Reflecting on what’s being tried and more importantly, what has worked to bring the fan back to the stadium safely post-COVID, the sEATz team had the opportunity to collaborate with The Greenville Drive, a Red Sox Single A affiliate in South Carolina. 

Our organizations came together to talk about “what if” scenarios and imagined the journey from the fan’s point of view. The idea of watch parties inside the stadium for when teams play away games or even drive-in movie-style format for either games at the stadium or for away-games began to surface with social distancing in mind. 

Visualizing the use of pod-like groups no larger than 10, all spaced at least 6’ apart inside the stadium, the watch party plan for a Greenville Drive away game crystallized. We sat down with sEATz Co-Founder and CEO, Aaron Knape to replay the plan and night-of.

“With orders at an average 6-minute delivery time, we decided to present a full menu to the fans for the watch party at Fluor Field. We worked together over remote calls with Jordan and his team to develop the logistics plan, a day-of execution strategy and marketing strategy,” Aaron recounted. Attesting to the passion Jordan Smith, VP of Finance and Administration at Greenville Drive displays to provide fans something to look forward to, Aaron went on to say that “Jordan’s commitment drove our combined ability to execute at a high-level which allowed us to provide a top-notch experience for the fans, drive revenue, and keep everyone safer during this long-lasting pandemic.” 

When asked what the takeaways were on that night, Jordan said, “sEATz has been a phenomenal addition to the services we provide to our fans, especially as we look to safely welcome our fans back to Fluor Field. We recently hosted a movie night for our ticket plan holders and required our fans to use the sEATz app to order food and beverage [for safety]. The adoption rate, response and feedback was overwhelmingly positive. We very much look forward to scaling the service as we welcome our fans back to Fluor Field for baseball games in 2021!”

What’s more, the per fan spend at the stadium that night was around 20% higher than past watch parties without mobile ordering capabilities, even though less people were in the stands due to social distancing requirements. This helped us all to understand that not all will be lost, that fans may have more opportunities to “get out and do something safe” while being able to get them back to their beloved teams and sports environments.

As people continue to look for ways to stay out and be entertained while the next “wave” of COVID hits, Drive-In Watch Party and In-Stadium Watch Party concepts are a great way to meet in the middle, keep the community engaged, and have entertainment offerings available while keeping everyone more safe.