How Digital Can Be Leveraged To Ensure Safe Return Of Fans In The Stadia
November 25, 2020
While the UK sports industry is looking forward to the conclusion of #Lockdown2 and the opportunity to restart sporting activities. The silver lining is that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport has offered a major boost to the sports industry, with fans to be able to return in lower transmission areas with a maximum of 4,000 fans being allowed into outdoor stadiums in tier one (medium alert) locations and 2,000 fans in tier two (high alert) locations from the 2nd of December.
Clubs are adapting latest technologies to facilitate the safe return of fans. We spoke with Lluís Pascual, CMO & Business Development EMEA at 3D Digital Venue to know about how they assisted Bath Rugby in their reopening.
Pascual says: “After the study of Bath’s layout, we created a 2D Enhanced seating chart, which takes into account all the relevant architectural aspects of the venue, under a visual design, in order to provide the most effective layout for the club. Understanding the local regulations, client revenue expectations and overall venue design are key factors in the development of these social distanced seating charts.”
“Understanding the local regulations, client revenue expectations and overall venue design are key factors in the development of these social distanced seating charts.”
With the 3DDV Social Distance Editor, Bath’s staff was able to group sections or rows and assign them a specific price and categorize them as regular, VIP, disabled, and even lock them. Once the seats are categorized and priced, the club enters the percentages of seat groups it wants to include (how many groups of 2 seats sitting together, 3 seats, etc.), and the social distance editor creates the optimal seating arrangement, calculates the income generated, and compares the different seating capacities to apply the most suitable one in each circumstance.
Meanwhile, Alex Cohen, COO – Bath Rugby further spoke about how they leveraged 3D’s service efficiently for The Recreation Ground and solve the challenges they were facing earlier.
Cohen explains: “The software has been brilliant in automating a complicated process and which would have taken many days to do so manually. The most convenient aspect is the ability to change the parameters and get a revised manifest instantly.
“We were recommended the product long before we started looking at this in detail so we knew immediately that it would save us considerable time and effort. The value of the scientific approach of ensuring that the output is mm perfect was extremely helpful in achieving sign-off from our SAG.”
“The criteria for measures which need to be in place can and will vary significantly over the coming months and we need to be able to react to this with agility and confidence.”
Whether digital methods can ensure a safe environment for return of fans to the stadiums amidst the pandemic, he says: “Undoubtedly this is an important part of the safe return. The criteria for measures which need to be in place can and will vary significantly over the coming months and we need to be able to react to this with agility and confidence. Anything which makes the process quicker, more accurate and easily auditable is critically important.”
Vishal Dayal, Ticketing Manager – Leicester City FC too reckons that the digital methods will ensure a safe environment for return of fans to the stadiums amidst the pandemic.
He says, “The accurate level of detail that the software goes into, in terms of how much space from each person we would need whether it is side to side or the row in front or behind. The software is easily configured which helps us work out the bubbles to keep the correct distance as per local legislation allows and export the data which will then allow us to import it into our ticketing system for sale.
“All digital methods will ease supporter minds especially with us moving to mobile tickets for the first time.”
“All digital methods will ease supporter minds especially with us moving to mobile tickets for the first time. We currently use paper tickets as well as print at home tickets but with the pandemic we will only be offering print at home and now mobile tickets. This completely reduces physical contact in terms of checking match tickets and handing them between staff and supporters to avoid any potential risks.”