Jun 25, 2019

How sports stadiums will be changed by our digital-first world

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As sports becomes less localized and our lives become more digital, stadiums of the future — and, in some cases, even the present — could look vastly different than stadiums of the past.

Flashback: 50 years ago, your average sports fan rooted for his or her hometown teams because, for the most part, those were the only teams being shown on TV or written about in the newspaper. Now, you can watch any team, any time, anywhere, on any device. And, thanks to the overwhelming amount of content being created and the power of social media, there's a vested interest in far more than your local teams.

The big picture: This has had a profound impact on modern sports fandom, affecting who we root for and how we consume and follow sports.

  • And while I could write an entire newsletter on that topic (maybe I will), I'd like to focus on one idea — the "consume and follow sports" part.

My take: Sports fans are constantly engaging with their favorite athletes, teams and leagues through some form of media — and there's a ton of money to be made by keeping their attention.

  • As a result, sports now feels more like reality TV with an ecosystem of storylines and viral videos that almost feel separate from the tribal experience of going to a sporting event.

The bottom line: In our digital-first world, media rights are skyrocketing and attendance numbers are already on the decline. So my question is: Could we reach the point in the future where live attendance doesn't even matter?

  • With sports fans increasingly following national storylines and athletes rather than local storylines and teams, could stadiums eventually look more like sound stages optimized for content creation rather than coliseums optimized for the attending fan?

Go deeper: Pro sports teams are downsizing their stadiums

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Tariff worries hit record high amid coronavirus outbreak

Data: CivicScience, margin of error ±1 percentage points; Chart: Axios Visuals

Concern about President Trump's tariffs on U.S imports grew to record high levels among Americans last month, particularly as more lost their jobs and concern about the novel coronavirus increased.

Driving the news: About seven in 10 people said they were at least somewhat concerned about tariffs in March, according to the latest survey from CivicScience provided first to Axios.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Largest 24-hour spike in fatalities

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New York's death toll from the novel coronavirus surged to its highest one-day total on Tuesday, as the U.S. saw its largest 24-hour spike in fatalities, per Johns Hopkins data. Recorded deaths across the U.S. surpassed 12,900 early Wednesday.

Why it matters: State officials have stressed that lockdowns must continue even if cities begin to see slight improvements from social distancing. Several hot spots, including New York, New Orleans, and Detroit, are expected to peak in the coming days.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 1,430,453 — Total deaths: 82,133 — Total recoveries: 301,385Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 399,081 — Total deaths: 12,907 — Total recoveries: 22,461Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship — Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill — Trump said he "didn't see" memos from his trade adviser Peter Navarro warning that the crisis could kill more than half a million Americans.
  4. States latest: California Gov. Gavin Newsom is confident that more than 200 million masks will be delivered to the state "at a monthly basis starting in the next few weeks."
  5. Business latest: America's food heroes in times of the coronavirus crisis. Even when the economy comes back to life, huge questions for airlines will remain.
  6. World updates: China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown.
  7. 2020 latest: Polls for Wisconsin's primary elections closed at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, but results won't be released until April 13. Thousands of residents cast ballots in person.
  8. 1 Olympics thing: About 6,500 athletes who qualified for the Tokyo Games will keep their spots in 2021.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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