The return of sports fans to stadia across the UK is within touching distance as venues will be allowed to welcome back 25% capacity (up to 10,000) from May 17. However, a report has been released, which reveals that while fans are excited to return, the majority are wanting greater health and safety measures in place.

Honeywell Building Technologies conducted a survey among 2,000 sports fans in the UK, between March 3 and March 9, 2021, about attitudes on returning to stadium-based sporting events in the United Kingdom. The findings revealed that concerns around COVID-19 remain, with 88% of respondents wanting an increased focus on safety measures on social distancing, when they return to stadia. Importantly, 79% of those surveyed said they wanted clubs and stadium operators to notify them in advance of attendance that these types of measures are in place.

Of the 2,000 UK sports fans surveyed it found 79% are worried about returning to stadiums due to the potential risk of contracting the virus. Notably, almost half (46%) are reluctant to take family members to watch live sport again, with 44% of those surveyed saying they will hold off doing so until they understand what safety measures have been implemented.

Many of the safety measures that have become commonplace in most aspects of daily life continue to be expected by many sports fans while inside stadia. 66% of surveyed fans expect that restrictions on fan movement will be necessary to help protect spectators and staff, while approximately half (46%) of those surveyed want to see the monitoring of social distancing compliance.

T4S – Safeguarding Social Distancing under Covid-19

T4S is a comprehensive technology platform that helps facility managers protect the safety of stewards, visitors and fans while preserving individual privacy. T4S integrates with a facility’s existing security and management systems, and can be configured to fit any size or type of facility, including stadiums, arenas, conference centres, performance venues, museums, etc.

It employs reusable Bluetooth low energy (BLE) and Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) tags to provide guidance to spectators, when to arrive at the venue to avoid queuing up, minimising the risk of exposure to the virus, support the ticketing process, and pairs with electronic ticketing apps to transmit personal device alerts and instructions. The BLE/UWB tags can be personalized for members, staff, visitors with disabilities and support the setup of the social bubble.

Key benefits:

·       Easy to deploy and use, with trusted Bluetooth technology

·       Device sensors actively warns users of any unsafe contact proximity

·       Powerful contact tracing reports and dashboards

·       Supports your stadium’s continuity plans with more secure social distancing procedures

·       Fully integrated, and GDPR compliant, assuring employee privacy

·       SGSA regulatory frameworks compliant

T4S goes beyond pandemic response. It leverages technology to support crowd intelligence, track fan’s dynamics and behaviours, and provide critical data to support the purpose and functions of the business.

What else T4S offers?

•      Real-time, dynamic evacuation plans

•      Visual representation of the situation in real time

•      Push notifications to notify spectators and safety personnel about the emergency

•      Safe guidance of people away from dangerous situations

•      Mobile-based communication and dispatch mechanism between the security officer and the safety personnel

•      Indoor positioning of spectators and safety personnel

•      Alarm raising mechanisms and control of active exit signs and actuators

•      People counting technologies

•      Integration with IoT devices (CCTV cameras, thermometers, smoke or fire detectors, etc.)

•      Crowd behavioural simulation techniques

•      FIFA (Federation International of Football Associations) and UEFA (Union European of Football Associations) regulatory frameworks compliant

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

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