Our weekly tech round-up from the world of ticketing and associated industries…
MLB’s metaverse debut
Major League Baseball (MLB) fans were able to watch a game from the metaverse for the first time last week via the first virtual ballpark simulcast.
Fans were able to enjoy a 3D experience of the match between Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels as if they were at the former’s Tropicana Field.
The experience was powered by Improbable, a metaverse technology company, and MLB’s Gameday 3D technology, which is powered by Sony’s Hawk-Eye camera-tracking system installed in all 30 team stadiums. Hawk-Eye’s AI cameras are commonly used for stat-tracking and officiating in other sports, including automated line calls in tennis.
Synced with Gameday 3D, you can watch a 3D representation AND live broadcast of the matchup, while checking out the awesome experience!… pic.twitter.com/aYIZ8pwudC
— MLB (@MLB) September 20, 2023
In addition to the 3D representation of the game, the traditional broadcast can also be streamed on a digital video board inside the virtual ballpark, allowing fans to choose their preferred viewing angles.
“Moreover, fans can interact with other online visitors through spatial audio, creating an atmosphere that mimicked being in a physical stadium,” Improbable explained. “The ability to hear nearby fans as if they were sitting next to you will also add an immersive element to the experience. The metaverse ballpark is not just limited to watching the game; it offers fans an array of interactive activities.”
Brazil launches Safe Stadium initiative
Brazil’s government and football authorities have unveiled a new project designed to ensure safety in venues across the country.
The Safe Stadium agreement, signed by ministers Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) chief Ednaldo Rodrigues, aims to facilitate the sharing of data in order to increase security in sports stadiums and curb ticket touting. A pilot programme at the famous Maracanã Stadium has used technology to identify fans who may be under a judicial restriction or wanted by the authorities.
Government and football bodies must sign up to the initiative, where they can benefit from the exchange of information and best practice guidance.
Pacific Northwest Ballet puts focus on beating fraud
True Tickets and Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) have made the fight against ticket fraud and scalping a central part of their new partnership.
Through the deal – which is True Tickets’ first in Seattle – ticket holders will be able to transfer tickets to friends and family, while the system will allow the venue to maintain control and minimise unauthorised resale.
PNB said the technology will play a pivotal role in helping protect patrons from ticket fraud ahead of this winter’s high-demand production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.
Lia Chiarelli, PNB’s chief marketing officer, said: “Pacific Northwest Ballet’s partnership with True Tickets will improve the ticketing experience for our audience. Too often, audience members purchase tickets from third-party ticket resellers without realising they’re not purchasing directly from PNB. They often pay inflated prices and receive subpar customer service. True Tickets’ technology offers a level of security and protection that has largely been out of reach for non-profit arts organisations until True Tickets.”