Manchester City collaborates with Cisco to deploy WaitTime’s crowd intelligence solution

Manchester City Football Club and Cisco have announced the deployment of WaitTime, the real-time crowd intelligence technology, at the Etihad Stadium, making them the first Premier League club to utilise the solution.

WaitTime, a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence platform, provides real-time information on crowd density, traffic and movement at major entertainment and sports venues around the world, with the goal of improving the guest experience and optimising operational efficiency for teams and organisations.

WaitTime was initially deployed across the first-level concourse of the Etihad Stadium ahead of the 2022-2023 season, with the intention of generating baseline data points that could be used to improve concourse congestion at concession stands for future events.

This announcement is the latest innovation to stem from the partnership between Manchester City and Cisco, which began in 2019 as Cisco became Official Technology Partner of the Club. However, since 2013 Cisco has supported every aspect of the Club’s operation through an end-to-end network deployment across the Etihad Stadium and wider campus.

Leading by example

WaitTime’s patented technology integrates with the existing Cisco technology in place at the Etihad Stadium, utilising Cisco’s Meraki cameras to solve a variety of crowd management issues by leveraging both real-time data and historical analysis over a world-class, secure Cisco network.

Greg Swimer, Chief Information & Technology Officer, City Football Group, said:

Continually improving the matchday experience for fans visiting the Etihad Stadium is a priority across all areas of our Club. Through our long-term partnership with Cisco, we’re pleased to be able to implement further technology, such as WaitTime, to help us continue to develop and improve our offering for fans. WaitTime has been implemented across our largest concourse areas and the opportunities for its use are widespread, with the potential to expand to other areas of the stadium as well as the potential for future integration into live digital signage and other platforms.

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Ken Martin, Managing Director, Global Sales – Sports, Media and Entertainment for Cisco, said:

WaitTime’s innovative technology is a perfect example of what is possible with the right network infrastructure in place. We are proud to partner with Manchester City to be the first Premier League club to deploy this solution and look forward to working with them to continue to improve the experience for fans at the Etihad Stadium.

Next steps

Following the successful pilot program on level one of the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City are exploring opportunities to expand to the second and third tiers of the stadium in the future. Using the WaitTime data, Manchester City are also looking into integrating live information with digital signage on the concourse screens to provide fans with real-time data, helping to direct them to the shortest queue.

Zack Klima, CEO, WaitTime, said:

WaitTime is thrilled to be working with Manchester City, through their partnership with Cisco, because they are one of the most progressive clubs venues in the industry. Deploying our state-of-the-art, patented AI crowd management system on Cisco at the Etihad Stadium is crucial to the future development of our solution. As we continue to perfect the art of WaitTime, Manchester City being the first team in England only made the most sense because they are the trailblazers.

With this deployment, Manchester City becomes the first Premier League club to leverage WaitTime in their home stadium in partnership with Cisco, joining other marquee sports and entertainment venues around the world, including Sydney Cricket Ground in Australia, T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

About Manchester City Football Club

Manchester City FC is an English Premier League club initially founded in 1880 as St Mark’s West Gorton. It officially became Manchester City FC in 1894 and has since then gone onto win the European Cup Winners’ Cup, eight League Championship titles, including six Premier League titles (2012, 2014, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022), and six FA Cups. Manchester City FC is one of 12 clubs comprising the City Football Group and counts New York City FC and Melbourne City FC among its sister clubs.

Under manager Pep Guardiola, one of the most highly-decorated managers in world football, the Club plays its domestic and UEFA Champions League home fixtures at the Etihad Stadium, a spectacular 53,500 seat arena that City have called home since 2003. Today, the Stadium sits on the wider Etihad Campus, which also encompasses the City Football Academy, a state-of-the-art performance training and youth development facility located in the heart of East Manchester. Featuring a 7,000 capacity Academy Stadium, the City Football Academy is also where Manchester City Women’s Football Club and the Elite Development Squad train on a daily basis and play their competitive home games.

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in technology that powers the Internet. Cisco inspires new possibilities by reimagining your applications, securing your data, transforming your infrastructure, and empowering your teams for a global and inclusive future.

About WaitTime

WaitTime patented technology provides real-time information on crowd density, traffic and movement at major entertainment and sports venues. Through its artificial intelligence, WaitTime gives venues, visitors and fans access to information on crowds, social distancing, line length and line attrition at bathrooms, concessions and merchandise stands. This information alleviates crowd congestion, resulting in increased visitor safety and venue efficiency. WaitTime is currently working with some of the most well known venues and major sports teams in the world to help them master crowd science.

Source & imagery, courtesy: Cisco

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