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All posts tagged fan engagement

The second edition of our ‘live’ event, the Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific conference and exhibition, took place September 28-30, 2015, at the Singapore Sports Hub’s Indoor Stadium and was lauded ‘an overwhelming success’ by all in attendance.

The 17th event for Stadia & Arena, the event was hailed a “really great conference” providing “invaluable contacts”, with nearly 500 high-ranking attendees representing just under 30 countries, including Australia, Cambodia, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, India, Japan, Kingdom of Brunei, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Qatar, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States, for 2.5-days of networking, learning, knowledge-sharing and doing business.

One of the 50+ industry-elite speakers, Jason Hill, General Manager – Commercial at the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust, commented:

I was impressed with the operation… and enjoyed the experience immensely. Best of luck with 2016.

Delegate Masa Hayafuji, Assistant Chief – Stadium Development Group of the J-League (Japan Professional Football League), said:

I just want to show you my great gratitude for inviting me to the conference. It was great experience and I met a lot of people in this industry because of your support.

Another speaker, Greg Turner, General Manager at the STU Sports Park, commented:

…thanks for hosting the conference and everything you did to help organise it. I found it immensely useful and must say I wish there were more such conferences in the region.

Look forward to next year in Japan and hopefully I can present an updated case study on the Sports Park and what we are trying to accomplish there!

Literally billions of dollars’ worth of global sports venue projects were represented at the event, including groups currently involved in new major sports projects around the region. Those included Sports City Malaysia (hosts of the 2017 SEA Games), the Cambodia National Stadium, Haryana Cricket Stadium and Kai Tak Stadium Hong Kong, in addition to global venue operators and facility managers. Developers behind major new sports projects in Australia, China and New Zealand were also in attendance.

Jason Ng, Executive Director of MP Singapore Pte Ltd, our local event partner, said:

As more major international sporting events are held in the Asia Pacific region, there is an increasing need for venue management professionals to gain a better understanding of effective management and utilisation of sports facilities. Stadia & Arena 2015 created that opportunity. We are heartened by the many discussions and sharing of real-world experiences amongst the community.

Over 80 delegates attended a special ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the Singapore Sports Hub on the opening day.

The event kicked-off with an exclusive ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour of the Singapore Sports Hub’s facilities, which more than 80 delegates took advantage of. The tour was followed by the event’s Official Opening, with welcome speeches from Alad Chairman, Alan Levett, and Jason Ng, Executive Director of MP Singapore Pte Ltd, and rounded-off with a Regional Market Report that detailed the many projects currently under construction, in the planning stage or being proposed in Australia, Indonesia and Singapore.

Day II saw the start of the conference in earnest, with 50+ industry elite speaker sessions covering all aspects of sports venue design, operations, revenue generation and fan engagement. The day’s proceedings were brought to a close with an evening networking reception in the exhibition hall, which allowed delegates, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors the opportunity to chat in a more informal setting.

On the exhibition floor, which sported more than 40+ industry-leading exhibitors, attendees had the opportunity to network and meet with experts from across the entire spectrum of products and services for sporting events and venues, many of whom were exhibiting in Asia for the first time.

The event finale on Day III gave all visitors the chance to hear an insightful Closing Keynote from the Disney Institute’s Senior Facilitator, Wing Tan, during which he explained how as leaders in the sports industry it is important to understand that your fans are your ‘guests’ and the interactions they have with your stadium employees and third-party vendors will impact the overall fan experience.

As an alternative for delegates with a primary focus on Sports Turf, there was a special local site tour to learn about the importance of proper artificial turf maintenance from SMG Sportplatzmaschinenbau.

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SMG Sportplatzmaschinenbau laid on a special local site tour to advise delegates on the importance of correct artificial turf maintenance.


