What does the future of professional football look like? Manchester City goes on the offensive and virtually rebuilds their stadium. A futurologist warns the professional clubs not to oversleep the progress. There is a cautionary tale in the United States.

Digital Etihad Stadium: As the first football club in the world, City wants to replicate its stadium in a virtual world, the Metaverse. Fans should then only have to put on special glasses to feel like they are in the right stadium. And the club can sell unlimited tickets in its virtual arena. Roughly speaking, that’s the plan.

Live experience is no longer just passive: Marcel Aberle from the Zukunftsinstitut in Frankfurt am Main and Vienna does not believe “that a virtual stadium experience can ever replace a real stadium experience”. However, a generation that has grown up with smartphones and social media no longer wants to passively watch a sporting event for just 90 minutes.

Warning example from the USA: Baseball was the national sport of the 20th century in America – until, unlike American football, it failed to open up to a young target group. Only 11.75 million television viewers watched the decisive game of the past baseball season, while 99 million tuned in to the Super Bowl.

Short, compact, clear