Having Fun IRL: New Recreation Offerings Entice Consumers Away from Their Screens

Having Fun IRL: New Recreation Offerings Entice Consumers Away from Their Screens

Over 110 million people tuned in to watch Fox’s telecast of Superbowl LI on February 5, 2017, in which the New England Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons. This is good news for Fox and Tom Brady, but also exemplifies a challenge faced by many providers of recreation services.

Simply put, many consumers are opting to stay at home for entertainment rather than venturing out to stadiums and other venues, constraining ticket sales and other sources of revenue for recreation providers. The falling price and increasing quality of the in-home viewing experience offered by large, high-definition television screens has narrowed the gap with the live experience. At the same time, many smartphones offer high-definition viewing of streamed content.

New Stadium Amenities Aim to Heighten the Sports Fan Experience

To counter this competitive threat, many sports venues are upgrading their amenities to enhance the experience for old and new fans alike. For example, family-friendly features such as children’s play areas and nursing suites are important for attracting the growing base of female sports fans. The Great American Ballpark – the home of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team – features a private nursing suite, equipped with amenities such as changing stations, gliders, refrigerators, and private restrooms.

Many stadiums are also adding in-stadium wireless internet access to facilitate fans’ use of smartphones for activities such as contests, photo sharing, video streaming, real-time seat upgrades, and in-seat food ordering. The aim is to make game watching more interactive, which is especially appealing to millennials.

Music Festival Trend Amps Up Consumer Spending on Live Entertainment

Aided by the growing popularity of music festivals, live entertainment providers are also seeing success in the competitive battle against television and other screens. In fact, Live Nation Entertainment credited the expansion of its festival portfolio – which includes the Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza events – for contributing to the 11% increase in its Concert segment revenue in 2015. As further evidence of this trend, the music festival Coachella took in over $78 million in sales in 2014, up from $25 million in 2011.

Diverse musical acts are attracting consumers of various ages to live entertainment shows. For example, the Desert Trip festival in October 2016 featured notable musicians and groups that are especially appealing to baby boomers, such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, and The Who.

Want to Learn More?

To discover other major trends in recreation services, read Recreation: United States, a report recently published by the Freedonia Focus Reports division of The Freedonia Group. The report forecasts US personal consumption expenditures on recreation services in US dollars to 2021. Total spending is segmented by service in terms of:

  • gambling
  • amusement parks and related services
  • clubs and participant sports
  • live entertainment
  • spectator sports
  • movie theaters
  • museums and libraries.

The report discusses recreation market drivers and constraints, and provides profiles of leading companies providing recreation services to US consumers.

While you’re there, check out related reports such as Demographics: United States and Gambling: United States.

About the Author

Erica Keenan is a Research Analyst with the Freedonia Group. She holds degrees in biomedical science and a certificate in data science, and her experience as an analyst spans multiple industries.