Technology

Manchester City sets Premier League first with WaitTime rollout

Premier League football club Manchester City has teamed up with US technology company Cisco to deploy the WaitTime real-time crowd intelligence solution at the Etihad Stadium.

Etihad Stadium is the first Premier League venue to be fitted with the technology, which provides teams and venues with real-time information on crowd density, traffic and movement.

WaitTime is designed to improve the guest experience and optimise operational efficiency for teams and organisations. The technology was initially deployed across the first-level concourse of the Etihad Stadium ahead of the 2022-23 season, with the intention of generating baseline data points that could be used to improve concourse congestion at concession stands.

Manchester City first partnered with Cisco in 2019 and today’s (Tuesday’s) announcement marks the latest innovation to stem from the relationship. Since 2013, Cisco has supported every aspect of the club’s operation through an end-to-end network deployment across the Etihad Stadium and the wider campus.

WaitTime’s technology will be integrated with the existing Cisco technology in place at the Etihad Stadium, using Cisco’s Meraki cameras to solve various crowd management issues by leveraging real-time data and historical analysis.

Following the successful pilot programme on level one of the stadium, the club is exploring opportunities to expand to the second and third tiers of the ground in the future. City is also exploring the integration of live information with digital signage on the concourse screens to provide fans with real-time data, helping to direct them to the shortest queue.

Greg Swimer, chief information and technology officer at City Football Group, said: “Continually improving the matchday experience for fans visiting the Etihad Stadium is a priority across all areas of our club. Through our long-term partnership with Cisco, we’re pleased to be able to implement further technology, such as WaitTime, to help us continue to develop and improve our offering for fans.

“WaitTime has been implemented across our largest concourse areas and the opportunities for its use are widespread, with the potential to expand to other areas of the stadium as well as the potential for future integration into live digital signage and other platforms.”

Ken Martin, managing director of global sales for sports, media and entertainment at Cisco, added: “WaitTime’s innovative technology is a perfect example of what is possible with the right network infrastructure in place. We are proud to partner with Manchester City to be the first Premier League club to deploy this solution and look forward to working with them to continue to improve the experience for fans at the Etihad Stadium.”

Other sports and entertainment venues that have rolled out WaitTime technology include the Sydney Cricket Ground, T-Mobile Arena and Levi’s Stadium.