Industry update: more on pitch management, sustainability and fan experience

Read more on the pitch monitoring system at Johan Cruijff ArenA, Borussia Dortmund’s digital collectibles app, Real Madrid’s remodelling plans and more in ESSMA’s weekly industry update.

Pitch Management

  • Johan Cruijff ArenA and the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) are testing whether the high tech monitoring system of Johan Cruijff ArenA’s pitch is appropriate for other professional football clubs. By using data captured from sensors underneath the pitch, the turf system records the health and quality of the pitch 24/7. A dashboard shows the groundsmen when the pitch needs power, light or water. KNVB wants to determine - in collaboration with Wageningen University & Research - whether the monitoring system can help other Dutch professional football clubs to optimise their pitch.

Development & Construction

  • Real MadridCF’s President Florentino Pérez and Mayor of Madrid Manuela Carmena presented the remodelling plans of Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Transforming the stadium into a technological platform is key in the redevelopment to enhance the fan experience. One of the most significant features will be a 360-degree video scoreboard. In addition, Estadio Santiago Bernabéu will feature a fixed and retractable roof and steel surround skin with variable lines that will allow to illuminate and project images on the outside of the stadium.


  • Eintracht Frankfurt received the planning permission for ProfiCamp, the club’s new first team campus and offices. The 18,800 m² complex will be divided into a five-storey building for the club’s offices and administrative units and a three-storey construction reserved for sporting facilities. There are plans for a sustainable, efficient energy concept in the form of a combination of solar thermal power, heat pumps and an underground brine storage facility together with heating and cooling systems. This will mean savings of around 783 tons of CO2 per year. The proportion of renewable energy will be around 70%. The building will be fitted with an energy-efficient ventilation system and LED lighting with requirement-dependent light control throughout.

SMART & Sustainability

  • Newcastle United FC eliminates the use of single-use plastic water bottles from its training ground. The club’s players and staff consumed until recently a yearly average of 48,000 single-use water bottles  at their training complex in Benton. Each player has been given their own BPA-free reusable water bottle and the club is using reusable bottles on the training pitch, which can be filled with tap water.

Fan Experience & Hospitality

  • Borussia Dortmund offers its fans a digital collectibles app that allows them to discover, collect and swap officially licensed club content. The app encourages fans to build their team through in-app team packs and by swapping with other fans all over the world. Borussia Dortmund aims to bring its worldwide fans closer to the team with this innovation.

General News

  • DFL published the results of a study conducted by the WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management that assessed the impact of changes in the media use of Generation ZThe researchers concluded that people born between 1997 and 2009 (Generation Z) appreciate high-quality content and are more willing to pay for it than older generations are. Those striking findings counter the ‘freemium’ mentality and confirm that Generation Z fully recognises the value of digital content. Furthermore, Generation Z has its own preferences. They desire shorter, more entertaining and more personal media content

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