Avaya Stadium - State of the Art - A Great Fan Day Experience

Mar 27, 2015

Stadiums are a passion for me, being a veteran of over 100 college football away games, and numerous other sporting events. I love the whole fan experience; the tailgating before and after the game, the excitement, the bands – and the stadiums, arenas and ballparks. It's almost a hobby visiting other sporting venues. I like to compare the food, the seats, and the visibility from the seats. I've been very lucky to have gotten to sit in many press boxes, or be on the playing field during the game.

Being in the business of contact centers, it's also a joy to me to see the slow upgrade of existing venues to support IP networks, and all the accompanying things that can be done to facilitate a smooth game day experience, from communication from the press box to the field, information on the scoreboards, to the fan experience itself. And those new stadiums and parks that have been built in the past decade are a true joy when it comes to communications capabilities.

So I was so excited to get invited to the inaugural game at Avaya Stadium this past weekend. Avaya Stadium is the new home of the San Jose Earthquakes professional soccer team and they opened up against the Chicago Fire (Spoiler alert – we won!). Before talking technology, perhaps the biggest wonder is that the Quakes could find a place in Silicon Valley to put a new park, and what a place it is. But the effort started 15 years ago, and probably couldn't be achieved again today. The franchise purchased land right next to the San Jose airport, and I mean right next to it. Yes, part of the fan day experience at Avaya stadium is a view of planes taking off and landing, right behind the scoreboard. Petco Park with its view of downtown San Diego, AT&T park with its view of San Francisco Bay, and Huskey Stadium in Seattle with its view of Mt. Rainier – you have competition.

They set out to make a park worthy of a great fan day experience. The 7Up Epicenter is a 2 acre grassy area, with the largest exterior bar in North America, seated on a grassy field with the second largest LED screen in the state, with dual sides – one facing the grass so that fans can gather on the grass before or during the game and the other side the main scoreboard. One endearing attribute for locals is the incorporation of reclaimed wood from historic Hangar One at Moffett field, into the building itself.

Now for the good stuff. Avaya, partner of the Quakes, set out to create an amazing technological fan day experience. Fans are greeted by Ava, Avaya's virtual assistant. Avaya Stadium is the first cloud-enabled stadium and provides Wifi throughout, along with high-resolution, larger than life, fan interactive screens which provide up to the second stats and real-time social media feeds.

There is also an Avaya Stadium mobile app that allows fans to purchase tickets, and get directions to the stadium. A work in progress, later versions will have up to the second player stats, live video replays, and the ability to order from concessions and purchase merchandise.

In all, the stadium is beautiful, there is not a bad seat in the house, and the state of the art infrastructure Avaya has provided truly did make for a great fan day experience. I'm now a Quakes fan for sure.


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Nancy Jamison

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Nancy Jamison is a Principal Analyst within Customer Contact within the Digital Transformation group at Frost & Sullivan. She covers all aspects of customer contact including cloud and premise-based systems and applications in the core areas of inbound/outbound routing, IVR, Workforce Optimization, and recording and analytics, with a particular focus on peripheral and emerging areas that impact the Customer Experience. These include speech technologies, omni-channel customer care, Big Data, digital marketing, Back Office Workforce Optimization, and Support Interaction Optimization.


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