The Super Bowl came to the San Francisco Bay Area. And it didn’t go without criticism.
Even though the actual game was played in Santa Clara, 45 miles south of San Francisco, the SF tax payers were the ones who had to foot most of the $5 million cost. Meanwhile, more revenue went to committee organizers,transportation companies, hotels, and restaurants. Over 1 million people came in town for the event. SF Citizens weren’t pleased. They defaced Super Bowl statues, protested, and even Uber drivers tried to sabotage traffic, which there was plenty. There was also the not so subtle attempt to cover up the city’s homeless problem.
What does this all have to do with virtual reality?
Well for one, virtual reality was a big part of the NFL fan experience in Super Bowl City that attracted hundreds of thousands of people. You can read about the jaw dropping experiences here. Unfortunately, virtual reality was turned into a bit of a scapegoat. Hey, virtual reality never hurt anyone, it just made a few people dizzy.
We at Virtually Live hosted a Super Bowl party for those interested in the future of sports with VR. We gave demos (pictured) and it’s always fun to see the lightbulb go off in people’s heads when they realize the consequences. Virtual reality is redefining possibilities.
Sports Illustrated and Wired also teamed up to envision what Super Bowl 100 might look like.
If only Super Bowl 50 viewers could have watched the game in VR. Maybe then it would have been more interesting. In this attention deficit world, watching for 4.5 hours with long commercials seemed especially painful. Sure, the game was rather uneventful (only 2 touchdowns and 60 minutes of actual action) but it’s becoming harder to enjoy any event that long and with so many breaks in between.
Beyonce and Bruno Mars were awesome, but imagine what they would have been like in VR?
The Super Bowl doesn’t have an audience problem, more than half of the United States tuned in for part of the game.
VR could be a great antidote for those who could only tune in before getting bored.
Maybe aside from watching commercials, you could jump around from each team’s sidelines and get up close and personal with your favorite players. You could become your own director.
And without everyone physically attending the big game, San Francisco residents might just be a little happier next time.