When the COVID-19 lockdown was first announced, football stadiums were one of the first venues to be closed to the public.
However, new tracking technology is being introduced to help prevent the spread of coronavirus during football matches, which will allow more fans to attend during the next season.
Experts at Momentum Transport Consultancy have been looking at foot traffic at stadiums and considering how crowding and queuing times can be lowered.
They say that stadiums will have to use software to analyse different COVID-19 tracking match-day scenarios. The company’s software can check if congestion will be caused at entrances to stadiums because of new health checks.
It can then model what could happen if traditional bag searches were replaced by security scanners. This software can effectively help to create operations plans for stadiums, allowing social distancing problems to be avoided.
The company Movement Strategies has been looking at data such as previous and future ticketing information, CCTV footage of movements and layouts of stadiums.
They have also gathered data from recording the movement of people at large stadiums. Using this data with software allows them to model and create different scenarios to predict how fans will move inside the stadium.
This enables them to produce an optimum COVID-19 tracking attendance number, which is dependent on how fan social distancing bubbles can be spaced out.
They also look for potential points where fans may get too close, such as at toilets and food outlets. If the simulation can’t find a way around this, then it may be recommended that food outlets shouldn’t be opened.
Crowd Connected, a software company, are looking at how to monitor fans on match days. By embedding a code onto an app for the event, they can track the movement of phones around the venue.
However, they need to have fans’ permission before doing so. The app can notify fans when they are approaching ticket barriers and security, and also allow them to stay on a pre-determined route.
As the new season is now underway, it will be interesting to see the impact that these new technologies have on keeping fans safe and socially distant.