Tottenham Hotspur Stadium’s state-of-the-art design and cutting-edge amenities have already enshrined its reputation as one of the sporting world’s most celebrated venues since it opened its doors in April 2019.
Earlier this year, though, the facility broke new ground when it became the first English Premier League football stadium to integrate Ticketmaster’s 3D Virtual Venue technology, giving fans a unique life-like view of their seats when considering buying a ticket.
With a large number of first-time attendees having visited the venue over the past three-and-a-half years from across the UK, Europe and beyond to watch various sport and entertainment spectacles, the North London venue was an ideal launchpad for the solution in a highly competitive market.
However, it arrived in the Premier League on the back of an impressive track record.
Indeed, whilst Tottenham marked a debut offering for 3D Virtual Venue in English football’s top tier, more than 300 teams and venues worldwide have integrated the solution since it launched some 13 years ago at Yankee Stadium, the home of Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees.
“3D Virtual Venue was designed to allow fans to ‘try before you buy’,” says Steve Korian, executive vice president at Ticketmaster’s partner IOMEDIA, the digital agency that created the solution. “The 3D views from every seat enable the ticket buyer to make a more informed purchase decision as they’ve had a chance to experience the seat views.
“The Yankees’ goal was to use technology to help their long-time fans envision what their new stadium was going to look like. Virtual Venue offered the team a unique way of introducing the new stadium to sponsors, corporate partners and fans before construction was complete.”
Whilst different seat-view technologies have sprouted up across sports and entertainment in recent years, Ticketmaster believes Virtual Venue offers the best seat in the house due to its ticket system integration, pre-eminent technology and proven returns for its clients.
“The service has been met with tremendous enthusiasm from both the clubs and teams that use the technology and their fans,” Korian says. “Use of Virtual Venue has helped to significantly increase consumer confidence for ticket buyers when purchasing tickets, leading some teams to increase their active user base by nearly 40%.”
The service is equally valuable across all venue events, with a busy stadium like Tottenham’s a case in point. The stadium hosts 19 Premier League games and extra cup matches each season and will welcome two NFL games in October, as well as two top-level rugby union matches in the coming months. Having hosted Guns N’ Roses as its first major concert over the summer, Virtual Venue will also be helping to attract music fans to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for years to come.
“Virtual Venue works well across all categories and segments and is integrated across the purchase flow, so it does not slow down the system or the buyer. In fact, it builds ticket buyer confidence since the consumer knows exactly what they are going to get with their purchase,” Korian adds.
Fans at Tottenham, Yankee Stadium and elsewhere are able to digitally preview 360-degree views and sightlines, compare sections and check time-of-day viewpoints in real time when selecting their seats.
With 3D-quality visuals and pinpoint accuracy, fans have the opportunity to explore various parts of the stadium via their mobile or desktop, including premium areas, to choose the seat that is right for them.
“Virtual Venue is the industry’s only architecturally accurate 3D seat map tied to ticketing and offers the most realistic 360-degree seat views available,” Korian says. “Every level of detail – from the cupholders to leather back seats – are captured with precision. We work in tandem with architects and designers to ensure every seat view is recreated with flawless design.”
While the service allows potential general admission visitors to make a more informed purchase, the service is particularly useful for sales teams looking to secure those all-important VIPs and corporate clients.
“Virtual Venue is a fantastic tool for showcasing a venue’s premium seating product and hospitality areas,” Korian adds. “The 360-degree views help potential buyers envision their premium experience, including dining and entertaining, and enable sales teams to showcase and tour these spaces without requiring the client to travel. Additionally, teams that use Virtual Venue now run their annual re-seating events and upgrades online.”
Ticketmaster’s clients are enthused by the benefits the service brings, with Ian Murphy, Tottenham’s head of ticketing and membership, having described it as an innovation that can “take our fan experience to the next level.”
Marking its launch earlier this year, he added: “With such a wide range of seating options on offer at our stadium, including licensed safe standing and premium areas, this cutting-edge technology will give fans the best possible insight into what their matchday experience will be like before making their selection.”
Ticketmaster has been keen to ensure its solution can be integrated easily and efficiently, offering new opportunities for its venues and clubs that are having to work harder than ever before to lure back spectators in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
With this in mind, any Ticketmaster client can upgrade their service to include Virtual Venue, meaning they can tap into a tried-and-tested service that provides a fresh perspective.
“The feature is part of our suite of premium products and may be customised for each client’s needs,” Korian says. “We continue to see widespread adoption of Virtual Venue around the globe. We expect to welcome further Virtual Venue releases and hope fans will continue to enjoy the views from venues across the world of sport and music.”