Test match at Edgbaston supports return of crowds to live sporting events

The combination of lateral flow testing, medical consent forms and electronic ticketing allowed 60,000 fans to gather at Edgbaston Stadium, over the last four days, to enjoy the LV= Insurance men’s Test match between England and New Zealand.

As part of the UK Government’s Events Research Programme and without social distancing in place, 95 per cent of attendees entered Edgbaston through a digital ticket, which could be accessed via the new Edgbaston smart phone app. This app received 314,344 views across the four days of play for tickets, retail purchases, spectator information and food and beverage orders.

Having been enabled for food and drink click and collect orders and a delivery to seat option for disabled spectators, nearly 5,000 orders (around 10 per cent of total orders) were made across the four days of the Test match via the Edgbaston app, highlighting huge potential for future sporting events.

All spectators were required to complete a COVID lateral flow test and to sign a medical consent form to secure entry to Edgbaston. They are now asked to complete a further PCR Test within five days of their visit to support the Events Research Programme.

England v New Zealand Day 01. Copyright 2021 © Sam Bagnall

Stuart Cain, Chief Executive of Edgbaston, said:

We like to be innovative at Edgbaston and have invested heavily in the technology that supported this initial pilot. However, what we have done will provide part of the norm for future sporting events in having an app for stadium entry, for ordering food and drink orders, merchandise sales and wait times.

The spectators also played their part in completing their consent form and lateral flow tests, and in creating an atmosphere that we’ve not heard since our last major match days in 2019. We think that we have proved that the system can work, but need the sports and live events industry moving again and ensuring that we see a return to full capacities as soon as possible.

Having enjoyed things over the last four days, we ask spectators to play their part again by completing their post-event PCR test and supporting all parts of this Government pilot.

PCR tests were sent to the homes of all spectators in attendance with the request to return via a Royal Mail priority post box. The results will subsequently be analysed over the coming days.

Edgbaston welcomes the England men’s One-Day International team on Tuesday 13 July for the third match of the Royal London Series versus Pakistan. The venue also hosts four Birmingham Phoenix men’s and women’s matches in The Hundred and seven group Birmingham Bears group games in the Vitality Blast in the build-up to Finals Day on Saturday 18 September.

Technology partner

Mike Bohndiek, CEO, PTI Digital, said:

PTI are the technology partner to Edgbaston Stadium. In simple terms, that means we look after the straight line journey from strategy, technology selection, implementation and the curation of outcome / experience to continuous service improvement. If it plugs in or a consumer interacts with it via mobile or device, PTI are responsible for its performance. (Wi-Fi, ticket scanning, mobile app, F+B, POS, payments, card devices, media, broadcast – the works!)

Naturally that is already a wide and ranging remit – from the digital consumer experience at the front end to the back of house operational experience for the ECB as an overlay event.

For this test match, you then add that this is a pilot event, a scientific experiment with input from EPR, Public Health England, DCMS, ECB etc. Multiple stakeholders, tight rules, high demands of all things tech and digital.

PTI Digital are a longstanding VIP Sponsor of Sports Venue Business. NB: We will be bringing you an in-depth interview with CEO, Mike Bohndiek, on their work at Edgbaston and wider afield later this week. For more information on their industry leading services, simply click on the banner advert below…

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