail even more


MetLife Stadium

MetLife Stadium panorama

New York $1,6 billion construction cost
Opened in 2010 200+ VIP boxes
82,500 seats 10,000 business/club seats

#MetLife Stadium is the home of the New York Jets & New York Giants

#Everybody knows the famous Brad Mayne, former President and CEO of MetLife Stadium and now CEO of IAVM: the International Association of Venue Managers. We were impressed by the hospitality of Brad and the staff members

#Huge spaces and VIP zones: you feel inside a five-star hotel instead of just a concrete stadium

#Top class pre-game brand activation, unpossible to compare with European stadiums

#MetLife offers gate sponsoring, an exclusive advertising space for sponsors. For example: during game day, 25,000 fans enter through the ‘MetLife gate’: a superb piece of brand activation

#American Football is awesome: Philadelphia Eagles versus New York Jets was my first ever American Football game (live)

#Tailgating, the USA national sport: a typical social event held in parking lots and around cars and trucks

#Tailgating v2: the parties include people bringing (alcoholic) beverages, barbecues, food, etc..

#Tailgating as important source of revenue: at MetLife stadium, normal size vehicles pay 30 dollar per game (and even 120 dollar for big trucks).

#Customer service number 1: after each game an online survey is sent out. Fans can also fill it in hard copy and send it straight to the CEO

#Connectivity

  • 80% website visitors via mobile
  • 3,4 TB data used per game
  • 20 HD video boards (20-60 feet)
  • 48 inch x 2,200 foot led ribbon board encircling the interior bowl
  • 4 HD video display boards in each corner: 4 times 9x35m
  • + 2200 HD IPTV monitors
  • Wireless system that provides coverage within the stadium and across surrounding parking lots

“You’ve got to constantly nurture the in-stadium fan experience because technology at home is getting so vast and amazing that fans might prefer to stay at home.”


Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden

New York $1 billion (last renovation)
Opened in 1968 89 VIP boxes
20,000 seats 3,775 business/club seats

#Madison Square Garden is built on top of a major underground railway station: a serious challenge from a construction and operational point of view

#MSG tenants are NY Rangers (ice hockey), NY Knicks & NY Liberty (both basketball)

#MSG is a mythical venue: hosting concerts, basketball (NY Knicks), ice hockey (New York Rangers) and other sports events

#Karen Hoffman (Director of Event Services) and Dina Stasolla (Executive Assistant) proved to be excellent and energetic hosts

#MSG is the fastest turnaround arena in the USA: from hockey to basketball in 4 hours

#Don’t EVER step on the team logo’s in the changing room: it’s a holy spot

#The venue has an incredible line of sight from all the seats

#MSG’s event team counts 1,100! people

#The venue has mystery shoppers that warrant a high customer service: they make sure employees are loyal and welcomingly all the time


AT&T Stadium

AT&T Stadium Dallas

Dallas $1,3 billion construction cost
Opened in 2009 380 VIP boxes
85,000 seats 15,000 business/club seats

#AT&T Stadium is known for its smooth operations & customer experience

#Paul Turner – Director of Event Operations at Dallas Cowboys gave us an extended 3-hour tour on game day: a true example of real hospitality

#Multifunctional really means multifunctional: American football on synthetic pitch, Argentina vs Mexico on natural pitch two days later

#But also: boxing, basketball, rodeo: you name it!

#’Legends’ in hospitality: an average of 35 dollar per fan per game is spent: an incredible amount compared to sports venues in Europe.

#They are fabulous in marketing the ‘Star’ (the Dallas Cowboys brand)

#3,5 TB of data usage on average game days

#Lots of sponsorship activations inside the stadium bowl

#The finishing touches in the VIP and hospitality areas is the best I’ve ever witnessed: astonishing!

#Gigantic video screen of 48,7 x 21,6m with 30 million light bulbs: it would take 4,920 52 inch flat panel televisions to equal the size (540,000+ kilogram)

#AT&T scores high in staff rewarding: AT&T staff receives bonus points when they know things about the stadium and also internal competitions are held like employee of the month, etc..


Apogee Stadium

Apogee Stadium

Denton, Texas $78 million construction cost
Opened in 2011 21 luxury suites
30,850 seats

#Apogee Stadium: owned and operated by the University of North Texas

#A model facility for eco-friendly design and operation (LEED certified): first newly-constructed college football stadium with the highest level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design status

#What a difference in sports culture between Europe and USA

#The professional level of university games and their infrastructure

#Average attendance of 18,000

#150! events per year, with 21 suits on the 4th level and also a senior club (700 people)

#A suite costs 20,000 dollar per year (talk about revenue)


 Interesting links