FSB, the International Trade Fair for Amenity Areas, Sports and Pool Facilities, held in Cologne, featured a tidal wave of innovations – see our photo story below. Everywhere was new sport equipment, from the humble net to the Olympic athletics track or the ice hockey surface. Two years is a long time in the rapid development of synthetic turf so not surprisingly suppliers showed irrigation, heating, shockpad and turf pile technologies that were brand new.
FSB demonstrated a growing competition among manufacturers of synthetic turf maintenance equipment as established names design more sophisticated brushing, cleaning and recycling machines and new names appear on the scene. Professional clubs should note that they can now weave stunning artwork, such as club logos, into their pitches – a sort of turf tapestry.
New thinking was also on show in spectator seating as designers seek to satisfy FIFA regulations, a demand for accessible seating and European standards, all at a price that is affordable when buying 5,000-90,000 pieces. Manufacturers told PSAM that they manage their supply chains very carefully to meet the construction deadlines on stadiums preparing to host World Cups and other prestigious events.
FSB also demonstrated that managers can look to technology to reduce the costs of safety and security, including various developments of a ‘stadium brain’ – software to carry out tasks but also pull them all together for easy management. Groundsmen and video board operators can now control equipment remotely, avoiding emergency journeys to the facility. To counter bad fan behaviour, there’s the option of face recognition to exclude or warn fans at access control.