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Getting fans back into stadia – call for solutions

The Sports Technology and Innovation Group has launched a call for solutions to enable the return of fans to sports grounds. 

The UK-based group is asking companies with expertise in a range of areas to submit their products and/or innovations for review.

The group, announced last week by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, is exploring a range of solutions so that fans can be back in elite sports venues when it is safe to do so.

The group, Chaired by David Ross, co-founder of Carphone Warehouse and non-executive director of the Olympic Association, is made up of sport health and technology experts.

They want to hear innovative solutions and approaches to safely managing the whole ‘fan journey’ – from home to venue.

This includes fans travelling to and from stadiums, as well as reducing crowding both inside and outside the venues.  The Group will consider the approaches and recommend technical solutions to the government.

Companies are able to submit solutions via an online portal at

Ross said:

We need to do all we can to get fans back into sports grounds and cheering on their heroes as soon as we can safely do so.  This group of sport, health and tech experts will work at pace to identify any smart innovations that can help speed up the process of allowing supporters back into stadiums.

Martyn Henderson, chief executive of the Sports Grounds Safety Authority, said:

We look forward to hearing about the innovative solutions that will help speed up the process of the return of fans to stadiums.

In particular, the group is looking for solutions which answer the following questions in fan journey:

  • Ticketing and capacity
  • How can we increase capacities whilst maintaining social distancing in venues?
  • How can we build fan confidence to attend sporting events?
  • Pre-event build-up
  • How can we use pre-event interactions to promote key safety messages?
  • How can we ensure fans take on responsibility for their individual, peer and community safety?
  • Travelling to the venue
  • How can we minimise transmission risk from fans travelling to and from grounds?
  • How can we reduce the impact on public transport for sports grounds in urban areas?
  • Zone Ex (last mile) and entry
  • How can we avoid crowded bottlenecks at entry, exit and within venues?

Inside the venue

  • How can we ensure fans can circulate safely within the ground? Especially when buying food & drink.
  • Departure and post-event
  • What role can technology such as smart phones play in reducing transmission risk across the fan journey?
  • How can we maintain socially responsible behaviours after the event?