With cities and countries from across Asia Pacific playing host to a plethora of major sporting events, including the 2017 SEA Games, 2018 Winter Olympics, 2018 Commonwealth Games, 2019 Rugby World Cup, 2020 Summer Olympics, 2022 Winter Olympics, 2022 Asian Games and 2023 SEA Games, plans are already well underway to host Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2016 in Japan. So please watch this space for further details…and keep checking back both on this website and the show’s website at:

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A comprehensive review of the Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015 event will be available in the 4th quarter/Showcase Special edition of PanStadia & Arena Management magazine, which will be published later this year.

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Nearly 500 attendees networked, knowledge-shared, learned and conducted business during Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015.


To coincide with this season’s introduction of an expanded Etihad Stadium, Manchester City FC are launching a new initiative designed to give young fans from across the UK the chance to experience their first ever ‘live’ Premier League match.

Designed to appeal to young football fans, aged 5-12 years, ‘My First Match‘ offers young UK fans the opportunity to win a money-can’t-buy, immersive experience, which puts them at the heart of the action at the Etihad Stadium on a Premier League matchday.

Manchester City are working in partnership with national kids’ media titles to launch My First Match via a competition mechanic that runs across a number of Premier League home games.

Open exclusively to competition entrants, winners of My First Match are rewarded with an unforgettable matchday, which includes a Blue Carpet experience where they can high-five the first team players as they arrive at the venue, a Stadium & Club Tour, a pre-match tour of the state-of-the-art City Football Academy, a meet and greet with the club mascots Moonchester and Moonbeam and a chance to stand pitchside and watch their heroes warm up before kick-off.

Each competition partner is offered 5 pairs of tickets for a specific game, with the winners   invited for an extra special matchday for their first experience of live Premier League action.

This immersive, money-can’t-buy, experience reinforces City’s dedication to its legion of young fans, whilst highlighting the Club as a Premier League leader in offering unique and innovative experiences.

Recent signing Raheem Sterling recalls his very first football match:

The first football match I ever went to was Manchester United versus Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley and I was 12 years old. I used to play football with friends as a 10 year old and it makes me just as happy now as it did then.


Major Events International (MEI) are focusing on the theme of driving fan engagement through technology at this year’s inaugural Major Events Summit, taking place in London on 26th and 27th October. Demonstrated by the high levels of fan engagement during this year’s Rugby World Cup, this is an area of growing interest and prominence within the sports industry as organisations look to enhance fan experience and engagement as well as looking at the ‘Return on Investment’ from an increasing range of innovative capabilities. 

The aim of the Major Events Summit is to provide the Major Events community with a highly interactive and profile-enhancing opportunity. With a unique mix of attendees from leading edge suppliers to sports and venue key officials, round tables and panels will allow for detailed discussions and new relationships to be formed.

The first day of the Summit on 26th October will focus on Safety and Security for major sporting events and is followed by the MEI awards and sports legend dinner – the awards themselves will be produced by Touch of Ginger who have recently produced the Rugby World Cup medals. The Event Services and Venue Operations day on 27th will focus on the use of technology and best practice generally when running and supplying into events. Speakers on day two include Spanish start up Mobile Media Content and Olympic sponsor ATOS Origin.

Commenting on the event, MEI’s CEO Dennis Mills said:

The Major Events Summit is an opportunity for our joint supplier and buyer community to meet, identify requirements and suitable solutions as well as sharing lessons learned.  In a format which will encourage maximum attendee participation, this new “must-attend” annual gathering of major sporting events and venue professionals will be kept to 100 attendees to allow for an intimate highly networked environment.

To reserve your place at this specialist event, please visit or call +44 (0) 207 073 2661 for more information

About Major Events International (MEI)

Major Events International (MEI) provides business support services to companies seeking to win business for iconic global events such as the Olympic Games, World Cup series, and regional and specialist events where requirements cover venues, fan parks, city and state level hosting needs presenting opportunities for companies of all sizes and sectors.

Melbourne Cricket Ground to take stadium technology and fan engagement to new levels

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Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) today unveiled plans to turn Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) into one of Australia’s most technically-advanced and connected stadiums for fans, members and stakeholders.

