By featured blogger Niral Patel
You’re at Dodger Stadium watching Zack Greinke throw another gem, one eye on your steaming Dodger Dog and the other on the mound. An older gentleman with wispy, white hair is intently scoring the game by hand in front of you while, to your left, a father is schooling is son and daughter on the finer points of the game. So what’s the problem?
Nearly everyone else around you is spending more time on their cell phones than immersing themselves in the action on the field. Obsessive smartphone swiping at sporting events is a reality that drives sports fans crazy. It’s also an actuality of modern society no matter how much it makes you want to repeatedly scream watch the game! to those around you. When I tell you about the San Francisco 49ers Levi’s Stadium mobile app you might want to throw your iPhone down in disgust. But wait. This app, developed by VenueNext, is finally collecting all parts of the game day experience in one neat place. This app is proof of why sports mobile app careers are so hot right now. Let’s start with the app’s promise:
“The Levi’s® Stadium app will enhance your game day experience with features including mobile tickets and parking passes, mobile ordering of food and beverages, wayfinding to navigate around the building, and a “game center” for high-definition video replays.”
Your pre-kickoff experience. Simplified.
Buying tickets for sporting events is easier and harder than ever. No longer do you have to stand in line or call a ticket hotline to get your hands on a stub. You do have to print them and not lose them or have the barcode accessible on your phone through email or one of many apps as you approach the turnstiles. The Levi’s Stadium app becomes a one-stop collector for 49er home game tickets. Load your tickets into the app and then, on game day, have easy access your tickets as you enter the stadium. It feels like a cleaner, simpler way to get into the game.
Parking on game day is stressful. Over 70,000 fans pile into the Bay Area’s Levi’s Stadium for each game making the streets of Santa Clara a mess. Public transit is one option but driving to the stadium remains the popular choice. Use the Levi’s Stadium app to quickly access your previously purchased parking passes or buy a new one. And use it to find your way to one of more than a handful of area parking lots well before kickoff.
Levi’s Stadium is a state-of-art, award-winning sports facility. It’s also massive, 1.85 million square feet of seats, luxury boxes, concourses, restaurants, restrooms, locker rooms and, of course, a football field. Use the app’s Explore Levi’s Stadium to scope out your surroundings. Instead of haphazardly following signage while trying to avoid a hoard of fans, use this location-based feature to find out where you are, what’s nearby and how to get there. Directions to restrooms, team stores, the museum and all the food you could ever ask for are now at your fingertips.
Watching the game in the stands is better. So much better.
Sports fans love their food and drink. It’s not game day without pre-game tailgate grills and in-game nachos, hot dogs, beers and sodas. But sports fans hate standing elbow-to-elbow in concession stand lines while precious minutes of the game clock tick away. The 49ers, using the Levi’s Stadium app, created two ways to solve this one. Use Express Pickup to order and pay for your food and drinks from a nearby concession stand and breeze by the line—Chili’s To Go style—to an express pickup window. Does that still feel like too much wasted time? Pull up In-Seat Delivery to order food for yourself or even a friend. Warm food and cold drinks are delivered right to you leaving more time to enjoy the game and high-five friends, family and fellow fans.
San Francisco 49er fans access Game Center to marry the excitement of watching from the stands with the information access of tuning in from your leather recliner. Sure, stadium Jumbotrons are bigger than ever making replays and statistics more accessible. And smart phones let us find stats, highlights and more when you’re not in front of a computer or television screen. But this app within an app makes your screen time about enhancing the game that’s right in front of your face. Stream the game live for a close up look—not everyone can sit on the 50 yard line—or rewatch a key touchdown, fumble or interception. Get roster updates on who’s playing and who’s inactive before the game and follow the numbers with real time box scores and game stats. Game Center doesn’t take your attention away from the game. It adds that layer of information and detail most fans crave.