Roboticket: A ticketing solution helping football fans return to stadiums safely

COVID-19 has presented the world with many challenges and football is no different.

One of the issues the game faces is bringing spectators back into the stadium, in a safe, coordinated manner.

Ticketing software development company Roboticket faced this challenge head on, creating a ticketing solution that would help its partners welcome back fans to arenas across the world.

The technology provider has clients in Germany, Brazil, UK and Germany; however, clubs in Poland were the first to use the solution.

The FA in Poland, as well as the government, outlined plans allowing only 25% of the stadium’s capacity to be sold, with a two-metre social distance buffer incorporated between different sets of fans.

Michal Pyda, Business Development Executive at Roboticket, explained the company’s thought process of how to best implement a solution around these restrictions, in fc business.

“We started to think, together with our partners, about how to do it wisely, efficiently and most important, safely,” he said.

“However, we didn’t want to implement the standard chessboard set up in the stands. We wanted to do it more cleverly, to really show that things can be done better and that technology is no limitation.

“Lockdown had been lifted in Poland…people could go to restaurants and pubs and socialise together in small groups so it made no sense to separate everyone in the stands with a two-metre distance if they were travelling to games together.”

One of the issues the company addressed with the Polish FA and its partner clubs was the necessity of allowing those people who were travelling together, who lived in the same household, to be able to sit with one another.

“Based on this assumption we would shape our algorithms to allocate people in the stands that maximised the capacity of the stadium whilst creating safe social distances between every fan or family group,” Pyda said.

“So the ultimate challenge was to develop an algorithm that allowed the creation of automatic buffers around seats according to the rules set.”

Considering the challenges of creating a safe distance between supporters and allowing household groups to sit together, Pyda and his team used viable, flexible methods to find the appropriate solution.

“Pre-COVID, the normal situation is to maximise attendance whilst minimising the gaps between fans sitting together, so we already had the mechanisms to keep people sitting tight on the stands. In order to create an automatic buffer between each transaction we implemented a reverse version of the algorithm covering complex geometrical models allowing us to shape any buffer around each transaction.

“Crucially, this mechanism is flexible so it can be adapted to work around any changes to social distancing rules that are created by law or the FA. This customisation is also required to be adaptable to the individual requirements across different territories. Today we may have a two-metre separation rule but tomorrow it might be one metre so the mechanism needs to be flexible.”

Alongside this adaptability, Pyda explained tickets needed to be personalised, especially in these current COVID circumstances, to create a safe environment for all.

“This means every ticket needs to be prescribed to an individual by name, surname and in some countries, by their social security number,” he said.

In practice, Lech Poznan was the first club to use the newly created solution by Roboticket, when fans returned to football stadiums in Poland in mid-June.

Poznan’s stadium (pre COVID) usually holds 41,000 people when full, but Pyda was unsure about the enthusiasm of fans to attend matches during these times.

“Every seat sold is precious to clubs in the current situation but we didn’t know how people would react to being able to go back to the stadium,” he stated.

“Would they really want to buy those tickets and attend the stadium or would they still be afraid? We hoped that one of the main draws would be the ability to attend games with their families.”

“The solution we created was available in Roboticket one week before the league’s resumption allowing fans that shared a household to purchase tickets together and to keep in line with the law on social distancing. Automatically creating a buffer around multi- seated transactions was key to selling more tickets in a safe environment.”

During this period overall, ticket sales increased for Roboticket’s clients by 18% when compared to those with a standard set up at other venues.

Alongside this, more revenue was derived across other matchday operations, partially due to the safe maximisation of its reduced capacity.

This is considered a financial win for football clubs, in not so normal times.

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Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Dallmeier: Mitigating the risk involved in anti-social fan behaviour

Football fan behaviour can on occasion be detrimental in the progression of the sport across the globe.

Although a celebrated part of the game – when loyalty, passion and individual personalities are animated – the potential for something unsavoury to occur, becomes imminent.

Globally, a key element of the sport is its tribalistic nature. Football fans possess the tendencies of becoming relentless within their support for a club.

The comparison of two large contingents of football fans coming together, with their respective teams battling it out for supremacy, is reminiscent of a crusade.

In acknowledgement of fan behaviours, governing bodies must exercise adequate security throughout stadiums in order to prevent the slim although present opportunity for disorderly behaviour occurring.

Dallmeier

Dallmeier are a German based technology company in whom have become specialists in comprehensive security services.

Derived from the use of video technology the German entity have built quite the portfolio upon completion of football related security within the company’s tenure.

The company boast eight varying security solutions for stadiums. All crafted with the intention of making stadiums safer through the minimization of fan misconduct.

Since 1984, Dallmeier have been experts upon the field of video technology. Optimal within their services, the company provides security logistically and industrially.

Furthermore, their services extend to airports casinos cities, and finally stadiums.

Security Hardware Variety – Panomera Camera 

The use of Dallmeier’s most innovative and decorated product has primarily featured within football stadium security.

Panomera cameras are the combination of several megapixel cameras all forged into one efficient device.

Allowing users to capture larger areas and long distances of space. Providing what a series of cameras would reduce in one efficient device.