In conjunction with partners Cockram, IBM and Cisco, the MCC announced that it will progressively deliver a range of technology infrastructure during 2015. The solution will connect fans and improve the spectator experience, bringing them closer to the action as it happens. It includes:
•    A super-fast, secure, high-density Wi-Fi network in and around the stadium, allowing fans to access real-time and interactive content and to engage with other fans.
•    A state-of-the-art exterior LED lighting system that will enhance the visual appearance of the MCG and allow teams/clubs to personalise and theme the stadium for their fans.
•    A best-of-breed Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) system to deliver digital content to high-definition displays throughout the MCG, displaying information as it happens.
•    Best-in-class facilities for media and broadcasters that will enable faster supply of event content to fans around the world.

The works are the next phase in a AUD$45m investment by the MCC, which has already delivered the two largest, high-definition scoreboards in Australia and the next generation of high-definition television production facilities.

The project will deliver a cutting-edge, high-density Wi-Fi network inside the MCG, allowing fans, members and stakeholders fast access to the internet on any device at the stadium.

The IPTV solution will see installation of 800 high-definition screens. Fans will be able to watch high-definition replays and keep track of the action as it unfolds. Coupled with existing screens, a total of 2800 televisions around the stadium will mean that fans won’t miss a moment.

MCC CEO, Stephen Gough, said:

I am delighted that the MCG will soon be one of the most connected stadiums in the country. This is a significant investment to improve and personalise the MCG customer experience and also operate a more efficient stadium. This will take the fan experience to another level with significant improvements to the MCG’s connectivity. This increased capacity will be great news for the four million people who visit the MCG each year.

One of the central pillars of the MCG technology improvements surrounds the ability to ‘theme’ the stadium in the colours of the home team. Approximately 240 LED lamps will ‘light’ the entire underside of the upper area of Level 4 seating, enabling the exterior of the stadium to be lit up in team/club colours, allowing AFL and cricket tenants to differentiate their home matches, as Mr Gough advised:

Whether you are a Collingwood, Hawthorn or Melbourne Stars fan, you want to feel like you are at a home game. We can now add to that true home team feeling at the MCG.

LED strip lighting will also be installed on the exterior façade to highlight the stadium, including gate entrances. Improved external digital way finding signage will be provided in Yarra Park.

The MCC has assessed a number of the world’s best stadiums – including Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Metlife Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Citifield, AT&T Park, Levi’s Stadium, Emirates Stadium, Staples CenterCamp Nou and Wembley Stadium – to find a solution with the fans’ best interests in mind.

Mr Gough said:

We have witnessed new technologies in action elsewhere and we want to ensure the MCG remains one of the greatest stadiums in the world.

Cockram Construction has been engaged as head contractor of the project.

“We look forward to delivering a critical piece of technology infrastructure for the most iconic sporting stadium in the country,” said Cockram Managing Director, Malcolm Batten.

MCC appointed IBM as head technical contractor to design, evaluate technology options and implement the selected solution to further enable the delivery of fan engagement innovations.

Catherine Caruana-McManus, Director IBM Smarter Cities Australia, said:

The technology solution IBM has designed and is implementing will deliver the foundational backbone for MCC to future-proof Australia’s premier, world-renowned stadium. This work will enable MCC to take advantage of the latest mobile, social and analytics technologies. It will create unrivalled and personalised in-stadium fan engagement and ensure premier game day experiences, giving fans more reasons to visit more often.

IBM’s expertise in delivering world leading innovation and digital solutions for sport and entertainment industries will deliver new commercial possibilities and attract more world-class events to the MCG. 

IBM is excited to partner with MCC on this transformation journey.

Cisco Systems Director, Jonathon Dixon, said:

The MCG is an iconic global sporting venue, and the MCC is transforming the stadium into one of the most technologically advanced in the world with the help of Cisco Sports & Entertainment solutions.

