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Retail Storage Solutions for Sports Arenas

Sports Arena Retail Storage Solutions

Stadiums and sporting arenas face incredibly complex storage and space optimization challenges. For one thing, sports arenas do much more than simply host fans and visitors; they also manage concession stands and retail areas. 

Additionally, many venues are home to more than one team, which means an arena could host a hockey game one night and a basketball game the next. Not to mention other events such as concerts and conferences that are often held at these venues.

Naturally, this presents a major challenge for kiosks, stands, shops, and other retail areas at sports arenas: how can stadiums manage a wide assortment of inventory across a range of teams and events, while keeping storage areas organized and accessible for staff?

Case Study: The United Center in Chicago

The United Center in Chicago is home to the Bulls basketball team as well as the Blackhawks hockey team. The arena hosts more than 80 games each season, in addition to concerts and other events. Fans of both teams can purchase licensed merchandise at the Madhouse Team Store—the arena’s 10,000-square-foot retail experience. Smaller kiosks throughout the venue are also open for shopping on game days.

Keeping these retail vendors stocked with merchandise requires significant storage capacity. The Madhouse Team Store requires daily restocking to keep up with demand from fans, and the kiosks need to have their merchandise swapped out for each event. 

For example, on a basketball game day the kiosks will display around 70% Bulls merchandise and 30% Blackhawks merchandise; the next day, those percentages will need to be flipped for the hockey game. That’s a ton of inventory moving in and out the retail areas each day!

As a result, merchandise storage at the United Center was not optimized for efficiency. Instead, inventory was stored in various locations throughout the stadium, and valuable retail space was being taken up by boxes and storage bins. This also made it more difficult for retail clerks to locate the merchandise they needed for restocking.

The United Center hired a local Spacesaver consultant to help design a storage solution for the arena’s retail inventory. This solution consisted of stationary wall shelving for hanging jerseys and jackets, as well as a tall ActivRAC® Mobilized Storage System that takes full advantage of the room’s 12’ ceilings. 

One side of the mobile system houses Bulls merchandise, while the other side houses Blackhawks products. Six-foot aisles accommodate the rolling carts used by staff. The end result? A consolidated merchandise storage system that keeps inventory organized and simplifies the restocking process.

Contact Systems & Space to learn more about how high-density mobile shelving can help your stadium or sports arena optimize storage of retail merchandise.

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