How to bring fans back to a stadium and not ruin the experience
Sports industry went through a digitalisation bootcamp this year. When the unthinkable happened and sports came to a standstill, there were many things to figure out. Things were (and still are) changing daily, the immediate priorities are fluid and no one can predict how this all will pan out. One thing though remained at the top of mind throughout this process: How do we bring the fans back?
The bottom line is that fans are the reason sports is played in the first place. Depriving them of the experience or significantly limiting it, is not a sustainable solution. And while we all are getting tired of hearing this, but the sports industry does need to define what the New Normal will look like.
Public health and safety always come first. A close second is the fan experience.Which means it’s not just waiting for a green light from the government and equipping the stadium with hundreds of sanitising stations. It’s more about figuring out how the measures can be implemented with little to no impact on the fan experience.
From that angle, the trickiest part is Social Distancing. It’s hard to monitor, requires additional staff to guide and risky to be left to the fans conscious.
The attendance limits and recommendations on bringing fans back vary quite significantly. Here is an official ‘Guide to Safety at the Sports Grounds’ by the UK authorities. It specifies 2m social distance recommended and min 1m required. It does not contain a percentage number for allowed attendance but does have formulas to calculate it based on social distancing requirements. In comparison, across the Atlantic, in the state of Texas, the government allows up to 50% capacity. Bottom line is there are strict limits and recommendations on how many fans you can bring back.
Apart from frictionless experience (it goes without saying), there are two parts that need to be addressed in the New Normal:
- keeping the community safe for the lucky and brave fans who are going to be back first
- instilling the feeling of safety, so that more fans are ready to come back and the authorities can give a green light for easing the attendance limits.
There is a need for a tool that can ensure community safety and provide actionable and shareable insights. Snaptivity team have been working hard to deliver it. And we are happy to present to you our solution — InSITE. InSITE is a software tool born to deliver actionable insights into crowd’s emotional intelligence. And it starts with Automated Social Distancing Audit.
InSITE was born through a scale-up of Snaptivity technology. It runs on top of the video feed from existing camera infrastructure (CCTV). InSITE's computer vision and pattern recognition software process the video feed in real-time to give the exact number of people in a space and physical distances between them. The system automatically alerts the ground staff (and in some cases, fans) if and where the measures are not being followed as well as about emerging bottlenecks.
InSITE intends to make live sports safer for fans & staff and to provide frictionless experience and feeling of safety. With InSITE you can ensure fans are staying safe throughout their journey. You don’t need to limit the accessible areas, restrict fan flow and increase ground staff numbers. With Automated Social Distancing Audit, you will know exactly how well the measures are implemented, where are the areas that need more guidance and how to better manage the flow.
InSITE also ensures a person’s privacy protection as the software doesn’t use personal data (face recognition) and does not store any of the visuals captured. Instead, we use local pattern recognition processing to ensure COVID-19 guidelines implementation and audit.
And as for the instilling the feeling of safety, InSITE generates reports on how well the measures are implemented and maintained. So that you have a data-backed communication piece ready to be shared.
Allowing fans back in the stadiums is a process and we all hope it’s not going to be too long. When preparing for the opening, fan safety and fan experience should be very close to each other on the priority list. This means that capacity calculations and opening plans must consider that fans are living and breathing human beings and they are very unlikely to strictly follow the guidance. Social Distancing Audit will allow you to open up space in a safe manner, consider the economics of the matchday and provide a great experience. As great as before the sports stopped.
Interested in InSITE? Visit our website and schedule a call to learn more!
Let us know what you think about InSITE and social distancing audit