We believe that as the Internet of Everything connects more people, processes, data and things, the fan experience will become more immersive, customised and engaging. We are thrilled to be working with leaders like the MCC and IBM on this project.

For further information, please visit
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Kia Oval deploys venue management solution

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NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR), a global leader in consumer transaction technologies, announced this week that the Kia Oval cricket ground has chosen NCR and its channel partner, Centegra, to improve the food, drink and hospitality experience for supporters at its iconic cricket ground in central London, UK.


The Kia Oval has deployed NCR hospitality software and technology solutions that will be operated by Levy Restaurants UK, the sport, leisure and hospitality business of Compass Group UK & Ireland. This will allow the catering provider to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its operation at the stadium, thereby extending the customer experience and increasing profitability.
The Kia Oval has been the home of Surrey County Cricket Club (Surrey CCC) since its foundation in 1845, one of the UK’s leading cricket teams, and a regular venue for England international cricket fixtures. It is also one of London’s leading venues for exhibitions, conferences and weddings. Surrey CCC has a unique relationship with its supporters who expect the premium fan experience for which the Kia Oval is known.
Elliott Moore, General Manager Catering for Levy Restaurants UK at the Kia Oval said:

Cricket fans expect the best possible experience when they come to watch a match or attend an event at the Kia Oval. By investing in the future of the club and providing technology that facilitates a great fan experience, we are able to run our business more effectively and profitably. The software and hardware solutions provided by NCR and deployed by Centegra have helped make this a reality.

Selected for its strong UK presence and innovative solutions, NCR has deployed its NCR Venue Manager software that works seamlessly to manage and integrate a range of NCR’s latest point-of-sale (POS) solutions also installed by Kia Oval. NCR Venue Manager software is a proven and reliable solution designed specifically for stadia and arena. It enables food and beverage managers and venue operators to accurately integrate all their venue hospitality operations with consolidated real-time reporting. It also allows them to analyze and forecast event usage to boost their bottom line and maximize profitability.


Kevin Briggs, venue and arena business lead for Europe at NCR, added:

Fan loyalty is driven by the overall experience when they visit a stadium, such as Kia Oval. Great technology can help achieve this, thereby increasing revenues and the bottom line, and allowing operators to run their businesses more effectively. NCR is the leader in hospitality technology solutions with solutions deployed at over 250 stadia and arena around the world. We are focused on providing stadium operators, such as Surrey Cricket Club, with innovative software and hardware solutions that deliver significant value to their business and help provide a better experience for their fans.

NCR POS solutions deployed include ninety nine NCR QS710 POS, that provide a rugged, reliable solution for fast moving environments, such as cricket grounds. The versatile POS features ease-of-use for operators, fast and secure payment processing and the ability to operate on mobile kiosks. Kia Oval has also deployed the powerful Q1515 POS for its high-volume front of house operations where more diverse menus are offered.
Centegra, a NCR Interact Partner that lead the deployment of NCR technology at the Kia Oval, has been working with NCR for more than 15 years in the UK, specializing on hospitality solutions for stadium and arena.


Tom Bell, Managing Director at Centegra Ltd commented:

The stadium environment has very specific requirements for hospitality technology, as systems may not be used for several weeks and are then required to perform at the highest level. This includes massive peaks in the breaks, when the tills must work. That is why NCR’s innovative POS technology is so valuable to a venue like Kia Oval, as its reliability is phenomenal, it boots up instantaneously and can work off line without dependence. So whatever else is happening in the stadium the POS operates seamlessly and customers will get served.

Orlando Magic continues to enhance the fan experience at Amway Center

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Orlando Magic Becomes First NBA Team to Deploy and Integrate iBeacons Via Team Mobile App in Amway Center

As part of the Orlando Magic’s focus and commitment to fan engagement and interaction, the Magic has partnered with Experience ( to launch iBeacons in Amway Center. The iBeacons will provide fans the ability to receive instant communication and updates the moment they enter the arena. Features will include the ability for fans to access their tickets, upgrade their seats and receive notifications on special offers and fan experiences in the building.

