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 Post subject: smaller stadiums?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:01 pm 
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Future NFL stadiums could feature less sitting, more standing
Posted by Mike Florio on January 27, 2013, 12:02 AM EST
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Our pal Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times has written an article that looks at the various challenges the NFL is facing. One of the biggest arises from persuading fans to choose to attend games over watching them at home.

Late in the item comes an intriguing prediction about the configuration of future NFL stadiums, courtesy of NFL executive V.P. of business operations Eric Grubman.

“What if a new stadium we built wasn’t 70,000, but it was 40,000 seats with 20,000 standing room?” Grubman said. “But the standing room was in a bar-type environment with three sides of screens, and one side where you see the field. Completely connected. And in those three sides of screens, you not only got every piece of NFL content, including replays, Red Zone [Channel], and analysis, but you got every other piece of news and sports content that you would like to have if you were at home.

“Now you have the game, the bar and social setting, and you have the content. What’s that ticket worth? What’s that environment feel like to a young person? Where do you want to be? Do you want to be in that seat, or do you want to be in that pavilion?”

Plenty of people would choose to be in the pavilion, if the price is right. (And if the beer isn’t priced quite so high.)

Grubman’s example, with a 70,000-seat stadium becoming a 60,000-person hybrid, reflects another inevitable reality for the NFL. To maintain the buzz of a full stadium, stadiums may need to get smaller.

“A restaurant isn’t as good if there’s only four people in there,” 49ers CEO Jed York said. “When a restaurant is hustling and bustling, it just feels better, the food tastes better because you see everybody else enjoying it. That’s the same thing for any live event. Great bands, if you don’t have a great crowd, then the band isn’t quite as good.”

He’s right — and it’s wise for the league to continuously be thinking about ways to adapt the business model to ensure that business continues to thrive, not only on TV but inside each and every stadium.

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 Post subject: Re: smaller stadiums?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:09 pm 
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The in-stadium experience is unique. The problem is that the rising costs to enjoy that in-stadium experience is reaching a tipping point where it's no longer worth it. Especially with the introduction of PSLs.

You take the cost of food, beer, gas, and tickets and it probably at this point is a wash as far as the cost of having a nice HD TV set and cable/satellite cost. If one costs $1200 over the course of a year, and the other $1000, you might consider the extra $200 you spend per year as a premium for the unique in-stadium experience. But once you throw in an extra $1000 you might have to pay for PSLs, then there's no way to justify the cost.

This has been something I heard Bill Simmons talk about on his podcast a year or two ago, about how it's hard for fans to justify the time, money, and effort that comes with buying season tickets and going to the stadium every year. Instead, it's better to invest in the home experience, and just buy single game tickets a couple of times per year.

And thus it's going to be harder to sell out stadiums. I've heard talk about how they will start to offer unique things for cell phones via wifi that you'd only get in the stadium that people at home just won't get. But that's not going to be enough to get butts in the seats.

I do think that teams/owners are going to have to settle for 50,000 as opposed to 75,000 butts in the seats.

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