Dolphins, Cowboys and Verizon launch fan experience offerings

The Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys have revealed new fan experience offerings for the 2020 NFL season, while Verizon Media has launched a Watch Together platform.

The Dolphins have launched Gameday Theater at Hard Rock Stadium and a Virtual Membership Pass. The Gameday Theater will use the existing outdoor theatre setup that has been operating since June to broadcast Dolphins home and away games on the complex’s fountain plaza video board, providing a self-contained, socially distant entertainment environment for 386 people.

Starting at $30 (£23/€25) to $40, tickets for the Gameday Theater will be available for Sunday’s season opener at the New England Patriots. Seating options will include bean bag loungers and private cabana shells with up to four guests, living room boxes with up to eight guests, a south lawn sports bar with a table and lounge pods and a gameday café dining area.

Mobile food and beverage ordering will also be available with delivery to guests’ seats. Dolphins season ticket members will have access to exclusive discounts and benefits at the theatre. A designated entrance for guests will open two hours before kickoff and dedicated parking for both early and late arrival will be available.

The Virtual Membership Pass, exclusively available to current season ticket members, will include a second screen experience with a gameday stadium show, trivia, giveaways, stats and team content. The second screen experience will be available starting with the first regular season home game on September 20 when the Dolphins face the Buffalo Bills. 

“It’s a fundamental human need to enjoy life’s experiences together with other people,” said Miami Dolphins vice-chairman and CEO, Tom Garfinkel. “The Gameday Theater will allow 386 fans to enjoy games in a safe environment where they can be socially distant and socially present at the same time. The Virtual Membership Pass uses technology to simulate the in-stadium entertainment show wherever a fan might be, to bring them closer to other fans and provide a richer experience.”

The Dolphins last month announced a maximum of 13,000 fans will be allowed at the first regular season home game.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys have launched AT&T Stadium At Home in an effort to allow fans to replicate the gameday food experience. A variety of dishes served at the stadium will be made available for delivery or pick up in minimum orders for four to six people, or up to 20 fans.

Orders must be placed in advance and picked up the day before game day. Delivery is available to certain local areas for an extra $15. The Cowboys’ first scheduled home game is against the Atlanta Falcons on September 20. While the team has yet to specify exact numbers, it is planning to have fans in attendance.

The Cowboys last month said they will introduce a ‘pod’ seating concept to AT&T Stadium as part of efforts to ensure fans can attend games during the 2020 season. The Cowboys published a Safe Stadium Policy after owner Jerry Jones maintained the organisation is still determined to welcome fans to AT&T Stadium, stating the NFL can act as an example for COVID-19 response.

The State of Texas currently stipulates that sports venues can only admit a maximum of 50% of their capacity, and with AT&T Stadium regularly recording attendances in excess of 100,000 this represents a significant number of fans.

In other news, NFL partner Verizon Media has rolled out a new service to assist the communal viewing of games amongst fans, as stadia are closed or operate with reduced capacities during COVID-19.

The NFL is the launch partner for Watch Together, which has been made available through the app of Verizon subsidiary Yahoo Sports. Watch Together for NFL Live on Yahoo Sports will give fans the ability to invite up to three family and friends to watch live local and primetime NFL games on their phones through a synchronised livestream.

Watch Together debuted yesterday (Thursday) during the 2020 NFL Kickoff as the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Houston Texans 34-20 at Arrowhead Stadium. “Watch Together is a result of Verizon Media and NFL’s innovative spirit to deliver next-gen experiences that create connection and community,” said Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Verizon Media.

“Leveraging Verizon Media’s ecosystem, technology and streaming capabilities, we have the unique ability to create powerful and immersive entertainment experiences of the future like no other.”

In March 2019, the NFL signed a two-year innovation partnership with Verizon to develop new products and services that utilise 5G technology.

Image: Miami Dolphins