Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, in Canada has partnered with OnePlan to create a fully interactive 3D Venue Twin of its stadium. With its rich history hosting multiple sports and entertainment events, it’s now planning for the future with an interactive digital twin opening huge operational and commercial opportunities.
We spoke to Jason Fesyk, Supervisor for Stadium and Major Events Facilities, Commonwealth Stadium about how his stadium’s Venue Twin is a game-changer for integrated planning, sales and comms, plus its bid to be a host venue for the FIFA World Cup 2026.
What is a digital twin?
VenueTwin is OnePlan’s new solution that unlocks the real value in venues. A fully interactive, centimeter accurate 3D digital twin of any venue, it provides huge operational and commercial benefits. Stadiums and arenas can boost ticket sales with the most advanced 3D SeatView. And they can attract advertisers and sponsors with SuiteView, plus show how signs and advertising will look in any position. Any item can be easily changed and moved, with the highest quality customer walk-throughs now available instantly
This can all be done with seamless integration between the Venue Twin and other OnePlan functionality including 2D, satellite and CAD.
“Covid has fast-tracked event and venue technology. What our clients were forecasting in a few years’ time, they’re now asking for now. That’s why we’ve created Venue Twin,” says OnePlan CEO Paul Foster.
For Jason Fesyk at Commonwealth Stadium, it brings instant benefits: “This is a game-changer. Coming from an event background, I’ve got powerpoint slides, lots of different dot plans, spreadsheets that don’t integrate. As a collaborative system OnePlan was attractive for us. Venue Twin is ideal – it gives us a forward look into what our venue could look like.”
Adapting the venue to events
Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton hosts a range of sports and entertainment events, that’s included the 2015 women’s football World Cup, to concerts for David Bowie and Beyonce. As such, Jason’s team often needs to quickly adapt the stadium.
“There’s a lot going on in our complex all the time: outside of the stadium itself, there are parking lots, a 5,000 seat soccer stadium nearby, a fully operational recreation centre, and so on. The opportunity to integrate our environment and create a Venue Twin so that we can see operationally what it’s going to look like is a pretty big move for us.”
“Having OnePlan’s Venue Twin allows us that flexibility and gives us the opportunity to ensure the venue is prepared and ready for the next event it hosts,” says Jason.
The 3D Venue Twin is accessed and controlled within OnePlan, meaning seamless integration to instantly switch between 2D and 3D modes. Jason can interact in either mode, and the 3D visualizations allow for incredible fly-throughs of the stadium from any angle. This includes defining television broadcast views. Infrastructure, signs and branding can all be easily changed by the user, without the need for CAD drawings to be updated.
Venue Twin as a Marketing Tool
“VenueTwin has so many useful tools,” Jason continues. “The planning side is one thing, but we can use this as a marketing piece as well.”
SeatView improves the fan experience when buying tickets, providing a fully interactive 3D fly-through of a stadium, showing seats locations and views, as well as the nearest facilities and concessions.
“The platform gives sponsors a much better view of what their brand’s going to look like in our venue,” says Fesyk.
With Venue Twin, Jason and his team at Commonwealth Stadium have been able to “assess usable space and areas to build out compounds that aren’t currently there. Being able to build out different set-ups for sports and concerts provides us with so many more possibilities for how we envision our stadium in any future state.”
These can be easily shared with event promoters, sponsors and advertisers for a hyper-realistic view of what the venue will look like in any scenario. “It gives sponsors a much better view of what their brand’s going to look like in our venue,” explains Jason.
FIFA WC2026 Candidate Host City
Commonwealth Stadium, and the City of Edmonton, are hoping to be a host venue for the FIFA Men’s World Cup 2026. As part of their bid to the United 26 organising committee, they’ve used Venue Twin to show the changes they’ll make to the stadium and how signage will appear.
“We’re very excited to be using Venue Twin to show what our stadium will look like in 2026. We’re using OnePlan and Venue Twin to meet FIFA standards. We can take our 2D plans, and then show a real-time, realistic virtual walkthrough of the stadium in 3D.”
This innovation has enabled Edmonton to take a significant step forward in being able to visualise the venue’s future state in 3D, for its pitch to FIFA and all stakeholders for the 2026 World Cup.
The partnership between Commonwealth Stadium and the City of Edmonton brings potential to integrate other venues in the city by using OnePlan. Training venues, fan sites and any other venue can be created in a fully interactive 3D digital environment, meaning the city can visualise and plan ahead with ease and accuracy.
Fesyk adds: “The opportunity to integrate our environment and create a Venue Twin so that we can see operationally what it’s going to look like is a pretty big move for us.”
Quick to create, with long-term benefits
Jason has found the process to create the 3D Venue Twin quick and easy. “If you bring the data to them, very quickly they were able to pull our stadium together. It has been an amazing, integrative piece.
“The time frame it’s taken to get to the point we are at now has been very short. I’m very impressed with what the OnePlan team has done.”
>>Meet the OnePlan team and learn more at TheStadiumBusiness Summit 2021 in Manchester (30 Nov-1 Dec). More info here.