Executives told Britain's i newspaper that they want to fill a virtual Etihad Stadium "several times over" — allowing fans to watch live games from the comfort of their own homes.
One of the biggest teams in England's Premier League is reportedly building the world's first football stadium inside the metaverse.
Setting out their vision for the future, executives imagine being able to fill a virtual Etihad Stadium "several times over" — without having to worry about capacity limits in the real world — meaning fans can enjoy an immersive experience and watch live games without leaving the house.
Other potential concepts being explored include fans getting the chance to meet players in the metaverse. City Football Group's chief marketing and fan engagement officer Nuria Tarre told the newspaper:
"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."
End of Watching Football on the Sofa?
Tarre's excitement for this cutting-edge technology is palpable, given how fans would be able to see all of the action in any way they like — potentially through the use of a headset and controllers.
Such a development could send shockwaves through the world of broadcasting, and affect the business models of TV companies who pay countless billions of dollars for the rights to show matches live. Tarre added:
"I think the traditional image of someone sitting on a sofa, watching a screen, is something we cannot imagine is going to still be the reality not even in 10 years, maybe in five years' time already. Things move much faster than we think."
The development has certainly grabbed the attention of football experts — after months of skepticism over whether NFTs and fan engagement tokens actually add value to fans.
If realized, Man City's plans could offer a compelling, undeniable use case for the metaverse. The club has supporters around the world — many of whom are thousands of miles away from Etihad Stadium. And if this virtual world is monetized, cryptocurrency could play a valuable role.
A number of sporting bodies are working on their own marketplaces so they can dive into their extensive archives and tokenize memorable moments featuring legendary players.