Can smart stadiums help sports teams compete with TV?

Sports fans increasingly prefer watching games from home or at the bar rather than the stadium. Teams are tackling this trend by turning to big data and smart stadiums to make the in-stadium experience more compelling.

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Credit: Thinkstock

For years, television networks have added ever more features to their sports broadcasts to make watching games on TV a compelling alternative to taking in games at the stadium. These days, things have come full circle — the television experience, whether at home or at the sports bar, now overshadows the in-stadium experience.

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In a 1998 ESPN poll, 54 percent of sports fans said they'd rather watch the game at the stadium than at home. By 2011, only 29 percent of respondents to the same poll said they preferred being at the game.

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Sports teams are tackling that issue head on by turning their venues into smart stadiums with connectivity and features that allow them to provide fans with an experience that rivals or exceeds what they can get at home. In the this infographic (see below), the School of Professional Studies at Northwestern University explores how smart stadiums are helping sports teams compete with TV.

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Click for larger image.

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