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'Human Factor' Determines Success of Sports and Entertainment Venues

Entertainment February 20, 2020

In our second installment of AV Trends and Insights, we addressed the popularity of public-private partnerships in the higher education marketplace (read that post here).

In this post, we expand on P3 opportunities, explaining how AV technologies play a crucial role in ensuring that public-private partnerships like arenas and other multipurpose venues deliver a user-friendly experience.

“The overall human factor determines a venue’s success or failure,” says Brad Sousa, CTO at AVI Systems. “In a public-private partnership at a college or university, it’s no different. Imagine going to a college sporting event and not being able to understand a referee’s explanation of a penalty call; or having the announcer’s microphone create a piercing squeal each time the PA system is used. That experience would be devastating.”

Sousa stresses that fully understanding the expected outcome is vital. AVI Systems provides a team of professionals who help design a unique viewing and listening experience for attendees at specific events hosted at a single, multipurpose venue.

For example, a Saturday football game is focused on giving spectators a great view of the playing field. AVI’s expertise is used to augment the field using visual cues ranging from large format displays to flat panels near seats in suites, or on a mobile device. Individual spectators choose what they want to see and how they consume the event, but it’s always focused on the field.

That same venue might host an entirely different event the following day. Instead of spectators taking in a football field, they’re watching an esports event or a solo performer – often from a great distance.

Suddenly the venue might appear to be much larger to the spectator, so the goal with technology is to make it feel more intimate. The ability to immerse attendees into the environment is key. It’s more experiential using the same technologies, but delivering a very different experience including close-up camera angles on large displays and augmented sound.

AV design starts with understanding the experiences you want to create at the venue – the emotion that you want to evoke and attach to it. If there’s uncertainty, getting the right people into a room to help articulate the outcome has to occur before design and engineering begins.

Then determine who will serve as the right partners, either public or private, to help lower initial costs and, ideally, reallocate the budget for enhanced technologies that create a venue people really want to come to again and again.

Esports on Campus and the Technology to Support this Growing Interest

NCAA-sponsored esports are happening now. Every Division I school wants to develop esports on their campuses, which drives the rate of innovation happening at those schools. College and universities see the interest and the opportunity in hosting these ever-growing events that involve student gamers and the spectators who love to watch them play. What’s more, esports will become an important recruiting and student retention tool.

As AVI Systems designs and architects technology for new athletic facilities, esports has become part of the process. Some colleges and universities are even asking for exclusive esport facility design options for review and consideration, requiring unique AV technologies.

The technologies deployed for esport venues are multipurpose, too. For example, high-performance computers can also be used to run demanding technical software for academics. Esports programs also present new opportunities for students who may not be gamers, but want to expand their skills in areas like data analytics or broadcasting for example. The opportunities are truly endless when it comes to esports venues. 

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