Discussing the Future of Sports

This story was posted this morning to promote a fund raiser that I am participating in on Tuesday evening, June 13th at 6:00 p.m. We will be discussing the future of sports, and its implications to fans, stakeholders, arenas, the athlete, humans, and the sports themselves. Here is an excerpt from the article by  and a glimpse into what I will be presenting.

This event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday night in the Brown Recruiting Pavilion behind the south end zone, with proceeds to benefit the Rutgers women’s soccer team. Details for the event can be found here.

Join us if you live in New Jersey.

“I talk at a very high level about the next 20 to 30 years,” Diana said in a phone interview, “and those things that are impacting society and humanity and our future and we’re going to apply some of those things to sports.”

For instance, Diana believes there will be major changes in the way in which people watch sporting events.

He said that with the driverless cars of the future, “stadiums will no longer need parking (lots) somewhere down the road so it repurposes the entire stadium. The footprint changes and you can use all that space for other things. They will become ‘mega-venues’ where a lot more happens inside the venue.”

Diana said that in the future, in what he calls “third venues” such as sports bars, there will be “holographic replays where you can actually walk around the replay and see (the play) as if you were right there.”

Also, he noted, “You can watch (at the stadium) through virtual-reality glasses which are small and easy to use.”

Fans, he said, will be able to “see all the statistics associated with an athlete when you’re watching them on the field doing their thing. There will be a time when you can actually see the game through the quarterback’s helmet as if you were there and see the game through his lens or (through) an offensive lineman and see the game through their lens.

“All these things are coming,” Diana added. “The timeline is really the question mark.”

There also will be interactive opportunities for fans.

Interestingly, that already is happening for one team, the Salt Lake (Utah) Screaming Eagles, an expansion team in the Indoor Football League. Through an app, fans call the offensive plays in real time. The Screaming Eagles are 4-11 and will miss the playoffs, but their average of 42 points per game is more than respectable in the offense-oriented sport.

Diana sees future crowd-sourced playcalling more as something that can be tabulated after the game to influence future strategy.

He said it will be “leveraged after the game to see what the crowd thought you should have done. Game preparation (will be) enhanced because all that information is now available.”

Diana also will discuss how robotics will influence the athletes of the future.

“Robotics and artificial intelligence are progressing much faster than people think,” he said. “Is the athlete of the future a combination of machine and human?”

He also will talk about the potential of “gene doping” in the future to help create and develop athletes, as well as how video gaming itself may be become a sport of the future.

“The blurring of the boundaries between the (video) gaming community and sports is already happening,” he said, “as games go away from joysticks and more toward full body immersion in the game.

“There’s not one piece of this landscape that’s not going to change,” Diana said. “It’s really just a question of when.”

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