عنوان مقاله [English]
Given the growing importance of service experience and enhancing the experience of sports fans in the sports environment, the study of variables and factors that can provide a better experience for fans, has created a new and attractive field for researchers and sports marketers. Sports is one of the most important categories of today's societies, especially modern and industrial societies, which a large part of the population of every country deal with in various ways. The unique features of sports have made it a part of today's society, so that its importance is increasing day by day (Abdolmaleki, Heidari, Zakizadeh, & De Bosscher, 2019). In the meantime, football has been able to find a special place among different strata of people and present itself as a super sport. The unique characteristics of football and having high attraction and excitement have turned it into an industry with its own components and complexities (Ramezaninezhad et al., 2020). Meanwhile, the most important and influential factor in the football industry are the spectators or fans. In fact, the spectators are considered a part of the sports product, who give excitement to the sports competition with their participation and fandom of their favorite players and teams (Drayer & Shapiro, 2011). On the other hand, attracting spectators to sports events are the basic strategies of sports teams to increase their income and distinguish themselves from other teams. That is, the more the teams attract more spectators, the more income they will earn (directly and indirectly) (Gholizadeh, Talebpour, Kashtidar, & Abdolmaleki, 2018). The economic benefits along with the presence of spectators have prompted sports marketers to look for ways to attract and develop them. Football spectators are not only useful for increasing the capital of the club, but their social role is also considered important. Spectators are a complementary part of the main nature of sports. Because they provide a direct and live social environment for the player. With the absence of spectators, the athlete cannot perform well and shows a low level of performance (Nazemi, 2013). Studies conducted in the field of general tourism also show that past experiences are an important indicator that tourists refer to when choosing a new experience (Kerstetter & Cho, 2004). Abdolmaleki (2020) showed that the positive experience of the services provided can lead to frequent visits by heritage tourists in the future (Abdolmaleki, 2020). Lemon and Verhoef (2016) also believe that it is the service experience that can lead to customer satisfaction, and the quality of service comes next (Lemon & Verhoef, 2016). Therefore, as it was said, it can be argued that in the case of spectators, the service experience can be an important factor in post-experience behaviors. Because the advancement of technology has led to the personalization of experience, and people with different personalities are looking for different experiences (Hwang & Lee, 2018). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of Sportscape on spectator service experience in Iranian football stadiums. The present study is a descriptive-correlational study which was conducted in the field. The statistical population of the study included all the spectators present at Azadi Stadium who had purchased tickets and gone to the stadium in the 2019-2020 season. The sampling method was non-random using the convenience sampling strategy (electronically) in which 165 questionable questionnaires were passed to the research analysis stage. The research tool was a questionnaire based on previous researches that included three sections of demographic information, stadium characteristics (23 items) and service experience (18 items). The face and content validity of the questionnaire was confirmed by 8 professors and experts and its reliability and construct validity were accepted using confirmatory factor analysis. Research data analysis included confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling which was performed using SmartPLS software. Descriptive analysis of the demographic information of the sample showed that people aged 46 to 55 years, with 33.30%, formed the largest volume of the research sample. Examining the demographic characteristics of the participants in this study in terms of their marital status shows that more than 75% of the sample size of the present study are married people. According to the collected data, among the participants in this study, people with bachelor's degree have the highest frequency. Descriptive analysis of the demographic information of the sample shows that the research sample is at a low level in terms of attendance at the stadium. So that more than 63 percent of the participants attend the stadium only one to five times a year, and in total, about 16 percent of the sample consists of people who attend more than 10 times a year. They attend the stadium. The results showed that among the characteristics of the stadium, the comfort of the seats, stadium Aesthetics, the cleanliness of the stadium and the design of the stadium have a positive and significant effect on the spectator service experience. However, the effect of stadium parking, stadium access and stadium food services on the spectator service experience was not significant. According to the results of this research, among the physical features of the stadium, the comfort of the seats has the greatest effect on the audience's service experience; This can be related to the fact that the Azadi football stadium had a platform instead of seats for a long time and Iran is one of the last countries that tried to install seats in stadiums. In almost all researches, the comfort of the seats is considered as one of the most important factors of the stadium (Dhurup et al., 2010; Gencer, 2011; Lee et al., 2004; Wakefield & Sloan, 1995) and is a factor which, together with the design of the stadium, have a direct effect on perceived crowding. Crowding perceived by the audience is one of the variables that has been identified in past researches that has a negative effect on the enjoyment and satisfaction of the audience from the place where the service is provided. As long as the spectators to enter and exit the stadium to go to its different parts, such as the spectators' stands, toilets, canteens, etc., face less problems and crowds and do not have to wait in long queues, they will have a better experience. And they will show more willingness to return to this environment. Therefore, it is suggested that new stadiums be designed in a way to facilitate the movement of spectators in the stadium. Things like wide corridors, a greater number of toilets, optimal design of seats and seats in such a way that there is enough space between the rows for movement, should be considered in this context. Also, in the current stadiums, it is possible to improve the allocation of stadium space for spectators with small changes. For example, increasing the number of ticket counters prevents long queues of spectators and prevents the spectators from feeling crowded and having an unpleasant experience.