Ryan Gedney and Edward Mills of HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice discuss rapid advances in stadium design in a new video with Visa’s vice president of Innovation & Strategic Partnerships.

For much of its 2,000-year history, the sports stadium remained largely unchanged in form and function. That’s no longer the case. Fan expectations and evolving technologies are rapidly changing how architects, clients and vendors approach the layout, design and functionality of modern sports venues.

“There’s no question that virtual experiences can encourage people not to come,” says Ryan Gedney, an HOK senior design principal. “We’re immediately thinking as architects about how we can craft that [stadium experience] in a way that is convenient, easy and exciting.”

For HOK and its designers, that means creating spaces where people can experience not only the game, but also the community and social aspects that make going to a live event so much more exciting than watching it from the couch.

“The social side is the biggest element,” adds Edward Mills, an HOK senior design professional. “People want to be social. You don’t get that at home.”

For Visa, enhancing the stadium experience has a lot to do with employing new technologies that cut down on wait times and queuing around points of purchase such as ticketing, refreshments and merchandise.

“The fan will actually be able to do in-seat shopping,” says John McGuire, Visa’s vice president of Innovation & Strategic Partnerships, of the not-too-distant stadium experience. “Whatever you purchase is delivered straight to your seat. So we’re putting convenience back into the hands of the fans so they can pay for things easily.”