AFC Wimbledon launches RFP for IT Infrastructure
AFC Wimbledon has launched a RFP (Request for Proposals) for IT Infrastructure to enhance the match day experience at their new community stadium, due to open in 2019.
The expectation of the average fan is now heightened through the technological transformation they experience at home – smartphones, wi-fi, Netflix, social media consumption, etc. AFC Wimbledon are alive to the concept of technology as a key enabler to unlocking match day potential. At the very least, it is a critical part of retaining a fan. Proactively, it is a driver for best in class fan engagement.
It is for this reason that the club have put technology at the heart of delivering an outstanding experience for consumers, corporate and partners alike.
Technology at Plough Lane is viewed as a facilitator for data collection. Data is the insight lead for any business, and technology is the collection mechanism.
Aiming towards a Smart Stadium can mean a smart business future. The times of fans attending physical events is slowly passing with the advent of new streaming/online consumption channels; typically, a more cost-effective method to see your team or event. Keeping Plough Lane in line with their technological demands and providing an augmented match day experience are two core prongs leading the fight back to the classic attendance model and through the filter of ‘keeping it simple’ AFC Wimbledon aim to make this accessible for all.
Using the overarching vision and business priorities set by the group the following conceptual design was formulated;
- The core infrastructure should be transparent and able to be consumed as a service by departments of tenants
- All services will have a defined and documented Service Definition that provides a resilience, performance and retention metric along with a defined Service Level Agreement
- System monitoring should be pervasive to the infrastructure allowing automation and self-remediation where possible
- System management operations should be automated where possible and allow self-service provision for departments of tenants
- Connectivity should provide flexibility to varying changes in demand of the stadium and its guests and tenants with minimal reconfiguration or cost
- The core infrastructure and Line of Business applications should allow simple integration to the cloud
AFC Wimbledon are inviting proposals for all elements outlined in this strategy. There is a clean technology estate to be considered.
An outline timing for this process is as follows:
- Phase 1: Deadline to return the simple response form, non-disclosure agreement and questions: 5pm Friday 20th April
- Phase 2: Initial response deadline – supplier presentation / proposal: 5pm Friday 27th April
- Phase 3A: First round interviews / feedback: W/C 14th May
- Phase 3B: Second round interviews / feedback: W/C 28th May
- Phase 4: Current customer due diligence (site visits / calls): W/C 28th May / 4th June
- Phase 5: Appointments: June / July
Applicants are required to return the completed the response form, non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and any questions by the Phase 1 deadline. Applicants may then submit a document of their choosing by the Phase 2 deadline to provide the detail of their proposals.
To download a copy of the RFP, produced by Mike Bohndiek of PTI Consulting Ltd on behalf of AFC Wimbledon, go to: https://www.afcwimbledon.co.uk/siteassets/documents/afc-wimbledon-community-stadium—request-for-proposals.pdf
As with all suppliers to the project, all selected technology partners and suppliers will be contracted to Andrew Scott Ltd and expected to deliver their services in line with the requirements of the principal contractor’s terms.
About the AFC Wimbledon Community Stadium Proposal
The AFC Wimbledon Community Stadium Proposal brings Wimbledon back to Plough Lane 28 years after being forced to leave and 200 yards from the old Plough Lane Stadium.
The proposal is part of the development of the wider Plough Lane site. Working in partnership with Merton Catalyst, the proposal’s key points are:
- To build (in stages) a high-quality, 20,000-seat stadium suitable for Championship level football. The initial stadium will open with a capacity of between 9,00 and 10,000 at a build cost of GBP£21m
- To integrate the stadium into the wider Plough Lane development, which will become a focal point and a catalyst for further development in the local area. The development will include 600 residential units, car parking, retail and commercial space, a leisure club, and facilities to cater for a wide range of private functions
AFC Wimbledon confirmed back in July 2017 that Andrew Scott Ltd had been appointed as the preferred contractor for building the club’s new community stadium at Plough Lane.
Established in 1870, Andrew Scott Ltd has a long history of building community facilities and sports stadia in the UK, including Cardiff Arms Park back in the 1960s. In more recent times, Andrew Scott has built Parc y Scarlets, home of Llanelli Scarlets, and substantial developments at Hampshire CCC’s The Rose Bowl, and Stoke City’s stadium.
The appointment follows a lengthy and thorough process conducted by the club.
In order to get a clearer understanding of the likely cost of the new stadium, the Club’s board decided to enter into a two-stage tender process, which included inviting three companies to apply. The club had several meetings with each company and site visits to the stadia they had built or developed. After a formal assessment of the tenders against three principal criteria of commercial, technical quality and added value, the two leading contractors were invited to further interviews and to enable them to clarify aspects of the tender.
Following the submission of the bids, Andrew Williams, the Club’s project manager for the stadium development, submitted a report to the Football Club Board (FCB). As a result, and following further enquiries, the Club selected Andrew Scott as the preferred contractor. This decision was reviewed and endorsed by the DTB.
The new stadium is part of a wider mixed-use development, built by a joint venture between Galliard Homes and Catalyst housing association. The scheme will deliver 604 new homes and circa 18,000sqft of commercial space, as well as a new fitness facility and modern public realm. The JV also intends to provide 177 affordable homes, nearly 30% of the entire development.
Demolition work got underway last month, with construction work on the stadium expected to start as soon as the site clearance is finished, possibly by late summer, with a 2019 completion date.
AFC Wimbledon Chief Executive, Erik Samuelson*, said at the start of the demolition work last month:
As a community-owned club we are delighted to be returning to our spiritual home in Plough Lane. In addition to bringing League football back to Wimbledon the new stadium will form a base from which to expand our award-winning community work.
Ever since we were reformed in 2002 we’ve been nurturing a dream of returning to a stadium of our own, back in Wimbledon. Today is the start of turning that dream into reality. We are on our way!