Cleveland Cavaliers employ smart crowd monitoring technology for Covid-safe return of fans

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Sports teams are seeking smarter ways to get fans back through the stadium doors, including the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers which has just announced a new technology collaboration with crowd intelligence software company Armored Things to see spectators and staff return to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

The team will deploy Armored Things’ crowd intelligence solution at the FieldHouse to manage fan density at key entry and gathering points and enable smarter decisions related to staffing, security, and sanitation. The software will also be deployed in the team’s business offices at the venue to help maintain safe spacing in common areas.

Just before the New Year, the Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse received approval from the State of Ohio to host up to 10% of the venue’s seating capacity, or nearly 2,000 fans per game. This is an increase from the State-restricted 300 fan limit to begin the season. The larger capacity for fans will commence beginning January 11 when the team opens a three-game homestand.

Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse is home to both the Cavaliers and the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League (AHL), as well as more than 200 diverse ticketed events and 1,400 private events that draw over two million patrons to downtown Cleveland each year. The venue is well recognized for its progressive initiatives and certifications to assure the health and safety of visitors and for its use of technology to optimize the fan experience.

With Armored Things’ AI-powered Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution, the venue’s facilities and security teams will be able to leverage the venue’s existing Wi-Fi and security systems to gain an accurate, real-time understanding of how many people are gathering and moving around specific locations in the FieldHouse. The information will be available in the venue’s command center and via mobile devices to alert staff to potential congestion and make better decisions related to fan and staff health safety and experience. FieldHouse staff will also have access to valuable data trends to assist in planning.

Armored Things announced a similar partnership with major league soccer club LAFC as part of its reopen strategy at the Bank of California Stadium in Southern California.

“As we continue to welcome additional fans back to live events at the FieldHouse, Armored Things can help us provide a safer experience for fans as well as our staff, no matter the number,” said Michael Conley, Chief Information Officer for the Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. “Covid is a pressing issue right now, but this is also an important investment in our long-term security and operations infrastructure. The ability to understand the flow of people in the venue equips us to stay one step ahead of their needs, deploy resources more intelligently, and optimize the event environment .”

“The Cavaliers organization is leveraging all the tools at their disposal to bring people back to live events safely,” said Julie Johnson Roberts, Armored Things co-founder and CEO. “Working in concert with the security systems already in place at the FieldHouse, we are able to help their team understand patterns and trends, and alert them to sudden changes so they can respond accordingly. The end result is safer, more informed operations and a better fan experience.”

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James has been Editor of Stadia since 2018 having worked at magazines and websites around the world for the past 10 years covering everything from technology to motoring and more. He also edits Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International.

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