Dublin’s Aviva Stadium has agreed a partnership with Shared Access that will lead to the implementation of 5G connectivity, while London’s Twickenham Stadium has announced what it claims is an innovative strategy to combat food waste at the venue.

The announcements come as the two stadia gear up for the start of this year’s Six Nations rugby union tournament, which commences next weekend. Shared Access, an independent owner and operator of shared wireless infrastructure, has partnered with Aviva Stadium to improve the experience for fans on all mobile networks inside the facility. This means that all 3 Mobile network operators will be live for the 2020 sporting calendar, including the Six Nations.

Shared Access said the partnership will see significant investment in Aviva Stadium over the next 25 years as the company ensures that all mobile network operators are live inside the stadium with 4G coverage. The next step is to upgrade to add 5G to ensure Aviva Stadium remains the premier connected sporting venue in Ireland.

The partnership builds upon Shared Access’ track record of investing in major venues, one of the most recent being the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. “Shared Access have been investing in grassroots sports in Ireland for over 12 years,” said Chris Jackman, CEO of Shared Access.

“Having already built hundreds of operational sites, we are currently building a pipeline of over 150 new telecom installations nationally, and with our track record of investing in major venues already established we are delighted to be working with the Aviva Stadium to ensure it has the best mobile connectivity in Ireland now and in the future.

“Bringing the best connectivity with an upgrade path ready for 5G to Ireland is critical in propelling the city forward to ensure future investment and to enable visitors to enjoy major events at the Aviva Stadium.”

Martin Murphy, CEO of Aviva Stadium, added: “Having the right telecommunication infrastructure partner who can ensure the best in class connectivity is key for any stadium. The Aviva represents both national and international football and rugby and our goal is to ensure we have a strong technical and financial solution for connectivity both now and into the future.”

Meanwhile, Twickenham has launched a new food waste strategy that includes an innovative internal ‘circular economic model’ that seeks to maximise every ingredient, reduce food miles and track the source, multiple use and outcome of every ingredient used on the menu.

The food waste strategy is part of an extension of the stadium’s existing sustainability initiatives and is being implemented to reduce the average ‘per person’ wastage at the home of English rugby. “At the moment, the average amount of waste per person as the stadium is only small, but when that is multiplied by the amount of visitors we have to Twickenham, it becomes much larger,” said Thomas Rhodes, executive head chef at Twickenham Stadium, and one of the leaders of the venue’s sustainability initiatives.

The circular economic model is based around menu design, which encourages multiple uses of each ingredient, across the stadium’s operations and throughout the day. It also encourages the reusing of wastage items for stocks and sauces so maximum ‘value’ is taken from every ingredient, all of which are sourced locally.

Thomas said: “To get waste down now, we need to look beyond the per person waste, and look at the micro things we do which have macro effects. This means we can track the life of an ingredient, use it for different things across the menu, from top to bottom. For instance, we can order whole locally sourced vegetables, use them in two or three dishes, and then use the excess for stocks and soups. It means one ingredient will be seen across two or three menus and multiple events.”

The food waste strategy also links with the stadium’s commitment to reducing food miles and its ability to demonstrate to guests where food has been sourced from. Twickenham said this added intelligence means the venue is able to offer menus that have been optimised at source and at disposal, with the menu design also helping to support the personal green agendas of visitors.

Thomas added: “A good example of this is the use of our celeriac, which we peel, bake in salt and serve as a plant-first option. The peelings of the vegetable are ground down with the excess salt to create a veggie salt for other dishes; the offcuts are used for a jus on a different part of the menu; and anything else left over we reuse in stocks and soups.

“That means you could have four dishes using the same ingredient in four different ways. When we share this approach with delegates, they really buy into what we’re trying to do.”

Image: IRFU