Blog Apr 7, 2023

IoT in Sports: How Smart Stadiums are Making a Big Difference

IoT in Sports: How Smart Stadiums are Making a Big Difference

The Internet of Things (IoT) is revolutionising the way we experience sports, and it’s all happening within the walls of smart stadiums.

With cutting-edge technology and data analytics, these stadiums are creating an immersive and personalised experience for fans while improving operational efficiency.

In this article, we will:

  • Explore how IoT is transforming the sports industry
  • Show how smart stadiums are changing fan engagement
  • Discuss how IoT in Sports is improving operations and performance of sports teams.
  • Demonstrate examples of smart stadiums.


IoT in Sports

Sports stadiums have long been seen as the ultimate venue for experiencing the thrill of live sports. However, with the rise of streaming services and at-home viewing experiences, stadiums have been facing the challenge of keeping fans engaged and coming back to live events.

This is where IoT (Internet of Things) technology is stepping in, helping to transform sports stadiums into smart stadiums and enhancing the fan experience in exciting ways. According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the global smart stadium market size is projected to reach USD 12.5 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 22.0% from 2020 to 2025. The inclusion of IoT in sports stadiums is definitely on the rise, so let’s jump into the topic!

IoT in Sports: How Smart Stadiums are Making a Big Difference

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the network of physical devices, vehicles, appliances, and other items that are embedded with sensors, software, and network connectivity, allowing them to collect and exchange data. Essentially, IoT is about connecting everyday objects to the internet so that they can communicate with each other and with us.

The data collected by IoT connected devices can be analysed to provide valuable insights and enable smarter decision-making. The potential applications of IoT are vast, and it is expected to have a significant impact on various industries in the coming years.

Enhancing Fan Engagement with IoT

One of the key benefits of IoT systems in smart stadiums is the ability to enhance fan engagement. IoT sensors can be used to gather data on crowd sentiment and emotions, giving stadium operators valuable insights into how fans are reacting to the game.

This data can then be used to improve the fan experience, for example by adjusting the music, lighting, and other elements of the stadium to create a more exciting atmosphere.

Another way IoT is enhancing fan engagement is through the use of augmented reality. Smart stadiums are now using AR to create interactive experiences for fans, such as overlaying real-time statistics and highlights onto the field during the game.

This not only makes the game more enjoyable for fans, but also provides valuable data and insights for coaches and players.

The case of Levi’s Stadium

Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, is one example of a smart stadium using IoT to enhance fan engagement.

The stadium uses a mobile app to provide fans with real-time information on parking, food and beverage options, and restroom wait times, as well as in-seat ordering and delivery.

The stadium also uses AR to provide fans with interactive experiences during the game.

IoT in Sports: How Smart Stadiums are Making a Big Difference

Boosting Fan Experience with IoT

Sports stadiums are constantly looking for ways to enhance the fan experience and keep fans coming back to live events. IoT technology has emerged as a powerful tool for achieving this goal, as it enables the creation of smart stadiums that can offer a range of exciting features to fans.

IoT can be used to provide personalised experiences for fans, based on their preferences and behaviour. For example, a smart stadium app can suggest food and beverage options based on a fan’s dietary preferences or past orders. The app can also provide personalised notifications and alerts, such as reminders about upcoming events or promotions.

IoT in sports can be used to gather feedback and collect data from fans about their experiences at the stadium, through the use of surveys, polls, and social media monitoring. This feedback can be used to improve the fan experience and identify areas for future development.

Speaking of the feedback. The fan response to the use of IoT systems at their team’s stadiums is hugely positive. A survey by Intel found that 88% of sports fans believe that technology has enhanced their viewing experience, and 77% of fans said they would be willing to spend more money on tickets to a smart stadium.

Improving Operations with IoT

IoT is also helping to streamline stadium operations, making it easier and more efficient for stadiums to deliver services to fans. For example, smart stadiums can use IoT to manage parking, directing fans to available spots and reducing congestion.

IoT can also be used for food and beverage delivery, allowing fans to order from their seats and have their food delivered directly to them.

In addition, IoT systems can be used to improve stadium cleanliness and maintenance. Drones, for example, can be used to clean the stadium between games, reducing the need for manual labour and ensuring a cleaner environment for fans.

Smart sensors can also be used to monitor stadium equipment and infrastructure, allowing for predictive maintenance and reducing the risk of equipment failure. 

IoT – autonomous cleaning drones?

The Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia is a prime example of a smart stadium using IoT to improve operations. The stadium uses a mobile app to provide fans with real-time parking and transit information, as well as in-seat ordering and delivery. The stadium also uses drones to clean the stadium between games, reducing the need for manual labour and improving efficiency.

Improving Performance with IoT

IoT is not just transforming the fan experience, it’s also helping to improve team performance on the field.

Smart stadiums can use IoT sensors to track player movements and gather data on game performance, providing coaches and players with valuable insights that can be used to improve strategy and training.

For example, player tracking technology and wearable devices use IoT sensors to collect data on player movements and performance during the game.

This data can then be used to identify strengths and weaknesses, track player development over time, and optimise training regimens.

How Sacramento Kings improved their performance and reduced costs via IoT?

The Sacramento Kings’ Golden 1 Center is an example of a smart stadium using IoT to improve team performance. The stadium uses IoT to track player movements during the game, providing coaches with real-time data on player performance. This data can be used to adjust strategy and training regimens, leading to improved performance on the field.

Moreover, The Sacramento Kings have also improved their financial performance. The club has reported a 20% reduction in energy usage and a 50% reduction in water usage since implementing IoT technology, solar panels, and water sensors in their stadium.


The Future of IoT in Sports

The potential for IoT systems in sports is vast and exciting. In the future, we can expect to see even more advanced IoT technologies and smart devices being integrated into smart stadiums, such as:

  • Biometric sensors that track the health and performance of athletes
  • Smart cameras that can automatically capture and analyse video footage
  • Virtual reality experiences that allow fans to feel like they are part of the game.

One major area of focus for IoT in sports is sustainability. Smart stadiums can use IoT system sensors to monitor and reduce energy consumption, track waste management, and even promote sustainable transportation options for fans. This not only benefits the environment, but can also save stadiums money in the long run.

The European way to IoT and smart stadiums

The Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany is an example of a smart stadium that is leading the way in sustainable IoT technology. The stadium uses solar panels and geothermal energy to generate power, as well as a smart lighting system that adjusts based on the level of natural light. The stadium also uses IoT sensors to monitor waste management and promote sustainable transportation options for fans.



Internet of Things technology is transforming the world of sports, and smart stadiums are at the forefront of this transformation. From enhancing fan engagement to improving operations, performance, and sustainability, IoT is making a big difference in the way we experience live sports. As more and more stadiums adopt IoT technologies and smart devices, the future of sports looks brighter than ever.


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