The Panomera Camera maintains the highest quality of imagery, allowing in the improved identification of potential perpetrators.

Stadium Security Measures – Dispatch Management 

Dispatch management and allows for the identification and background search of personnel who identify as a threat to the public, to be adequately dealt with by security or police officials.

Providing a real time understanding of the stadiums environment.

Capturing incident data in the form of videos, photos and witness statements all for those who commit an antisocial act at a football match.

Putting emphasis upon the punishment of perpetrators, with the video capturing evidence that can be guided into the hands of law enforcement.

Stadium Security Measures – Entrance Area 

The entrance area aspect of Dallmeiers stadium security allows for the identification of fans looking to cause issues prior to their entry into the stadium.

As a result of optimal security installation upon sport stadiums around the globe, the participation of football upon all aspects can flourish.

While the tribalism and passion all synonymous with football fans, it is an area of the sport that can have a ripple effect upon it causing disruptions to matches and detriment of fan involvement.

Additionally, anti-social fan misconduct can have a negative connotation upon a sport well-respected.

What impact it can have in Australia?

As a result, events can transpire culminating in what should be a celebrated aspect of the sport, becoming its kryptonite.

It was only 14 months ago where in our backyard, an unsavoury event transpired between rival crowds, leaving a stain upon football in Australia.

At the time, it had somewhat derailed a hype train football in Australia was experiencing. Given the Socceroo’s had successfully qualified for the round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup.

The aftermath of such a monumental achievement was tarnished due to fan misconduct.

Company’s in the same class as Dallmeier, allow for the sport to be participated while an emphasis can be put upon the players taking to the pitch.

It is imperative that fan safety is held at the highest responsibility. The raw element of fan behaviour should not be eradicated, but has all the potential to be mitigated, exposing the raw fan element in a positive light with the improved security and emphasis on safety.

Orreco.AI: Transforming the way athletes recover and perform

Orreco.AI is a new AI technology tool that aims to help advance athlete training, athlete performance and management of injuries in sport.

This innovation in data collecting technology has one goal – to give athletes the power to control and better their performance using a range of data points never seen before in the industry.

Led by CEO and Sports Scientist Dr Brian Moore, Orreco has had a plan since 2010 to innovate sport by leveraging technology to better athletes’ performance and management.

Since its inception, Orreco has lead research findings and released new, updated technologies to fine tune the accuracy of the data they show to athletes.

They released the app ‘@thlete’, which is a data and content platform for athletes that synthesises a range of data to help athletes better their sleep, wellness, preparation and recovery.

Orreco’s Recovery Lab is the precursor to Orreco.AI, with it being a similar concept that integrates data and metrics to improve wellbeing.

Orreco also released a pioneering free app called FitrWoman which is a leader in supporting women athletes during their menstrual cycle by providing education, training and nutritional support.

Orreco is fast tracking the Orreco.AI technology that is the first of its kind. The technology gives teams player pages with basic statistics such as distance covered, top speed and performance stats but also is providing coaches with an in-depth analysis on their fitness by using blood biomarkers to accurately pick up the data.

Minute-by-minute post-game injury scores and injury signals that give coaches a head start on protecting and managing their players.

Orreco.AI aims to also improve efficiency for athlete performance coaches through voice and text prompt interactions.

Orreco have harnessed three pivotal waves of AI – advancements in computing, cloud storage, and generative AI.

Their objective is to provide differentiated, actionable data that can help athletes transform their game.

Orreco’s AI suite is at the forefront, complete high performance platform converting vast amounts of data into actionable insights. Here’s how:

AI Charting:

AI charting allows direct interaction with your data through intuitive voice commands. For example, you might ask, “Please show me Peter Brand’s inflammation levels as a line graph.” Instantly, crucial insights are displayed, enabling faster, more informed decisions to optimise athlete performance.

AI Action Models:

Our AI Action Models can provide comprehensive overviews of any dataset with simple voice commands. For instance, “Show me athletes of concern and why,”  immediate evidence based answers, securely delivered as your data never leaves the platform. This functionality ensures proactive management of player health and performance.

TRAIN:

The TRAIN module predicts training loads based on historical GPS data, creating sessions tailored to specific criteria — sets, reps, pitch size, and duration. Adjustments can be made in real-time, offering dynamic feedback. This efficiency not only saves time but also enhances training strategies.

AI Injury Risk Modelling:

Motion Signal delivers post-game injury risk scores by identifying deviations from normal movement patterns. This advanced warning system helps prevent injuries such as hamstring strains. As in-game data becomes available, real-time injury risk scoring will further enhance preventive measures.

Orreco’s mission with this particular technology is to empower teams and players to reach its peak performance, maintain health and extend careers.

There has never been a higher demand for athletes than in the current sports landscape. More games being played, more minutes on the pitch, more travel, and an increase in high intensity training has led to the increase of a risk of injury, shortened careers and poorer performances on gameday.

This AI technology innovation highlights a shift in how professional sporting clubs and athletes are viewing the current situation and willing to do what they can to mitigate the potential soft-tissue injuries that arise.

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