The new millennium brought with it the increased sophistication of the sport’s patron. No longer simply a spectator, the contemporary sports facility consumer presents a set of increased expectations which demand a response from the owners and designers of sports venues. Just as sports facilities present competitive events for viewer enjoyment, a less obvious competition is ongoing for the sports audience’s patronage and consumption. Not only must sports venues be aesthetically inviting, but they must also offer a more comfortable and satisfying ambiance within which to experience the featured event. Sports facilities today must successfully offer more amenities and entertainment options for the dollar, or risk their future economic viability.
Luxury boxes and amenities have become virtually synonymous terms in the sports vocabulary. Certainly, any emphasis on enhancing the amenities available in a new or upgraded sports facility would first be provided to its highest revenue patrons. However, the need to justify escalating ticket prices forces the sports venue owner to also make improved amenities available to greater numbers of patrons. The infrastructure necessary to support such high-tech amenities includes:
Competition for the sports patron’s entertainment dollar is expanding outside the traditional pro shop or university shop to include alliances with non-sports entertainment or service providers. Restaurants, clubs, bars and retail shopping are increasingly incorporated in the same development with sports facilities. In some instances, sports facilities are encouraging the associated development of a “community” of hotels, apartments, and condominiums that contribute to the creation of a year-round destination and secure the sports facility’s identity as a future revenue producer.