Long queues and lost fans looking for their seats could become a thing of the past as sports stadia become smarter and more innovative. The Johan Cruijff Arena, home to Ajax soccer club and the Dutch national side, is one such venue where the stadium experience is evolving thanks to its smart innovations initiative.
Looking to change how visitors interact with the arena, its operators are introducing enhanced services and content through its Change the Game program, which challenges companies to develop innovative fan experience solutions to be trialled and employed at the venue.
Innovations such as showing visitors the shortest lines in the stadium or directing fans the fastest route to their seats are just a few state-of-the-art concepts being worked on.
“The arena wants visitors to be able to have the best, most intense enjoyment of a match or event, even at a distance. Ideas for innovations could be for custom information on an event, ticket sales, carefree travel, or activities before and after a match. Or for a virtual environment during an event that allows visitors to share their experiences,” it was announced in a press release by Johan Cruijff Arena.
With the Johan Cruijff Arena selected as one of the host venues for the Euro 2020 soccer tournament, it will hope to have a number of innovations up and running before the tournament to make the event more efficient, enjoyable and potentially more profitable.
“Besides benefiting visitors, these enhancements could also provide more efficient and profitable business management, such as optimum seat occupancy, and faster customer service and crowd management support. The selected solutions will be implemented in a field lab with the various partners in 2019 and 2020 and further developed in the arena,” it read.
The Johan Cruijff Arena is already one of the world’s most forward-thinking sports stadia after unveiling its sustainable operation in 2018 when it launched an energy storage system created from used Nissan Leaf electric vehicle batteries. This is used to help power the arena on game days to alleviate the strain on the national grid. The venue also uses its own wind turbine and solar panels to generate its own electricity.