First ESSMA Live Matchday Experience at Juventus’ Allianz Stadium

As an organisation, ESSMA is dedicated to continually evolving to meet the needs of our members. As part of this ongoing evolution, we prioritise innovation in our events. This commitment led us to conceive the idea of organising behind-the-scenes tours of stadiums during matchdays, culminating in the immersive experience of witnessing an actual match. Through seamless collaboration with Juventus, our vision became a reality, and we successfully hosted the inaugural edition of the Live Matchday Experience combined with a behind-the-scens tour at the Allianz Stadium. This event focused on stewarding, security, and facility management, and drew a packed stadium audience.

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Safety: New technologies provide a fan-friendly stadium environment

In line with Italy's nominative ticketing system, which mandates tickets to be linked to ID cards, Juventus has implemented various security measures:

  • Checkpoints are strategically positioned prior to entering the stadium perimeters, facilitating seamless verification of tickets and IDs to prevent disputes upon entry.
  • Fixed turnstilesand 150 mobile ticket scanners by SKIDATA, complemented by 90 handheld metal detectors, enhance security checks. These portable devices are included in the equipment of the stewards deployed in the accreditation areas.
  • The stadium's extensive camera network, comprising 19 high-resolution cameras within the stadium bowl, offers comprehensive surveillance, with long-range cameras monitoring supporters' movements outside the stadium. (This technology not only aids in identifying and addressing incidents but also enhances overall safety. For instance, individuals misbehaving during the match can be easily tracked and isolated by security personnel after the final whistle. Furthermore, the cameras contribute to an increased sense of safety, as incidents such as cardiac arrest can be swiftly detected and addressed.)

To streamline internal communication among stewards, security personnel in the CCTV control room, and personnel in the BMS control room, Juventus has developed its own communication app. Stewards can download this app to report problems within their designated zone. The app automatically prioritises issues based on urgency; for example, a fan fainting will be prioritised over a leaking faucet.

Stewards: Continuous education and evaluation ensures high quality

A meticulously trained team of 550 stewards ensures smooth crowd management and assistance, having undergone a rigorous selection processes and education aligned with the standards of the Italian Ministry of Interior. Throughout the season, stewards are required to complete online courses to uphold high standards. An end-of-season party is held to recognise their contributions, fostering camaraderie and motivation among the team.

The steward briefing model begins with a comprehensive meeting involving all department heads. The Operations Officer then briefs the 70 supervisors, focusing on critical situations analysis and optimising steward positioning for overseeing fans and enhancing their experience. For example, hazardous items like hammers and Bengal fireworks are strategically hidden in various stadium locations, including toilets and under seats, to test steward preparedness. Following their briefings, supervisors cascade information to stewards within their respective sections, ensuring clear communication and alignment of objectives. The 500 stewards work closely together with the 110 medical staff.

Before commencing their shifts, stewards collect necessary equipment from the stadium after checking in at the security desk. They are assigned specific sectors based on their last names and receive a BIB with an affiliated number corresponding to a steward group within the stadium. Thanks to their comprehensive training, stewards can be deployed flexibly throughout the stadium.

Continuous improvement is prioritised, with debriefs held after each match. Stewards evaluate their performance and discuss it with their supervisors, who then report to the Operations Officer. The debrief concludes with a high-level meeting involving all department heads to ensure alignment and address any issues.

Regular simulations involving medical services and stewards test emergency response protocols, underscoring the commitment to continuous improvement and preparedness for any situation.

Facility Management: Better to prevent than to cure

Facilities management at the Allianz Stadium covers maintenance, infrastructure, and logistics support. A dedicated maintenance team ensures optimal facility conditions, guided by predictive models for medium-term investments. The sooner these potential investments are placed on the agenda, the quicker works can be undertaken, preserving safety. The Building Management System (BMS) control room acts as the central hub for facility control, facilitating efficient management of stadium amenities and enhancing the fan experience. The room is staffed every day from 8am to 8pm, except for Christmas Day. Seamless communication with stewards allows for prompt resolution of issues, ensuring a positive fan experience and safety.

Additionally, several checklists must be completed before matchday. These range from specific lists to comply with the safety commission requirements of the city of Turin, to checklists for the pitch sidelines, such as ensuring the electronic safety stairs are operational.

We express our sincere gratitude to Francesco Gianello's team at Juventus for their invaluable contribution to the success of this event. Their expertise in security, facility management, and stewarding significantly enriched our understanding of matchday operations. 

Read the full press release by Juventus 

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