By Front Office Sports
Front Office Sports sat down with industry leaders including Mortenson's Logan Gerken, to discuss what future stadium projects in a post-pandemic world look like in the U.S.
Logan Gerken, vice president and general manager at Mortenson, has watched the pandemic cancel all of Allegiant Stadium’s inaugural concerts and live events. Instead of holding as many as 72,000 visitors — a 28.7% increase from the Raiders’ previous residence, Oakland Coliseum — the state-of-the-art venue is likely to play out the 2020 NFL season sans fans.
“We definitely prescribe to the philosophy that the in-venue experience is the ‘holy grail’ of fandom, and without that, everything else doesn’t work as efficiently,” Gerken said.
In the marketplace, Gerken still sees significant interest from people looking to return to sporting events. Instead of venues scaling back on capacity, he believes that stadium operators are eyeing other ways to improve the stadium experience for the eventual return of crowds.
Gerken says that there’s been significant investments made in health, hygiene and cleanliness within Mortenson-built projects. There’s also been increased efforts at focusing on cashless and touchless payments to help ease the ingress and egress process.
Those advancements, he believes, will prevent any future trend of smaller stadiums.
“We’re really accelerating a lot of the technology trends and operational trends that have existed for some time,” Gerken said. “Some of the leading organizations are implementing them already, but this is going to cause a more rapid adoption of a lot of those operational approaches and technologies within the venue. I wouldn’t foresee a dramatic shift to the business model, such that it would require smaller buildings. I think it’s going to be an acceleration of a lot of the best practices and latest trends that we’ve been seeing.
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