Today’s Colosseum’s: Next-gen Venues of the Future

12 December 2023

It’s been a long time since The Romans built the Colosseum and its safe to say we have come a long way.

Imagine how long you would have to wait to get popcorn in 80 AD?

The seats were concrete and there was no scoreboard to tell how you many people had been eaten by lions in the last 30 minutes.

And if it was the middle of an Italian summer, you would have been absolutely baking.

Here in 2023, we have taken enormous leaps across technology, engineering, fan experience and sustainability that Maximus and his fellow gladiators would have been very proud of.

From 600-foot digital screens, man-made lakes to recycle stadium water and scan-free technology, this is the new era of venues.

We are going to take a look at a few next-gen stadiums that are pushing the boundaries of what we thought was possible, ensuring that we are all, in fact, entertained.

The Build

We’ll start with the Intuit Dome, the brain child of LA Clippers owner and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Set to be open to the public in time for the 24/25 NBA season, it will hold 18,000 seats and has set them back $1.2B.

A huge focus is for fans to see as much of the action as possible, with the most toilets in any arena per head, plus 190 countdown clocks so you don’t lose track of time in the halftime break. Fans will enjoy more legroom than ever before and have power adaptors under each seat.

And even if you’re in row 20, you will be 45 feet closer to the action than at Crypto Arena, which for reference is almost half the length of a basketball court.

Over 5,000 miles away in Manchester UK, Co-op Live is also nearly ready to welcome crowds in 2024. As the UK’s only ‘music-first’ venue, its designed to feel like the UKs biggest nightclub. With an all-seated capacity of 20,500, but still able to have the largest floor space of any indoor venue, its lowered ceiling will create an unparalleled intimate environment inside.

We might be biased as both of these incredible venues are customers of EngageRM, but these are being built with the fan in mind first and foremost to create the ultimate viewing experience.

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The Tech

We’ll come back to Intuit Dome for a moment, with its revolutionary Halo Board. A massive digital screen that wraps around the entire circumference of the stadium, it’s lit up by 44,000 square feet of 4K lighting. From every seat in the house, you will have an uninhibited view of replays, stats and scores in what is certainly the most talked about feature of the new building.

But some of the technology behind the scenes is equally impressive, which comes as little surprise with the Clippers’ close ties to Microsoft. Automated parking and facial recognition technology will allow fans to cruise into the stadium without a hitch.

And for the sales and customer teams working on the night, they will have this information at their fingertips, integrated directly into their CRM. If a Hollywood star validates their parking, staff will be ready to greet them at the door and usher them to the private event room before tip off. An unparalleled service.

Similar speed and ease will be found when grabbing a drink or snack in the concourse. With no cashiers and automatic payments being charged to your card, it will be just like going to your fridge and grabbing a beer before jumping back on the couch.

The Planet

All buildings of this magnitude must have sustainability as a core theme in 2023, and some of the innovative ways that stadiums are reducing waste or saving energy are extraordinary.

We mentioned man-made lakes at the top of this piece and that was a nod to Sofi Stadium in LA. With an average annual rainfall of just 12 inches in Southern California, they needed to get creative on where they would source their H2O from.

The arena’s water conservation project uses the cooling systems inside the stadium to collect rainwater and then store what it collects into man-made lakes. That water is then used in the venue and the surrounding environment. They estimate to reclaim 26 million gallons of water per year.

And once again across the pond in Manchester, Co-op Live gets top marks for energy saving. With 10,500 square metres of solar panelling on the roof, they expect to be 100% powered by solar electricity. They’ll take advantage of the British weather to capture 5.4m litres of water, using it to water their plants and flush their toilets.

The Wrap

We are really proud to work with such innovative partners, creating ground-breaking venue spaces that are the benchmark across engineering, technology and sustainability.

While we are the quiet achiever in the background, our CRM platform ensures that venues we work with know everything about the fans that walk through their turnstiles every week. The richer the data and information we can give to venues and sports teams, the better the fan experience will be.

Good chance the Romans had the Colosseum packed out most Saturday’s, but we have come a long way from stone tablets to count attendance numbers.

As always, you can learn more about that here.

Get early access to our upcoming whitepaper 🎟️

Our expert team has made enormous strides over the past few months to seamlessly integrate with leading ticketing platforms, empowering sports organizations to harness the potential of having ticket scan data at their fingertips within minutes. 

This will have huge implications for our partners and the data they can collect at speed, so we’re pretty pumped.

More details to come, but if you want to be at the top of the list, we’ll be sharing the latest with our current customers and any other interested parties that want to know more.

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