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How Stadiums and Training Facilities are Reshaping College Athletics

College athletics programs are in the midst of a spending spree. Universities are pouring millions into state-of-the-art stadiums, training facilities, and recovery centers. But why? Is it all about winning that coveted national championship trophy? Like most things in life, the answer is a bit more complex. Let’s delve into the driving forces behind this funding surge and how colleges seek a competitive edge.

Recruiting: The Glitz and Glamor of Facilities

In today’s competitive recruiting landscape, facilities are no longer a perk – they’re an expectation. Top high school athletes are choosing colleges based on a variety of factors, and impressive training facilities are high on the list. Imagine a teenager stepping into a weight room equipped with cutting-edge technology or being welcomed at the training facility and granted access simply by smiling at a monitor on the door; no key card or codes. These facilities project an image of a program that’s serious about player development and winning, making it a much more attractive proposition for elite recruits and alumni support.

Building a Brand: Happy Alumni, Happy Donors

Coaches and facilities that develop winning teams not only bring glory on the field but also translate to happier alumni. These alumni, in turn, are more likely to donate to the athletic department, furthering the funding cycle. Modern stadiums and facilities become a symbol of school pride, where alumni can relive their glory days and cheer on the next generation. Universities understand the power of this connection, and they’re investing in facilities to create an experience that fosters lasting school spirit.

Technology: Enhancing the athletes and game-day experience

In a quest to elevate the student, athlete, and alumni experience, universities are increasingly turning to technology as a key driver. Just as a stadium reflects the vitality of an athletic program, technology advancements are transforming every aspect of the game-day experience.

Universities are prioritizing high-speed Wi-Fi across campuses and stadiums, ensuring seamless access. Stadiums are streamlining operations with express ticketing and security systems that expedite entry to athletic events, reducing wait times and improving security. Concessions technology allows for cashless transactions, offering greater convenience and faster service. Universities are also investing in enhanced premium suites, utilizing technology to provide guests with personalized, elevated services. Technology is playing a pivotal role in improving the overall experience for students, alumni, and visitors.

The future of collegiate athletics, training facilities, and stadium funding remains to be seen. However, one thing is certain: the days of long lines, connectivity issues, cramped locker rooms, and outdated stadiums and training facilities are fading fast. The pressure to attract top recruits, maintain alumni and student loyalty, and generate additional revenue streams will continue to drive investment.

About Wicket

Wicket Software is a privacy-first facial authentication platform provider with patented computer vision AI technology that enables sensational event experiences for fans, guests, and employees with frictionless touchpoints that delight users and strengthen security.

Wicket has been in use since 2020 and deployed for facial ticketing, credentialing, access control, and payments in numerous sports stadiums, at major conferences, and in corporate office environments.

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