Columbus Crew’s Lower.com Field.
Lower.com Field is the Columbus Crew’s dynamic downtown stadium located in Astor Park. The innovative stadium was completed in 2021 and boasts seating for more than 20,000 fans, with 30 suites and 1,900 club seats.
Ensuring fans would be able to enjoy a premium and memorable experience before, during and after the in-bowl action was a core objective of the stadium technology team who’s overriding ethos was for technology to be integral to the build and a reflection of the modern, state of the art venue.
A number of services at Lower.com Field are designed to provide fans and guests with a world-class matchday experience with technological advances that create a convenient and seamless visit. Fans who enrol in the Crew Express Access Program will have the option to pair their ticket with their own selfie. By linking their ticketing account to their pictures, fans can enter the stadium without having to pull their phone out of their pocket. One glance at a tablet and fans can walk right into Lower.com Field.
Also featured at Lower.com Field are free public Wi-Fi, mobile charging kiosks and enhanced audio in each seating section were some of the innovations implemented. As part of the technology deployment program, the team also identified the requirement for TVs around the stadium to show content to complement viewing of the on-field action.
To achieve this, more than 450 displays were installed around the concourse areas, in the premium suites, in the field club areas as well as in common spaces where they have been located both at eye level and higher up to be more widely visible from a distance. Large LEDs are also in-bowl at each end of the stadium along with an impressive scrolling matrix board. The LEDs are also prominently featured throughout the stadium, with large format screens in multiple premium and club spaces including the Huntington Field Club, Lower. com Lounge, The Pub and the Community Plaza.
A home to be proud of for the whole Crew
Having a platform with the power and flexibility to display different types of content on the screens was critical and following a period of review and evaluation, the Tripleplay platform was selected based not only its functionality, but also the number of installs and credibility earned within MLS.
“Lower.com Field is one of the most dynamic and innovative new stadiums in MLS, and we wanted to ensure a world-class fan experience for everyone who visits our stadium,” said Brandon Covert, Vice President of Information Technology for Haslam Sports Group. “We identified investment in stadium technology as a key component of delivering enhanced experience, improved fan engagement and maximizing our revenue generation potential.”
The Tripleplay platform supports the main concourse screens with IPTV and digital signage which includes a sponsor L-wrap with rotating sponsor profiles; as well as the concession stand menu boards with EPOS integration, and in the premium suites, interactive TV portal with EPG. A full reporting tool ensures sponsors can measure their ROI with proof of play reporting delivered on a match-by-match basis.
Covert continued, “Our sponsors love the benefit of the IPTV and digital signage technology. They get additional real estate to showcase their brands and we’re able to track and measure the impact of their investment.”
No penalties for leaving your seat
Low latency encoders are also used to take a feed from Bally Sports, the TV content provider and broadcast across the venue in real-time. Broadcasting live action away from the field in real-time is vital for an engaging fan experience ensuring audiences hear and see key moments in sync with action on the field. Safe in the knowledge they will not miss the action if they leave their seats, fans are more likely to visit concession stands and retail outlets, helping to increase revenues.
We love the flexibility of the Tripleplay solution. We can quickly change the content to reflect key moments on the field at any point in time, allowing fans to stay engaged in the action throughout Lower.com Field.
Additional content delivered via Tripleplay includes providing fans with up-to-date live scores for other games taking place around the MLS as well as displaying upcoming fixtures, services available around the stadium and sponsor branding and promotions.
Offering Moments of Exclusivity to further enhance sponsor branding in key match moments such as yellow cards, player substitutions or goal celebrations on the TV screens helps to ensure partner messaging is constantly reinforced to fans, while ensuring they can always see all the action.
“We love the flexibility of the Tripleplay solution,“ commented Covert. “We can quickly change the content to reflect key moments on the field at any point in time, allowing fans to stay engaged in the action throughout Lower.com Field.”
A multi-purpose solution for a multi purpose stadium
Outside of the stadium’s use for soccer, the larger event suites are used throughout the week for corporate or local partner events as well as social activities and meetings. With a few simple clicks, digital signage can be quickly and easily changed to reflect the branding of the event and offer a more personalized experience for guests.
Covert concluded, “We were excited to utilize the Tripleplay technology. It has allowed us to enhance our venue and achieve our vision of delivering a stadium with the latest and greatest technology available. We have a fantastic partnership with Tripleplay and we’re delighted to be working with them.”
For more information on the Lower.com Field stadium and the Columbus Crew, visit their website at https://www.lowerfieldcbus.com/.