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27 October 2015

HOK’s John Rhodes Discusses Evolution of the Stadium Experience at Soccerex

Avaya Stadium

John Rhodes, director of Sports + Recreation + Entertainment based in HOK’s London office, sat on a panel on the evolution of the fan experience and use of technology in modern sports stadiums.

“There is a kind of arms war between sofa versus stadium, and that affects the way we set about the design process,” Rhodes said of the need for stadiums to entice fans to attend sporting events rather than viewing from their home. “When we talk about technology [in stadiums], I quite like the idea of a smart technology rather than an encompassing ‘high technology.’

“Smart technology, to me, is a combination of high technology, such as cloud-based access, but also using smart thinking and nimble technology in the way that you plan buildings and that you can actually approach technology with a smart idea or innovations at every stage.”

“I think technology for technology’s sake is worth nothing,” agreed Dave Kaval, president of San Jose Earthquakes who play in the HOK-designed Avaya Stadium. “It has to be for the end user. If you’re going to have Wi-Fi and you’re going to have iBeacon and you’re going to have all these snazzy things in the stadium, it has to serve some need for the customer.”

Avaya Stadium

Technology in Avaya Stadium, the first cloud enabled professional sports venue, powers new ways for fans to connect to the game, including a mobile application and a fan engagement wall. Additionally, the Quakes continue to work closely with Avaya Labs to bring new technology into the stadium.

View the entire Soccerex panel discussion: