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How Stadium Design And Security Tech Has Changed Since COVID-19

Last Updated on February 22, 2023 by Admin

Stadiums are some of the most popular places to aggregate and enjoy live entertainment. For example, the average stadium attendance for 2022 NFL games was 69,442.

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However, having so many people concentrated in a relatively small space also results in security risks, ranging from theft to violence to health concerns.

Over the last couple of years, the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted shortcomings in stadium design when it comes to containing the spread of disease and providing adequate safety for visitors. As a result, stadiums worldwide are rethinking their design features and security protocols to protect their attendees better.

Let’s focus on some of the most recent changes and innovations in stadium design with regard to safety technology.

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Contactless ticketing

This technology allows fans to enter the stadium without touching tickets or scanners. Stadiums are gradually adopting it worldwide to reduce the spread of pathogens in large crowds.

Contactless ticketing allows fans to add their tickets to their Apple Wallet, Google Pay, or similar app on their smartphone. When they get to the stadium, they just scan their phone, and they’re good to go.

This method also offers additional convenience to fans, as they don’t have to worry about losing their tickets or having them stolen as they are securely stored on their phone. It also makes it easier for fans to transfer tickets to friends or relatives, if needed, without worrying about printing out multiple copies.

Another benefit of contactless ticketing is that it reduces the need for long queues, as scanning contactless tickets is faster than manually checking them.

Temperature screening systems

These technologies are an accurate and effective way to detect high body temperatures that may result from a viral infection. Stadiums are adopting temperature screening systems to identify and isolate potentially contagious individuals before they enter the stadium.

Infrared technology is particularly desirable for sporting events because it can quickly and accurately measure surface body temperature without any contact. Thermographic cameras are also being used in conjunction with AI to detect high temperatures in individual fans and spectators when they enter the stadium. These devices are very similar to security screening but look for signs of illness instead of weapons or contraband.

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Temperature screening technologies were an essential part of keeping stadiums safe at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, they also raise questions about spectators’ privacy. As more and more stadiums implement these technologies, they also need to find ways to use them that protect fans’ rights and confidentiality.

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Video security and facial recognition technology

Video security was already a crucial factor when ensuring safety in stadiums. The use of business cameras allows stadium managers to monitor potential threats, such as crowd control problems or suspicious behavior.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the need for additional video surveillance capabilities. For example, in events where the use of a mask is mandatory, AI-powered video security can help staff spot individuals who are not following the rules and take the necessary actions.

Facial recognition technology is also increasingly useful for stadium security, as it allows staff to quickly identify specific individuals that may pose an increased risk to other spectators. Examples of stadium applications of facial recognition tech include identifying individuals with a history of violence or banned fans.

These technologies also pose questions in relation to privacy and protection of visitors’ data, so stadiums need to find ways to use it responsibly and in compliance with the relevant laws.

Social distancing measures

Covid-19 also highlighted the importance of social distancing in the event

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of a pandemic. Designers have taken notice and are now developing stadiums with social distancing needs in mind, that is, with seating arrangements that allow for more space between people and fewer people in each section.

Stadiums are also using digital signage to remind fans of the necessary precautions, as well as directional arrows and one-way systems throughout the venue to restrict overcrowding.

Contactless ordering systems for food and drinks

As stadiums reopen, contactless ordering solutions for food and drinks are becoming increasingly popular. They allow spectators to order food and drinks without interacting physically with concession stands or waiting in long lines.

QR codes are one of the most common methods used for contactless ordering in stadiums. Spectators can scan the code with their phones and place an order directly from their seats, which eliminates the need for physical interaction with concession stands. Mobile apps like FanFood also allow fans to order food and drinks for delivery directly to their seats. Fans can browse menus, place orders, pay for them and receive notifications when the orders are ready for pickup.

These contactless solutions are essential for ensuring the safety of spectators, as they limit contact with people outside their own group and reduce the risk of contagion.

To sum it up

The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted sports stadiums to develop new technologies and safety measures to keep fans safe. Thermographic cameras, facial recognition technologies, social distancing measures, and contactless ordering systems are just some of the measures being implemented. Stadiums must find ways to use these technologies responsibly and in compliance with the relevant laws while still protecting fans’ rights and privacy.

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