Darryl Dunn, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Rose Bowl Operating Co. would prepare to welcome the largest crowd of his year if things went normally. More than 90,000 college fans, most of whom travel to Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, for their annual New Year’s Eve competition, will this time follow the action at home, in line with California’s social action against corruption.
Instead, Mr. Dunn arranges for the arrival of about 70 animatronic dinosaurs. The parking lot of the Rose Bowl will be transformed into a Jurassic safari in January. The car park has already been used as a venue for outdoor concerts and comedies, while Halloween is a scary destination.
The stadium is one of the many major sports facilities that will offer visitors a new experience as the coronavirus pandemic will crush ticket sales. They hope to take advantage of what is left: a large number of indoor and outdoor spaces.
Our income is based on people, and if we don’t have people, we don’t make any money, Dunn said. But what we do have is space, so we thought, let’s try making a lemonade out of it.
The live performances of the Bowl of Roses began in July, when the parking garage of the stadium was converted into a cinema for 30 screenings in four weeks, thanks to an agreement with the Tribeca Film Festival. Tickets cost $30 per car, and visitors can buy food and drinks at open concession stands. According to Mr. Dunn, every view of 500 cars sold…
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The Tribeca series has raised the profile of the Rose Cup, said Dunn, and has led to other agreements with entertainment companies such as
Walt Disney Co.
Hulu, where the screening of Huluwin’s horror film last month resulted in an exciting journey through the ghost forest.
We literally moved our company to the movies, Dunn said. It’s a company we now promote and sell.
The Miami Dolphins have also found creative applications for their stadium, which is again open to the public with a capacity limited to 13,000 spectators. Since June, the National Football League team has transformed the outside of the Hard Rock Stadium into an improvised theatre. The 90-foot wide screen, originally set up for the 2019 Miami Open tennis tournament, showed films throughout the summer and visitors sat in tent capsules scattered across the site’s western and eastern lawns. The landscape of the 13th. September has been renamed Gamed Gameday Theatre and now shows plays of the Dolphins at home and on the road.
Meanwhile, Gillette Stadium, better known as the home of the New England NFL Patriots in Foxborough, Massachusetts, will be installing flashlights in parking garages later this month to allow guests to travel the 1.5 mile distance by car, bus or limousine. The stadium also hosted Jurassic’s Quest in September, which was so successful that two extra weeks were added to its original ten-day duration to meet demand for tickets, the spokeswoman said.
Sports fans are eager to return to the stands, but health experts say stadiums are one of the most risky areas for the coronavirus to continue. Dr. Peter Jin-Hong, a specialist in infectious diseases, shows us how easily the virus can spread among masses of people. Photo: Associated Press (Originally published on 17 May 2020)
In the capital, the D.C. United football team works together with local fitness centres to organise outdoor activities on the Audi pitch. And last month, the NFL Green Bay Packers transformed the parking lot of the Lambo Field Stadium into a contactless Halloween zone.
Because the end of social protocols is not in sight, some stadiums are planning to build special areas so that fans can follow matches and concerts remotely. Earlier this year, the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association signed a contract to build an open car park in the parking lot of their original arena, the Fiserv Forum, allowing small groups of fans to eat, drink and watch the action in the arena from shipping containers with pods and parking spaces overlooking the new outdoor screens.
guests dine and watch an outdoor movie in June at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Peter McMahon/Miami Dolphins
Plans have been put on hold while the team awaits advice from the municipal health department on capacity, said Peter Feigin, President of the Bucks and Fiserv Forum.
Forum Fiserv, however, organised observation groups for the NBA playoffs from July to September and transformed the central court arena into a restaurant that could accommodate groups of up to 10 people. Food and drinks were delivered to the tables, the DJ provided pre-game entertainment and games were played on central pendants. It was like Mr. Fagin said it was the coolest basketball wedding you’ve ever been to.
The success of the parties has prompted Bucks’ sales and marketing team to develop a new hospitality offering from the Fiserv Forum which, according to Feigin, is now aimed at people looking for locations large enough to host parties, meetings and weddings for up to 100 people. In Wisconsin, public meetings are limited to 25% of the total area of a room or building.
Bax hopes that this alternative source of revenue will at least cover ticket sales with a cushion and keep the staff in place if the next basketball season goes unattended, Fagin said. But the stadium officials understand that this new experiment will not be enough to cover the losses of 2020, no matter how successful they may be.
Hard Rock Stadium doesn’t make any money at all in its Gamedei Theatre, but his work creates jobs for the locals, says Todd Boyan, senior vice president of operations at Dolphin Stadium. The Roses Cup, owned and operated by the City of Pasadena as a non-profit organization, will lose about $13 million this year, Dunn said.
That’s better than the estimated $16 million loss it would have incurred without the drama and empirical events, but it’s far from the usual break-even prediction, he said.
But it helps us keep the job and sends the right message to our community, says Dunn. We’re gonna tell the city: We’re always open, we’re just open in a different way.
Write to Kathy Dayton at [email protected]
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