Due to free and pay-tv’s competitive landscape, more and more sporting and entertainment events are available within the comfort of homes resulting in decreasing patronage for events that once enjoyed full stadiums. At the local level, millennials have generally lost interest in both playing and watching sport as ‘staying in’ becomes the norm. Test cricket, local football, basketball and golf are all sports and institutions that have suffered significant drops in interest as faster and brighter versions of their sports and others have taken over. These new sports will constantly emerge presenting challenges for planners to battle fickleness and meet emerging demands via the development of new infrastructure before the trend shifts again. Increasingly emerging in this space is terrorism where venues are increasingly being targeted for maximum impact.
At the community level, sport clubs are beginning to stress in this new environment with many forced to amalgamate to survive – some have simply left it too late to act and sustain their individual identity. Coupled with this is the diminishing choice for children of all ages to play and engage in activities that not only contributes to their long-term health and well-being, but ability for communities to come together, integrate and bond.
In an age of climate change, new or refurbished venues will need to deploy circular economy initiatives as communities’ demand improvements in the way sporting and entertainment venues are constructed and managed to minimise their impact on local environs such as movement, water, waste and energy. The Australian sporting industry has generally shown a lack of interest in addressing environmental initiatives and such an attitude is not only obsolete and unsustainable, but a lost opportunity given the industry’s media access.
For the sporting and entertainment industry, sustainability and economic optimisation will come to those who adapt to the shifting sands of technological, social and ecological change. Venues will be digital – connected and integrated to provide live experiences, before, during and after events, that adults and kids desire. From a social and environmental perspective, shared value creation will also become a key theme into the future as communities demand large underutilised venues integrate spaces for ecological and social ventures. Shared value strategies will enable venues to forge better linkages with local communities, fostering information sharing and community resilience capabilities to manage the emerging terrorism and natural disaster threat. For community clubs, prosperity will come to those who adopt digital platforms and engagement strategies with their communities. Collaboration, creativity and technological integration will ensure the sporting and entertainment industry not just manage complexity and disruption, but become vocal and tangible symbols of inspiration and sustainability excellence in a complex world.