Technology / 07.22.20
Tampa Bay Sports Return: Rays, Lightning Looking at Digital Innovations
St. Pete Catalyst (07/18/20) Manning, Margie
At the recent Florida-Israel Business Accelerator's Connections to Innovations panel, the Tampa Bay Rays' Vice President of Strategy and Development Bill Walsh said the Rays and other Major League Baseball teams have had to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic. "Many of us have had to reinvent and reconfigure our venues to meet the needs of home and visiting clubs ... just to support the game, not even talking about fans at this point," he explained. Andrew McIntyre with Tampa Bay Lightning parent company Vinik Sports Group said as play resumes, National Hockey League teams will travel to a "hub city" at the end of this month, with the return to play starting in August. Meanwhile, the Orlando Magic basketball team is exploring digital fan engagement during the current moratorium with an enhanced mobile app. "We're working to integrate gaming solutions into the app so you can participate in live polls or trivia as you watch the broadcast of our games," said the Magic's Jay Riola. Although Rays fans will not be allowed into the Tropicana Field for the July 24 game-season opening, for a fee fans can upload photos of themselves to be made into cardboard cutouts and "seated" in the general admission areas. Walsh also anticipates that in four months "most if not all professional sports venues operate cash-free. If not cash-free, a step further to being a truly contactless experience where the majority of folks are using mobile ordering or mobile wallet programs which is great from a fan experience, and it's also great for clubs to be able to interact and incentivize fans, reward them and build in loyalty."
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Tags: Sports , News , COVID-19 , Coronavirus