The single-ticket price for Monday’s college football championship between No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson was around $1,600, according to most ticket brokers.
But imagine if you could have purchased a 50-yard line seat for, say, $100. Or $50. Or, perhaps, free.
Well, virtually a 50-yard line seat for free.
A Monday report from The Sports Business Daily mentions that Intel CEO Brian Krzanich believes fans are close to having a scenario where they can watch a live game in virtual reality.
From a similar story in PC Magazine in August, Krzanich talks about how — using an array of cameras around a basketball arena — Intel can digitize an entire game to make it viewable from any position in the venue.
“You become the director of your experience,” Krzanich told PC Magazine. “Imagine any real-life experience. … The whole industry of filming could change as a result of this technology. This is the magic of mixed and merged reality, and we believe it’s a game-changer for virtual reality.”
The story also said that Intel is outfitting stadiums all over the country with the cameras and it is in the process of “putting together a production studio in Los Angeles” to make it all possible.
In November, the Big Ten Network aired its first VR game when Minnesota played at Nebraska. According to SI.com, the network partnered with a virual reality company (VOKE), which had been acquired by Intel.
The company used four 180-degree HD cameras t0 capture the game, and fans who downloaded VOKE’s GearVR app could watch the game using a Gear VR headset and Samsung smartphone.
VR already is being used for training purposes on the pro and college level. But the football fan experience with VR is closing in quickly, and the industry seems to be preparing for it. Most goggles can be purchased for less than $100. Google Cardboard goggles (similar to what is shown in the photo above) can be purchased for less than $20.
And, looking into the future, it’s certainly conceivable that every college football program could offer a full schedule of VR games for a small price, creating a new revenue stream for the college and/or the conference. Perhaps for the 2018 championship a VR broadcast will be included in ESPN’s Megacast.