- December 10, 2020
- Posted by: SportsV
- Categories: Home News, Industry News, News, Press Releases
Stadiums and venues that host live events, sports games and entertainment are among the many places that were forced to shut down due to COVID-19. In England, the Premier League and international cricket recently resumed play behind closed doors, with those in Tier 2 or below now able to reopen to fans, albeit with reduced capacity. Exterity CEO, Colin Farquhar, analyses the critical role digital signage and IP video can play in the safe return of fans.
Following the lift of the national lockdown in England, outdoor sports events have been given the green light to allow either 50% of stadium capacity or up to 2,000 or 4,000 fans, whichever is lowest, and depending on their regional tier.
Under these new measures, Arsenal Football Club welcomed some of its fans back to the Emirates Stadium when it faced Rapid Wien in the Europa League, and many other sports teams in England are hoping to do the same soon.
However, fans returning to stadiums doesn’t mean a return to the normal matchday experience. For the foreseeable future, stadium operators need to follow government guidelines and adhere to strict hygiene, social distancing and other safety measures.
IP-based technologies, such as digital signage and IPTV, will play a critical role in ensuring the return of spectators to stadiums is as seamless and safe as possible. These technologies are already in place in many stadiums and have traditionally been used for streaming live match footage around the venue and driving additional revenue by providing visitors with information and special offers on merchandise, as well as bar and restaurant menus and promotions.
For example, Lord’s Cricket Ground, which is viewed internationally as the ‘home of cricket,’ already has an IP video and digital signage solution in place to deliver high-quality live TV and digital signage throughout the Warner Stand, including bar and catering areas and its match control facility. Digital signage is deployed in the bar, catering areas and the lobby to display drink menus and pricing, sponsor adverts and to promote Lord’s Shop and cricket store merchandise on match days.
Sports stadiums and venues, like Lord’s Cricket Ground, which have already employed digital signage technologies, can now quickly and easily evolve the use of digital signage to display mask, hand washing and social distancing reminders to ensure everyone remains safe.
Additionally, some digital signage solutions have the ability to display eye-catching, time-limited messages on selected screens, which then go back to showing their assigned content. These solutions are designed to share special moments with the fans, like a goal, in real-time, but its use could easily be expanded to flash up important messages that grab visitors’ attention, such as reminding them about safety measures or changes to concourse flow direction.
Evolving the use of IP-based digital signage technologies is paramount to ensuring the safety of fans, with the added advantage that they can easily be extended simply by adding more screens.
Displays can be updated frequently to accommodate on-the-day changes, and provide a long term benefit to any venue, not just a short-term, pandemic specific solution. The stadiums and sports venues equipped with these technologies are in the best position to welcome fans back – giving them full confidence in their well-being, so they can relax and enjoy the game.
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