Right from its design, the ArenA in Amsterdam was going to be the world’s most innovative stadium. Not only could (and can) visitors watch football there, but also see concerts. The sliding roof makes weather conditions irrelevant. In 2020, the ArenA must again be the most innovative stadium in the world. And this time by becoming the first fully interactive stadium, blogs Managing Director Big Data Analytics at KPMG Sander Klous.
By gathering, analysing and using data, the stadium of the future soon has to make a visit to a concert or a match even more comfortable. What it boils down to is that visitors are connected online with ArenA from their homes to the stadium and, with the aid of data analysis, are escorted from their front door to their seat. Tools on the smartphone, for example, show them the way to avoid traffic jams, where to park and the quickest way to their seat.
The stadium experience itself is also changing. If you need to go to the bathrooms, no need to join endless queues anymore and miss part of the concert. You can see on your smartphone if there’s a queue or reserve a toilet. You can also order a drink or a snack. Football supporters, in turn, can monitor the average heartbeat, temperature and speed of the teams. Based on these data, analyses reveal, for instance, if players need to shift into higher gear to increase the chances of winning. In other words: if they need more encouragement from the spectators. Interaction between ArenA and visitor, thanks to these data.
To fulfil the ambition of the most innovative stadium, the ArenA will be transforming in the coming years under the name Innovation ArenA in one of the country’s biggest innovation trials. To this end, the ArenA has launched an international innovation competition for creative and innovative entrepreneurs. The best ideas are tested in the ArenA and are supported by the municipality of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Smart City and innovation partners such as KPMG.
The innovation partners, including TNO, KPN, Microsoft, Huawei and KPMG, are lending a hand so the ArenA can reinvent itself. KPMG for instance helps in setting up the trial in two ways. In the first KPMG has a major role in the responsible use of all the gathered data. Visitors generally don’t mind if their data contribute towards more comfort and an enhanced fan experience, but they lose confidence when they feel their privacy is being compromised for focused but unnecessary advertising. Secondly KPMG is helping to set up a system that guarantees transparency and ensures that data are gathered, analysed and used in a manner that you as a visitor may expect. In other words, visitor trust is the guiding principle.
The stadium experience is also associated with physical and social safety. In this, too, KPMG plays a major part. The challenge is to ensure that a visit to the ArenA is fun, but especially also safe. The images of the drama in 2010 at the Duisburg Love Parade are still clear in our memories. Twenty-one people died there when a crowd got stuck in a tunnel.
KPMG is developing systems to help prevent similar situations. By closely mapping movements of large crowds it is possible to respond appropriately when panic sets in, or even before panic sets in. And that is not an unnecessary luxury in a time when we’re regularly confronted with potentially threatening situations. In 2020, for example, the ArenA must not only become the most innovative, but definitely also one of the safest stadiums in the world; on the eve of Amsterdam welcoming supporters as one of the thirteen host cities of the European Championships.
Author: Sander Klous, director KPMG