Manchester City Football Club has begun constructing a digital replica of the Etihad Stadium, which is set to become the world’s first stadium of its kind in the metaverse. The reigning Premier League champions signed a three-year deal with virtual reality pioneers Sony to build the iconic stadium in which football fans can experience soccer matches in real-time from the comfort of their own homes.
Sony’s tech experts have already visited the physical stadium in order to begin efforts to recreate it in the virtual world. The company’s subsidiary, ‘Hawk-Eye’, will build the stadium through “image analysis and skeletal-tracking technologies” and will develop virtual fan experiences.
Club officials plan to allow fans to interact with members of the team within the metaverse and to purchase digital items that don’t exist in real life. The ultimate goal is to enable Manchester City fans who can’t travel to Manchester in person to still be able to closely observe the team’s matches.
“The whole point we could imagine of having a metaverse is you can recreate a game, you could watch the game live, you’re 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. But also you’re in control of what you want to be watching at that time. There’s not one broadcast point of view, you can look at it through any angle of the stadium. That’s the sky – the limit,”
Nuria Tarre, City Football Group’s chief marketing and fan engagement officer told inews.
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