Stadiums of the Future

Bird Nest Beijing

Last Thursday 15th, I had the pleasure of being part of a meeting with the representative authorities of Beijing National Stadium (Bird’s Nest).

I was there on behalf of China Information Industrial Design Research Institute and the vice-president of the facilities was our host.

We were discussing the current situation of the stadium, the events being hosted and the progress in sports, both technologically and in terms of performance, specifically at Bird’s Nest.

Gradually, more VIP-Lounges are being rented as offices, private clubs and restaurants. Sport stadiums are growing the point of being huge services malls where sport events only score a second position in terms of revenue.

The prestige of being part of an event at Bird’s Nest is incomparable in Beijing. The top 15 events per year are all there, and companies are using those VIP-Lounges as luxurious, fully equipped meeting rooms to impress their clients.

After the successful Olympics in 2008, Beijing will hold 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Again, the eyes of the world will be watching Bird’s Nest, and bleeding edge upgrades and technology for this new challenge will be surely needed.

We spoke about Luzhniki (Moscow), Wanda (Madrid) or Mercedes-Benz (Dallas) stadiums as the new points of reference when it comes to modern venues. Disruptive technologies are, however, rethinking the way we understand sports. New terms such as User Experience are now more important than the key previous ones such as entertainment. The fourth Industrial Revolution is hitting hard sports too. Giant video screens, better connectivity, modern access controls, security, mobile Point-of-Service (vendors selling food, beverages and merchandise pretty much anywhere in the stadium without requiring fans to leave their seats or spend a lot of time in lines) and much more.

Bird’s Nest leaders were asking us for ideas, technologies, innovation… Anything that could solidly keep Beijing’s National Stadium ahead of the competition.

Now it is our turn.

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