By Chelsy Ranard
There are a lot of perks to watching sports at home. The coverage is astounding, and viewers that watch can see a game as if they were standing on the field. Technology has absolutely changed sports viewership by making the viewer as much aware of each play as the refs, coaches, and players. With the ability to see a game exponentially better at the comfort of our own homes, why would fans still watch their favourite sports in person? There is no denying the way that technology has changed the way sports are watched, but it’s still important for fans to be in the stands to be a part of a bigger community and have the real sports experience.
The View has Changed
It used to be that you found out the score of a game the next day in the newspaper or on the news. If you didn’t attend the game, you didn’t really know how the win or loss happened unless you read about it the next day. Once you were able to watch televised sports, you were able to see the game; not in high definition like you can now, but the way it was watched started to change. You were able to analyze the game, have announcers help you understand plays, and get explanations for penalties by the referees. Instead of reading a score, you were immersed in the game, even if you weren’t there. The changes have been immense, and they keep coming.
Televised sports have become a well-oiled machine. Advertising, social media, online streaming, and play-by-play updates have become the norm, and sports fans don’t have to miss anything. We are able to have near direct contact to our athlete’s voice through the help of social media, something that may be an issue with our youth sports participants frequently emulating some pro sports athletes they have access to, and often not in a positive way. Now fans that stay home and watch the game televised see the game way better than those that actually attend the game live. At home you can see which toe stayed within the line, how many centimeters a goal was off, and which holding penalty wasn’t called. You’re in high definition, in the comfort of your own home, and seeing things that those in the stands cannot, so why attend a sporting event live at all?
Being a Part of a Community
The truth is that many people don’t watch sports to watch the highest quality HD of each game, most people watch sports because they are a fan. Despite the high quality of watching a football game, basketball game, the Olympics, etc. at home, attending a sporting event is about being a part of a community of people. When a community of fans get together it doesn’t matter what you look like, what your beliefs are, or how much money you make. If you’re wearing the same jersey as the person next to you you’ll hug when you win, you’ll discuss terrible calls by the referees, and you’ll high-five each other over a great play. There are no strangers in the stands if you’re a fan of the same team or player.
Fans feel so connected to their team when they attend a game because the fans are important. Look at the role that Seattle’s 12th Man plays and how significant it is. Fans support their team in a variety of ways and attending their games and cheering for them feels like you’re more connected to them than you do at home watching it on television.
It’s About the Experience
Attending a sporting event is all encompassing, and can be an all-day experience depending on the sport. It’s putting on your gear, fighting the traffic, tailgating, preparing for weather, and taking part as a spectator. The energy during a live sporting event is palpable and it’s an experience you just can’t compare to sitting on the couch or in a bar. You are a part of a community, you get to see your favorite team play in front of you, and you get to experience a game instead of just watching it. Arenas that host sporting events work hard to make their visitors have a great experience. Many arenas offer over-the-top food items special to that team, they encourage fan participation in team chants, and always try to keep the fans entertained.
Going to a live sporting event and trying to catch a foul ball, seeing a dunk, hearing a slap shot, or experiencing a touchdown is an experience that isn’t matched by watching it on television. For many, their favorite sports team is something ingrained in them from a young age and seeing them live is amazing. Experiencing this event live is about supporting your favorite sports team, being a part of a larger community, and having an experience rather than just watching a game. Many spectators like to add excitement by placing bets on the outcome of matches. You can find the top 10 betting sites in the UK here.
At this point the technology in our sports broadcasting is so advanced that watching sports at home is extremely comprehensive. We clearly understand every play, every penalty, and see the emotion of every player’s face. With such advanced technology it can seem like there isn’t much need to watch live sports when televised sports are so amazing. But seeing your favorite sporting event live is not just about seeing every play perfectly – it’s about being a part of a bigger community and experiencing the sport as a part of the game, not just as a spectator.