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The future of fan experience belongs to truly connected venues, study reveals

With 93% of event-goers recognising live events offer an experience they can’t get at home, venue owners have huge revenue opportunities if they can up their connectivity game 

11 December 2023 | London, England

New research by Boldyn Networks reveals that advanced connectivity will transform the fan experience of the future. According to the study Sports, Gaming and Rock & Roll: Connectivity and the fan experience , 93% of event-goers still prefer the experience and atmosphere of live events over staying at home, and at the heart of this is connectivity. With 77% of respondents saying they hate when there is no mobile/cell coverage at the venue during an event, it's clear that connectivity is a crucial factor in creating the enriched experience that fans are calling out for. From being able to easily share moments via social media, to ordering food and beverages without leaving their seats, or enjoying unbeatable AR/VR experiences, fans agree: connectivity can take live events to the next level.

 But connectivity can also negatively impact fan experience, especially if it is poor and unreliable. Event-goers are split on who’s to blame for poor network coverage at venues, with 42% blaming their network provider, and 35% blaming the stadium or arena owner, while 15% blame the home team or performing act. The reality is that venue owners are far more likely to miss out on revenue opportunities if they do not have the right connectivity infrastructure in place. According to findings:

  • 81% of event-goers would spend more if there were more convenient food, beverages or merchandise ordering options.
  • Over half (57%) will spend more if they could order food/beverages from their seat.
  • 73% would download an app that meant they could pre-order things at the stadium/arena.
  • 85% of event-goers would like to be notified of ticket availability and upgrade their tickets to the event through a mobile app.

In addition to missing out on monetisation opportunities, sub-par connectivity limits venue owners from transforming the fan journey in the stadium of the future. This will include everything from readily available digital tickets, already accessed by over three quarters (77%) of event-goers today, smart cameras that scan crowd movement and behaviour and ease up long security lines, all the way to personalised directions to seats, and AR overlay to see stats on players in real-time—something that 72% of event-goers today wish they could have access to.

“Live events are fully back. After years of streaming from home, this past summer and fall showed us that fans are eager to enjoy all that a live concert or sporting event have to offer. But attending a live event is no longer just about the show—it’s also about the digital journey as fans enter with electronic tickets, utilize apps for everything from ordering food and merch to sports betting, and leverage 5G enabled cameras for customized views. Our recent study demonstrates how critical cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity is to the fan experience,” said Jason Caliento, Chief Commercial Officer, US at Boldyn Networks. “We’re entering a new era of events and connected experiences, the most-forward thinking venue owners and operators are taking control in this era with the right partners, tech stack, and commercial models to ensure their venues deliver a seamless and memorable event, keeping fans coming back for more.”

Paul Osborne, Chief Commercial Officer, UK and Ireland at Boldyn Networks, said:   

“This research confirms our insights gathered from working with over 300 great venues globally, fast and reliable connectivity is required to enable both transformation of the fan experience and for the creation of new revenue streams for venues. With fans demanding use of their smartphones to amplify the moment, and venue owners and operators expecting top-line growth from digital services such as tailored merchandising and targeted advertising, it is clear that network infrastructure has become a core component in delivering a truly digital, connected event." 

To read Boldyn Networks’ latest report visit: Sports, Gaming and Rock & Roll: Connectivity and the fan experience .

About the survey

Boldyn Networks commissioned Lonergan Research to conduct this research. The survey was a 28-question online study of 6,138 stadium and arena event-goers in the U.S. (3,026) and UK (3,112) aged 18+.


  • Gender: Respondents were 40% Female (3,191), 57% Male (2,814) and 3% Other (133)
  • Generation: Majority of respondents (39% - 2,624) were Millennials aged 25-39, followed by Gen X aged 40-59 (30% - 1,981), Gen Z aged 18-24 (18% - 1,009) and Baby Boomers aged 60+ (14% - 524)
  • Event attendance: In the past 12 months 72% of respondents had attended a sporting event, 61% had attended an entertainment event and 32% had attended both.