The Manchester City announced its partnership with Sony to create the first soccer stadium in the metaverse, with the aim of offering fans a unique and immersive gaming experience.
Premier League champions Manchester City and their new partner Sony have begun building a virtual replica of the Etihad Stadium that will be the team’s hub in the Metaverse.
In this way, the current English Premier League champion will become a pioneer in the construction of sports stadiums within the metaverse.
Etihad virtual stadium to be ready in 3 years
According to news media Fin Bold, the project will take an estimated three years before being launched to the public, allowing fans to tour the Etihad (the club’s stadium) virtually as if they were there.
🌟Special report: Manchester City x the metaverse🌟
🏟 Sony experts have visited the Etihad to digitally map the stadium in 3D
⚽️ #MCFC exploring if live games could be played in virtual reality
🌎 Only "1%" of fans ever see a game in Manchesterhttps://t.co/LpkPNllxC3
— Sam Cunningham (@samcunningham) February 18, 2022
All this innovation will be made possible thanks to the skeleton tracking technology and image analysis expertise offered by one of Sony’s subsidiaries, called Hawk-Eye.
Nuria Tarre, Marketing Director of Manchester City, said that the main objective of this partnership is to offer fans an immersive gaming experience through the metaverse and virtual reality, taking the sporting world to new frontiers.
“What we could imagine from having a metaverse is that you can recreate a match, you can watch the match live, you are part of the action in a different way through different angles and you can fill the stadium as much as you want because it’s unlimited, it’s completely virtual” according to Tarre.
Soccer matches will be more immersive
According to Tarre, this new technology will mean that in the future soccer fans will be watching matches through virtual reality devices instead of sitting in front of the TV as they are used to and that is the audience the club is targeting.
“I think the traditional image of someone sitting on a couch, looking at a screen, is something that we can’t imagine is still going to be the reality even 10 years from now, maybe five years from now. Things are moving much faster than we think.”
They are also exploring the possibility of allowing fans to meet their favorite players and be able to buy merchandise from them that is not available in the physical world.
Manchester City’s foray into Web3 and the Metaverse could be interesting for Liverpool FC. The Reds could follow suit to boost their revenues, according to ECHO, a Liverpool-based media outlet.
Rival Manchester United has also entered the Web3 ecosystem with a new partnership with Tezos (XTZ), announced Feb. 10. Tezos will be the official cryptocurrency and training kit partner, and could also help develop digital merchandise.
Soccer increasingly embraces the metaverse
Cryptocurrencies and the metaverse, are increasingly in demand by fans in the sports world, to such levels that there are already very many major teams that have released their fan tokens, allowing their fans to get discounts on purchases of their products and to participate in the club’s decision making.
So although we are still at an early stage in this new digital world proposed by the metaverse, we will surely continue to see more and more big brands and sports teams betting on all the unimaginable benefits that the metaverse has to offer.
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