Magic CEO, Alex Martins, said:

The Magic is committed to our fans and their experience in our building and we are continually looking for ways to take these areas to another level. iBeacons provides the perfect fit to accomplishing this goal. As the first NBA team to offer one-to-one personalized experiences enabled by iBeacons and integrated with our mobile app it allows us to build on our mission of providing legendary moments every step of the way. Through our partnership with Experience, we are already looking ahead to the latest and greatest technology to offer to our loyal Magic fans.

The Magic is the first NBA team to implement iBeacons technology and integrate it with its mobile application. Approximately 20 iBeacons have been placed around Amway Center providing the team an unprecedented ability to communicate to each fan via mobile device. The messages can include instructions on bypassing long lines or receiving information on food, beverages and retail offers.

The iBeacons will provide “micro-location” information for fans who opt-in, allowing the Magic to enhance and personalize each fan’s experience the moment they enter the Amway Center.  Through this technology, each fan’s individual needs can be met and their unique footprint understood, with customized opportunities and experiences created for each fan.

Experience President, Ben Ackerman, commented:

Working together with the Magic to launch the latest technology with iBeacons in combination with the ability to mobilize a game ticket within the Magic app, we are able to provide fans an unprecedented ability to manage and enhance their game day experience. No other NBA team is offering these capabilities, and we know fans will quickly realize the benefits.

‘World first’ witnessed at SportsVMT Summit

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Goodison Park, home of Everton FC, was the location for a ‘world first’ on Monday, as ADI ran a live demo from its HQ in Preston during the SportsVMT Summit.


The conference audience of club media managers and sport broadcasters witnessed the first use of Adobe Anywhere. With an ADI editor at Goodison Park and an Adobe editor at the conference, both worked on assets stored on the Adobe Anywhere server at ADI, and both contributed to the clip, including a live interview from pitchside along with selected archived footage. The end result was played out to the big screen in the corner of Goodison and viewed back at the summit, receiving plaudits from all.


This revolutionary system means all the assets – from high quality video and graphics to sponsor content – are stored in one place, allowing video journalists and editors to access the files they need. Under the bonnet, there’s a lot of clever stuff to allow transmission of files to various devices, including tablets for sign-off by execs, without losing quality. Users of ADI’s LiveVenue can use Adobe Anywhere simply by buying an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.


ADI has also developed LiveVenue with the help of technical partners like Nevion and EVS, and the VMT summit was packed with demos and best-practice information from these companies’ working around the globe. IMG Studios is a content partner which is offering clubs a secure and searchable video content archival service on ADI’s servers, both for in-house retrieval and for licensing to an international audience.


A discussion panel on commercialising content brought out the complexity of managing the marketing and monetising of video assets but also the potential for achieving fan engagement in and beyond the venue. During the panel session, Mark Ellis, COO at Middlesbrough FC, advised:

LiveVenue impacts a lot of people. Make sure roles and accountabilities are clear from the start.


Ellis also told PanStadia & Arena Management that stadiums need to carefully assess the wide ramifications of HD video production in the bowl, especially in relation to UEFA’s floodlighting requirements for the top divisions in Europe.

by Mark Webb

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Soccer safety concerns as new season ‘kicks off’

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A new soccer season has highlighted a number of safety concerns at football stadiums. In England and Wales, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Association of Chief Police Officers has issued a statement setting out their joint policy on the way violence, disorder, criminal damage and abuse in and around football matches will be approached.

The statement identifies “emerging challenges” for police and prosecutors, including homophobic chanting, the assault of players by fans and the use of flares or fireworks within grounds. These are issues affecting steward training and ground rules.

Nick Hawkins, lead sports prosecutor at the CPS, said most football fans were well behaved and there had been a rise in the numbers of families at matches because of “friendlier atmospheres”.

