Eric Einhorn, our DC Sports Practice Leader, shares insight with Recreation Management in their new piece on how innovations in sports facility design are reshaping fan and player experience. The piece looks at leading professional and collegiate sports venues – including the University of Maryland Baltimore County Campus Event Center our team designed – to highlight new ideas being modeled across the country. Specifically, Eric touches on technology, fan amenities, the UMBC project and more in the piece.
The full Recreation Management article is available online. Here are a few key excerpts:
On creating experiences that keep fans in the venue and athletes at the top of the game
These days, sports venues at every level are hoping to attract fans with newer technologies and creature-comfort amenities. CannonDesign is an integrated global design firm and Eric Einhorn leads the firm’s DC-based sports practice. He explained these efforts are focused on keeping fans in the stadium for longer time periods. “If they’re having a better experience overall, and they’re able to keep in touch with their friends and other fans even if the game isn’t the most exciting, they’re more likely to stay within the stadium and that increases opportunities for revenue.”
Einhorn added that facilities are focused on offering the highest speed Wi-Fi as it’s becoming so critical for a positive fan experience. “There are numerous apps that empower fans to purchase and send tickets, check real-time fantasy sports scores and player stats, order food and much more. Stadiums with slower Wi-Fi inherently interrupt these processes for fans, diminishing their overall experience.”
Later in the piece, Eric also shares that “the same desire fans have for technology and connectivity is shared by players. ‘We’re now seeing locker rooms designed with individual iPads or monitors in each locker. This appeals to athletes and also empowers coaching staff to push out training plans and other key information to keep student-athletes on track.”
On the dynamic UMBC Campus Event Center
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Event Center officially opened on Feb. 3, 2018, as the UMBC men’s basketball team hosted Vermont before a capacity crowd. The new facility—a CannonDesign project—is home to the UMBC Retrievers men’s and women’s basketball teams and women’s volleyball team. The venue is designed as one of the premier mid-major NCAA Division 1 facilities in the country. The center has seating capacity for 5,000 in its stadium bowl and an additional 1,000 on the floor, and is also used for commencement, concerts and public speaker events, and is equipped with concessions, catering, hospitality, team store, administrative and coaches offices and security and guest services amenities.
Eric says that designing multipurpose spaces helps maximize their long-term ROI and value. And while (CannonDesign) designed the UMBC center mainly for sporting events, they equipped the building to host other events as well. As a result, UMBC has a remarkably versatile building that will benefit their campus community for decades. Moreover it helps them engage diverse members of their community and alumni network continuously.”