MARC WATERS, Managing Director UK & Ireland, HPE, explains the journey to deliver one of the most technologically advanced stadiums on the planet.
Whichever football team you support it is hard not to be excited about Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium. It has got the whole of the sports world talking. Some commentators have already suggested that it is the best stadium in the world. That can be debated. It is unquestionably a stadium full of Hewlett Packard Enterprise technology being used to create a differentiated experience. And of this we are incredibly proud.
The challenge to design, plan, implement and integrate in an evolving environment was relished by the company. And once again delivery teams in HPE Pointnext (including more than a few Spurs fans in their ranks) stepped up with innovation and commitment.
The collaboration with the Tottenham Hotspur technology team has been exceptional and vital. And with two test events complete now is the moment we have been waiting for. So I am extremely excited to be attending the first competitive fixture at the stadium versus Crystal Palace. Come on You Spurs.
The most technologically advanced stadium in the world?
The ambition from Tottenham Hotspur could not have been greater. To build the most technologically advanced stadium in the world with an unrivaled fan experience.
Working together with a diverse set of partners they have achieved it. Aside from the lack of queues and incredible bottom filling pints of beer (oh yes), one of the first advances the fans will notice is the quality and availability of the free stadium Wi-Fi. Having been at Wembley recently to see Portsmouth win the EFL Trophy, I can confirm it can be challenging to get signal due to the sheer size of the crowd.
At the new Spurs stadium we have installed HPE Aruba technology with 1,641 Wi-Fi Access Points to provide 100% Wi-Fi coverage. This delivers high density Wi-Fi coverage in the Bowl seating area thanks to an innovative ‘Pico cell’ architecture with the Wi-Fi Access Points mounted under the seats to enable high performance connectivity to all 62,062 fans.
At the heart of the stadium operation, HPE is a strategic technology partner enabling the secure connectivity which is vital. This includes the Core Wired Network infrastructure that enables the stadiums critical services, such as CCTV, Building Management Systems, audio visual, ticketing and much more… to function.
Technology is the essential foundation for the fan experience, providing a fully immersive environment that is at the heart of the stadium’s vision. Big screen displays, audio, responsive retail outlets, digital signage, turnstile access systems and so on, are all connected via the network.
Transform the fan experience
We all know refreshments are an important element of sport and the stadium has 65 food and drink outlets, including its own microbrewery and Michelin-starred cuisine. This gives options and incentive to spend more time in the stadium.
We have installed 700 HPE Bluetooth beacons that work in conjunction with the ‘Official Spurs App’ to provide location services. Essentially helping fans navigate to bars, restaurants, retail outlets and other interesting features quickly. Plus making it simple to connect and meet friends.
The beacon technology also helps the stadium management to optimize the fan experience by capturing real time occupancy data. So, if the 65m-long Goal Line Bar in the South Stand – reportedly Europe’s longest – is overwhelmed with fans, operations staff will be able to clock it and deploy additional staff.
Also, if staff notice the queue for one toilet is far larger than others, they can use the intelligent signage displays at the stadium and notifications in the app to direct fans to alternatives. Reduced queues give a much better fan experience.
Revolutionising stadium management
Using data captured and analyzed real time at the edge like this is a game changer for the efficient running of sports and entertainment events. We deployed similar technology at the Ryder Cup in Paris last year and saw amazing results.
Planning for future Ryder Cups is significantly advanced based on the crowd data and resulting insights. As well as providing the operations team with crowd data in real time, data will also be analyzed in detail after every match.
For example, by tracking historic movement data, the club can identify peak times and locations, so they can adjust staffing levels to meet demand. The effectiveness of retail outlets versus footfall can be better understood and revenue opportunities optimized through planning and proactive notifications based on known interests.
On a personal level I have enjoyed every moment of the last two and a half years working with my friends at Tottenham Hotspur. The vision and direction from the highest levels within the club to build digital technology into the fabric of the stadium by design was groundbreaking.
Incorporating IT infrastructure from the ground up is a real first for the UK football scene and future proofs the stadium for a whole set of new technology projects that build on the digital foundation. And yes we have some pretty cool plans for next season and beyond for you to look forward to.
Finally, a big thank you once again to the HPE Pointnext services team who have been there since day one, are still there now and have shown so much adaptability and commitment.
People make companies. Partnerships build innovation. And technology transforms experiences. All of that is happening right here right now. And it has been a privilege to be a part of it.
Tottenham technology in numbers
- 1,641 Wi-Fi access points
- 850 under seat Wi-Fi access points (1 per 75 seats)
- 1,228km of networking cables
- 700 Bluetooth beacons
- 20,000 network access points
- 1,849 IPTV screens
- 519 CCTV cameras
The services business HPE Pointnext operated as the systems integration partner throughout the project to deliver the core IT infrastructure and to support all business critical services in the stadium. HPE Pointnext provided advice, design and build services on both the wired and wireless infrastructure, including beacon technology, as well as being Tottenham Hotspur’s advisory partner on all aspects of Hybrid IT and Intelligent Edge technologies. The HPE Pointnext team will continue to provide ongoing support to the operations team at the stadium.