Tech Stack: Semi-automated offsides, venue security and more

Our weekly tech round-up from the stadium and arena sector…

UEFA has announced that semi-automated offside technology will launch in European club competitions at next week’s Super Cup match in Helsinki before being used during the group stage of the Champions League.

The system will operate thanks to specialised cameras which can track 29 different body points per player. A total of 188 tests have been performed since 2020, including at all matches in last season’s Champions League, the knockout stage of the Women’s Champions League, and the complete Women’s Euro in England.

FIFA announced last month that the technology would be used during this year’s World Cup in Qatar, with eight stadia for the tournament to be equipped to cater for the venture.

Protect Duty Training Cards, a new app that delivers free counter-terrorism advice to security guards and staff working in stadiums and arenas, has been backed by a family who lost a relative in the Manchester Arena tragedy.

The app provides training through a series of innovative and interactive real-life quiz questions which test how a person would act if they find themselves at the centre of a major incident. Up to 150 questions are featured on the app, which allows companies to subscribe to a paid-for service to send out en-masse notification alerts.

Topics covered include the best steps to deal with armed attackers, tips on managing crowd control and advice on what to do if staff encounter a suspected explosive device. Developer YUDU Sentinel is also launching a Visitor Alerting system for venues to send mass text alerts in the event of a terrorist attack.

Figen Murray, whose son Martyn Hett died at the Manchester Arena in 2017, said: “This is a fantastic idea and I’ve already shared it with many people I know. It is so important that people working in the security industry have a greater understanding of how to react in a terror attack. This could help save lives.”

Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United, is trialling frictionless entry technology for fans.

The technology will enable supporters to use their face as a ticket, removing the need to scan a physical ticket or their phone. The pilot is currently only used by club-level season ticket holders and their guests, but the stadium is considering opening it up to all season ticket holders.

Several Falcons and United games will be used as test events for the technology over the course of this month.

Elsewhere in the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles have worked with cloud-based digital signage provider Spectrio to switch the team’s legacy digital signage CMS provider to EngagePHD.

Spectrio said its solution makes it easier for stadiums and arenas to design, deploy and manage digital signage networks of any scale. The company has helped deploy multiple digital signage applications at the Eagles’ Lincoln Financial Field stadium, accounting for almost 400 screens.

Spectrio’s content design team has worked with Aramark, the on-site food and beverage provider, to design custom-branded digital menu content for each concession stand in the stadium.

Wireless network solutions provider CommScope has been selected by Spurs Sports & Entertainment to provide its mobile connectivity services at AT&T Center, home of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs.

The deal will provide the arena with dedicated 4G, 5G and private wireless network access, allowing fans and concertgoers to enjoy an immersive experience while providing operational efficiency for the venue and vendors.

AT&T Center will use CommScope’s ERA All-Digital DAS technology to increase its mobile broadband wireless capacity, providing an augmented fan experience using ultra-wideband 5G. This will support experiences such as immersive content, paperless entry, cashless payments and in-seat ordering.

German Bundesliga football club Bayern Munich has entered into a partnership with computer software company Adobe.

As part of the deal, Adobe will help deliver personalised experiences to Bayern fans. Adobe Experience Cloud will help Bayern create fan profiles to better understand how supporters engage with the brand to enhance the match-day experience.

Supporters will receive real-time notifications such as merchandising discounts, video content and last-minute ticket availability. Bayern will also use Adobe Document Cloud to digitise collaboration with fans, employees and partners.

The US-based Move to Earn platform has announced plans to launch the first athletics competition in the metaverse.

The first competition to form part of the virtual stadium initiative will be a 100-metre race among 45 participants. The stadium encompasses various race tracks to organise 100m, 200m and 500m races, holding a virtual capacity of 4,500 spectators.

The platform also facilitates the buying and selling of blockchain-secured tickets and a museum to showcase top shots of the popular events.