With the UK slowly emerging from six months in lockdown, sports officials, players, and fans alike are all eager to return to football stadia and arenas. However, if the past six months have shown us anything, it’s that #COVID-19 has made the future uncertain.

Many fans are understandably concerned about how they’ll be able to enjoy live football in the future and follow social/physical distancing measures to keep themselves and their families safe. It’s a question that football executives are puzzling over, particularly as many stadia and arenas are designed to fit as many fans as possible.

That’s where technology can help. Wearable technology that uses ultrawideband frequency, can help monitor crowd moments and provide stewards with better information for managing social and physical distancing.

Ultrawideband bracelets

Ultrawideband bracelets work in tandem with an ultrawideband hub. Using this system, the hub constantly monitors the location of the bracelet by triangulating its distance from the hub, as well as the distance between each device.

You then can monitor where each device is through your dashboard, allowing you to monitor crowd movement and send stewards to enforce social distancing if any devices come too close to each other.

Ultrawideband works on its own frequency and therefore no user data is stored on the dashboard or local servers, so visitors will feel safe knowing that their movements aren’t stored.

How can technology help stadia reopen?

As more companies are adopting ultrawideband technology to enforce social and physical distancing during COVID-19, many are building specialized dashboards and integrations.

One of the key developments is that some ultrawideband bracelets are designed to vibrate if the hub detects they are too close to another bracelet device, ensuring that device users can maintain their distance from other people. While this was originally designed to help implement COVID-19 safety protocols in businesses, this feature will remind fans to maintain social distancing to prevent spreading the virus.

As your dashboard shows which devices have breached social distancing rules, this helps contact tracing efforts should any fans test positive for COVID-19. Not only does this give football fans more confidence in returning to live football, but it also means you can stop an outbreak in its tracks.

In T4S, ultrawideband bracelets vibrate if the hub detects they are too close to another bracelet device, ensuring that device users can maintain their distance from other people.

Not only that, but because our T4S platform was designed for crowd movement and management purposes, to support real-time evacuations, we’ve been able to adapt this to new COVID-19 guidelines.

 The main benefit of using technology to help simulate crowd movements, even during COVID-19 in which you’re going to be welcoming limited numbers of people to your venue, is that it makes it easy to determine how one-way systems will affect fans returning to live football. As many live sports venues weren’t designed to operate on a limited number of entry and exit points, this can help you to ensure your fans have a good experience while you fulfill your COVID-19 safety policies.

How Thridium can help live football return

Ultrawideband bracelets can also connect with our signature T4S system, which is designed to support effectuate your safety protocols. Should there be an emergency in your stadium or arena, not only will you be able to ensure fans can evacuate, but you’ll also be able to track their location and ensure everyone has made it out of your facilities safely. You’ll also be able to monitor how well people adhere to social distancing in case of emergency, allowing you to adapt your plans accordingly to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and rebuild trust and enhanced perception of safety to your fans.

 At Thridium, we work to help you bring live football back safely. 

  • By Oana Bunduc – Research and Innovation Project Manager at Thridium