There was an article from the SportsBusiness Journal this week that posed some interesting ideas concerning how the sports landscape could change in the coming years.
I thought the last suggestion the article had for sports organizations was the most interesting:
Drastically consider altering the in-person experience to smaller stadiums, segmented experiences within venues (family, couples, groups of men, etc.), where each group has a very different and a very specific (and appropriate) experience.”
Would you prefer going to a game with other people looking for the same experience?
You want to be with loud drunks? Great. You want to be with other families? Cool. Couple? Alright. And no one has to be offended or held back by the other. Such a good idea… on paper.
But no thanks.
I think this goes against the very fabric of what I like about sports. I remember being a kid and hearing people curse at the Boston Garden or at Fenway Park. It made me feel like a grownup and I fell in love with going to those games.
I love the great sports moments where two strangers with zero in common find common ground and cheer together. And that is happening less frequently in this country.
We have spent so much energy bifurcating ourselves to stay comfortable in other parts of our lives. We watch our teams’ news networks and narrow-cast ourselves with podcasts and a million on-demand TV shows. We choose cars and even bikes over buses. We self-select who we follow on social media and who gets to socialize with us there.
But sports has always been a sanctuary from that. A place where your age, education level, political affiliation, volume level or even sobriety level (within reason) doesn’t matter.
A place where fans come together.
I hope we don’t lose that.