Working for Sky Sports | Veggie Fish & Chips, WiFi and finding your seat…
By Michelle Owen (Sky Sports Presenter)
Have you seen Spurs new stadium? It looks amazing! It ticks a lot of boxes and is a place to be looked to and inspired by. I’ve seen some fans incredulous that vegetarian fish and chips is on offer but personally I think it’s fantastic. Gone are the days of pie and chips being the staple Saturday afternoon diet for a football fan. When I go to a match as a fan I want more options! As a vegetarian as good as it gets is normally a cheese pasty and that’s all your options done. Seeing spurs offer soya and vegetarian products is brilliant. No one should be maligned for personal choices so stadia need to cater for everyone in 2019. It is easier if you have more modern facilities of course but just look at Forest Green Rovers for inspiration.
The New Lawn is one of the most environmentally friendly in the world and sells only vegetarian food proving that even in League Two it can be catered for. It’s certainly a different experience for fans too with no meat available. The pitch is organic and solar panels help power the stadium. As global warming and pollution become an increasing concern for us all a lot can be learned from this club.
As a fan you need WiFi. It should not be a luxury! First and foremost you need some sort of reception to at least call your mates, chances are they won’t hear their phone so you want to WhatsApp and arrange your meet up. Often stadia have free available WiFi, you go through a 100 step process to verify yourself answering what foot size you are and your mother’s maiden name only to find when you finally register it doesn’t even work. WiFi needs to be a priority for all stadiums now as it is expected. If WiFi isn’t there you need decent mobile reception, but have you tried getting your 4G along with 30,000 others? It just doesn’t work. As a fan I want WiFi to check scores message my mates and send photos. It’s a must.
There’s has been much talk of scrapping match day programs, and some clubs have chosen to offering it online instead. Personally, I love the glossy feel of a program and flicking through picking out bits of information. If you’re going to put it online make sure your work is easily accessible! If it’s a club app this links back into needing reception and WiFi to access it. It’s all part of the match day experience.
Finally one of the most complicated things as an unfamiliar fan at a new stadium is trying to find your way in the correct entrance! This is often more a problem at gigs when your ticket says ‘use Gate C.’ Ok great, so where is the c?! Stewards look confused and send you one way but the sign says another. How good would it be to have a text 24 hours before the event with a link to a digital plan of the stadium which you could virtually navigate? Even better if you could use it with location settings to follow directions to your entrance. It’s about going that extra mile for consumer experience and in a world where we rely on our phones it should be tapped into more.
You can follow Michelle on Twitter here https://twitter.com/MichelleOwen7