When Tottenham Hotspur decided to move from White Hart Lane to a brand new, state-of-the-art stadium next door, the Premier League football club knew they had to make the new arena as special and atmospheric as their 100-plus-year-old home.
No stone has been spared in the quest to build the perfect football venue, with unprecedented attention paid to elements such as acoustics, audiovisual equipment and stand structure. The new stadium’s South Stand, with a capacity of 17,500, is the largest single-tier stand in England, Europe’s longest bar helps fans get their half-time pints faster, and the range of dining and hospitality options is unparalleled in the country.
The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium combines everything fans have loved about White Hart Lane with all the advancements made in stadium design and technology over the past century, opening up new sources of revenue for the club and providing a modern and painless to supporters who will hopefully spend more time. on the ground.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is one of the smallest modern football arenas in the world. (Getty Images)
But the club recognizes that the old adage ‘seeing is believing’ still holds true. Its partnership with Ticketmaster not only simplifies the process of purchasing and distributing match tickets, but also helps to educate fans about its experiences and dining options at the point of purchase. with 3D virtual place.
The technology gives fans a glimpse of the view from their seat and allows them to compare different ticket and hospitality options, bringing the stadium to life and boosting fan satisfaction and sales.
SportsPro spoke to Ian Murphy, Head of Ticketing and Memberships at Tottenham Hotspur, and Chris Gratton, COO of Ticketmaster Sport, to find out more.
Tottenham are the first Premier League club to use Ticketmaster’s 3D virtual site. How does the technology work and what was needed to bring it to life at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium?
Chris Graton: Last year we launched our co-innovation partnership with Tottenham Hotspur and as part of this we wanted to look at technologies that could completely innovate the way the club interacts with its fans. Virtual Venue 3D technology gives the fan the ability to completely refine their shopping experience and compare and contrast options within the stadium, both in the general and premium areas to perfect that shopping experience.
In order to get it up and running, we worked with the club to create a brand new integrated sales stream and an identical digital 3D stadium replica from scratch. We’ve already seen the technology resist sales and perform well while allowing fans to see areas of the stadium they normally wouldn’t have had the chance to see.
Ian Murphy: As part of our ongoing commitment to improve and enhance our fans’ experience in all of their interactions with us, we were delighted to work with Ticketmaster to develop this upgrade to our ticket buying experience. Introducing the latest technology using Virtual Venue has allowed us to give fans the chance to see the different views from the available seats.
What have been the traditional ticketing issues, both from a customer and club perspective? How will this technology benefit fans who want to purchase tickets and how does it differ from other “view from my seat” features?
CG: Traditional pain points in the sports ticket purchasing process are continually evolving in line with broader consumer expectations. For many years, the purchasing process in sport has lagged behind truly streamlined and efficient processes in [fast moving consumer goods]retail and airlines, but we believe that with the introduction of our completely redesigned front-end sales flows, benchmarked against those industries for best practices, and the addition of Virtual Venue, we can solve two of the main problems.
Namely, they are the speed and ease of conversion as well as the ability to tailor, down to your own sightline preferences, your selection process. Virtual Venue removes flat-plan seating maps with a view from the seat and gives you the ability to select, view and, because 3D Virtual Venue is fully integrated, purchase in one stream. It also allows for screen-in-screen visibility on the comparison of seats and rows, as well as viewing lounges and premium spaces that really bring the stadium to life in a way that the traditional view from the seat does not.
Additionally, the precise architectural 3D details give sports clubs and organizations the ability to maximize sponsorship opportunities.
I AM: The biggest problem that Virtual Venue addresses is that it allows people buying tickets to explore the venue more accurately than ever before making a purchase. If someone is unfamiliar with the venue, wants to experience an alternative venue, or has specific requirements for their visit, then Virtual Venue provides much greater levels of detail than we have been able to offer online in the past. . The ability to compare different views and locations also provides further options and information to the visitor.
Previously, many of these points would have been handled via a phone call. So, in addition to providing a better experience for fans, it also helps reduce incoming call traffic.
The 3D virtual view gives fans an indication of their view of the match.
Attending a sporting event no longer consists of showing up five minutes before kick-off and then leaving as soon as possible. It’s more and more experiences. How can technology like 3D Virtual Venue help fans learn more about what to expect when choosing their seats?
CG: Working with Tottenham, we really wanted to bring the experience and the opportunities to life within the wider stadium footprint and the different areas of the stadium. Virtual Venue allows us to bring to life not only the bowling and hospitality areas, but whatever the venue decides to showcase, such as the lobbies, bars, restaurants and, in the case of Tottenham, the Dare Skywalk, stadium tours and other attractions as they are added.
To this end, fans can truly understand the experience and plan ahead where they want to meet and what they want to do on the big day. Virtual Venue also brings club branding and fan passion to watch live games both in the “know before you go” and buying process.
I AM: The initial release of the platform on our website largely focused on bowl seating and premium stadium areas. Over time, we will look to expand Virtual Venue to other areas. This will provide details and information not previously available online regarding the location of catering outlets and any other facilities that could impact where a supporter chooses to purchase their seats.
Corporate clients can also experience the stadium’s impressive hospitality options
One of the most unique features of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is the variety of hospitality options. How does 3D Virtual Venue capture this in a way that wasn’t possible before?
CG: With Virtual Venue, you can present the stadium in its best light. To that end, for high-end areas, including hospitality, where the fan expects the best from their experience, we are able to give them a true representation of the experience they are buying.
The club and venue have international appeal and Virtual Venue allows these potential new fans to virtually set foot inside the venue to see all of the ticket and experience options available to them, including premium areas and hospitality.
I AM: Historically, our online platforms would have struggled to do justice to the facilities available at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Virtual Venue gave us the opportunity to visually showcase the high-end, state-of-the-art facilities on site, both as part of the direct sales journey or as part of a broader conversation with customers. potentials who want to explore the options available to them.
Spurs have left no stone unturned in their quest to make the new stadium one of the best in world football and technology is a big part of that. How important is it for the club to keep innovating with services like 3D Virtual Venue?
I AM: Virtual Venue provides a platform for continuous innovation on our site and what we do digitally is an integral part of our DNA. When designing our site, we integrated technology into its structure, allowing us to accelerate innovation to support our business operations and continue to improve the fan experience. 3D Virtual Venue, together with Ticketmaster Sport, has provided us with an operational tool that supports our premium and general admission ticketing journey and also allows our fans to virtually experience our site, enhancing the digital experience they have. with the club.
In the end, what do Tottenham hope to gain from this technology? How will you measure success?
I AM: We are constantly striving to give our fans the best experience every time they interact with us. The introduction of Virtual Venue is a further step in making the fan experience the best possible and highlighting the range of seating options available in all areas of the stadium. We look forward to continuing to work with Ticketmaster to develop and improve the platform in the future.