Manchester City builds first football stadium in the metaverse with help from Sony3 min read
English football club Manchester City, reigning Premier League champions, announced the start of construction on the world’s first football stadium in the metaverse. For the endeavor, the club is counting on the help of specialists in virtual reality (VR) from Sony.
The agreement between Sony and City lasts for three years, as reported by the portal inows.co.uk on Monday (21).
Etihad Stadium goes to the metaverse
Although the project is still at an early stage, teams of experts from the company have already visited the club’s stadium, the Etihad Stadium, to digitally map it. The idea is to develop a virtual reality version of the stadium.
The project is being made possible by image analysis and skeleton tracking technology developed by Hawk-Eye, a subsidiary of the technology and entertainment giant.
According to Manchester City executives working on the project, the virtual Eithad Stadium will not have physical limitations, as it does in practice.
Instead, it can be filled in many times. This will allow fans to watch the games live from their own homes, wherever they are in the world.
In addition, the possibility of fans and players meeting and communicating in the metaverse is studied. Additionally, fans will be able to purchase virtual items in these digital worlds. NFTs were not mentioned, but they are likely to be part of the experience.
“The point that we can imagine having a metaverse is that you can recreate a game, watch the game live, be part of the action in a different way from different angles. You can fill the stadium as much as you want, because it’s unlimited. It’s completely virtual,” said City Football Group Director of Marketing and Fan Engagement Nuria Tarre.
New experiences with metaverse
As Tarre pointed out, the traditional image of someone sitting on a couch, watching a screen, is something that may no longer be a reality in ten or five years: “Things move a lot faster than we think,” he added.
Finally, Tarre stressed that it is not about replacing physical experience:
“We still want people to get to know each other. And I think that’s the beauty of live games and stadium fans. We saw when the fans weren’t in the stadiums the experience is not the same. You need to almost fake the sound to make it exciting. I think it’s a balance of both that makes it exciting.”
Football: NFT, Fan Token, Cryptocurrency and the Metaverse
The sports environment found in the crypto universe – and in its countless possibilities – an important ally.
In addition to metaverse stadiums, football clubs and companies in the sector have already launched initiatives such as NFTs and Fan Tokens.
If football in the metaverse is successful, as it has been in other cases, there is the possibility that it will revolutionize the way television rights are distributed.
Today, they are sold to TV or streaming broadcasters as part of a bundle. But now, clubs are looking at the prospect of selling them directly to fans, perhaps through their own metaverses, in the future.