The Upper Deck is the New Front Row

The flexible design of The Inverted Bowl by ROSSETTI allows for custom experience creation.

Not too long ago, the chance to see your favorite band perform its hits live in concert or watch your favorite sports star play in person was well worth the price of admission. But not anymore.

Attendance at live entertainment events continues to decline. Advancements in home theater technologies, coupled with rising ticket prices, have made it easier for fans to opt for a great viewing experience from the comfort of their own homes. Similarly, virtual reality (VR) in the music industry continues to gain traction by allowing fans to experience the emotion and energy of a live concert through their VR headsets. No less than 20 headline acts streamed concerts live in VR in 2017. That number is likely to keep going up as more bands embrace the power of VR, and the associated technologies become more affordable.

These trends have created a scenario where, simply put, the live entertainment experience just isn’t enough of an experience for fans to justify spending their time and resources to attend.

But ROSSETTI, one of the world’s most innovative sports and entertainment architecture design firms, is working to change that.

The Inverted Bowl

ROSSETTI recently unveiled a new arena design concept that literally turns thousands of years of arena design convention inside out to give fans an experience unlike any other – and one they certainly can’t get at home.

The design, aptly titled “The Inverted Bowl,” eliminates traditional upper bowl seating that slopes up and away in favor of tiered upper deck seating that gradually moves inward toward the action. This design creates new levels of intimacy, excitement, and engagement for fans while also offering them broadcast quality views that get as much as 50% closer to the action than traditional upper bowl seating.

While the enhanced views and closer proximity to performers and players may be intriguing concepts for premium seating professionals, they only just scratch the surface of what makes The Inverted Bowl unique and poised to change how arenas are designed and built for decades to come.

Custom Experience Creation

For professionals in charge of creating and executing one-of-a-kind experiences for fans, perhaps the most attractive value proposition The Inverted Bowl offers comes from the flexibility of the design.

The Inverted Bowl is a choose-your-own-adventure of sorts that can be modified to create highly unique, customized experiences that don’t exist anywhere else in the world, even at other arenas leveraging The Inverted Bowl premise. Premium seating professionals who oversee the fan experience can get creative and think outside of the box to identify and implement a virtually endless array of new and innovative ideas.

How The Inverted Bowl is customized largely depends on the experience seating directors are looking to provide for fans. In some instances, this experience may equate to a truly immersive VIP offering that allows fans to take in an event in high style, which might include in-suite digital displays that allow fans to interact with various components of the game or event, exclusive access to player or performer stats and information, or customizable views of the action through private video feeds. The possibilities are endless.

In other instances, executives may choose to approach The Inverted Bowl through a more egalitarian effort, where the inverted upper bowl balconies are open to ticket holders just like any other seat. While this approach gives every fan greater accessibility to the benefits presented by the inverted model and makes the experience that much more attainable, it doesn’t necessarily mean seating executives need to cut down on the experiential components.

The design of The Inverted Bowl also eliminates single-use circulation concourses that are isolated from the bowl, producing animated and vibrant balcony levels that inspire social engagement and interaction. These engaging social spaces could feature diverse entertainment options, such as permanent and versatile multimedia or creative dining options, that encourage social interactions amongst fans. With a focus on future-tech engagement throughout the arena, the opportunity for interactive fan touchpoints are unlimited and perfectly complement the spectacular sightlines and intimacy to the action presented by The Inverted Bowl.

An Arena Revolution

Sports and entertainment owners, executives, and promoters are working tirelessly to find new and unique ways to reverse declining attendance figures and get fans back in the seats at live events. Modern sports and entertainment fans crave interactive experiences, higher levels of connectivity, and enhanced levels of social engagements. The Inverted Bowl delivers on these needs and more, positioning it to truly usher in a new era of arena design.

Matt Rossetti is President of ROSSETTI, one of the world’s most innovative sports and entertainment architecture firms, and creator of The Inverted Bowl.

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