Hawkins told the BBC that guidelines previously issued had helped reduce homophobic chanting so that prosecutions were now fewer. A deterrent which is proving effective is the banning order, which lasts a minimum of three years.

In Burma, Myanmar football supporters tore up seats and invaded the pitch in Wunna Theikdi Stadium during a league match between Naypyidaw FC and Yangon United FC attended by 20,000.

The stadium has just been built in the capital Naypyidaw for the 27th SEA Games. AFP reported that the inaugural game was called off before the half-time whistle after fighting broke out between the players and spread to the fans.

The wider stadium complex will hold a variety of sporting events during the Games, including swimming, archery and boxing. Photo courtesy of SEA Games Myanmar.

Celtic has closed a section of their stadium in Glasgow, Scotland,  to ensure meeting its Stadium General Safety Certificate after warnings to fans to remain seated during matches were ignored. Fans in section 111, home to the ‘Green Brigade’, will now be offered a refund or given the chance to relocate. A club statement read:

We have been left with no option but to take steps to ensure the safety of our supporters.

The club mentioned unsafe “lateral movement of spectators” and “body surfing” and damage to 190 seats over the last four home matches. At a recent Champions League qualifier against Cliftonville, pyrotechnics were set off during the match requiring a stadium announcement. The club is now subject to disciplinary action for a contravention of UEFA’s safety and security regulations.


Celtic Park launches fan app on wi-fi

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Celtic Park fans will soon be able to download a stadium app.

Celtic Park fans will soon be able to download a stadium app.

Celtic Park has embarked on a technology upgrade to provide wi-fi and a club fan app to its supporters.

Peter Lawell, CEO, Celtic Football Club said:

Wi-fi enabled football stadia have been talked about before, but no-one has yet done it on a scale and with the capacity to truly unlock what we see as tremendous potential. We are committed to delivering matchday experiences of the highest standard for our supporters and commercial partners and that requires us to be at the forefront of developing technology. We are delighted to be bringing true high density wi-fi to our entire ground. Our partnership with Sports Revolution and Cisco means we will be developing our services with the best in the business and that the match day experience at Celtic Park will be second to none.

Cisco’s installation covers the corporate facilities, concourses and stadium bowl seats, providing an opportunity to offer fans fully-enabled social media and rich mobile applications.

Sports Revolution is working with Celtic to develop an exclusive app called CelticLive that fans will be able to download to their smartphones from early in the 2013/14 season. The app, built on Sports Revolution’s StadiumLive platform, will give users the ability to view and interact with a wide range of relevant and engaging club content, specifically designed to enhance match day at Celtic Park.

Bristol City embraces fan loyalty

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Bristol City is introducing Green4Solutions as a ‘single platform’ solution across ticketing, corporate sales, marketing, communications and supporter relationship management. City Commercial Director Kevin Smith said:

This is a massive development for this football club. We have conducted a full review of how we communicate with fans and it was clear that a strong supporter relationship management and ticketing system were at the very heart.

Rewarding the loyalty of our fans has been the driving force behind this cultural and system change. If we better understand the movements and requirements of fans, we can not only reward their loyalty, but hopefully engage more effectively going forward.

The removal of booking fees was something I felt passionately about. There is no worse feeling than seeing a price and then just as you’re about to pay, that price goes up! The price we advertise is the price supporters will pay – it is so important we are transparent. It’s the right thing to do.

Meanwhile, plans for the redevelopment of Ashton Gate Stadium have been on show to the public 25-26 June. Ashton Gate development director Guy Price said: “Since the announcement earlier this year, we have consulted widely with our supporters, many interested parties and our neighbours.

In February Bristol Sport Limited (BSL) announced its intention to consider the redevelopment of the stadium as an alternative to moving to a new purpose built stadium at Ashton Vale.


Bristol City is embracing fan loyalty ahead of stadium enhancement or move.

Bristol City is embracing fan loyalty ahead of stadium enhancement or move.