This week Tottenham Hotspur, my favoured club, announced that their new stadium at White Hart Lane was ready to start hosting matches. After more than a season using Wembley as their home ground, Spurs are finally coming home. But who is allowed in?
Managing big-venue security and enabling stadiums such as Spurs' to welcome and record stewarding and other service staff quickly on to site, especially on match days, is no easy task. We are lucky enough to be involved in managing the access control for steward management at three stadiums hosting teams in the English Premier League.
I’m a real sports fan and have supported Tottenham Hotspur all my life. Its one of life’s ironies then, that all three of the stadiums we help manage are home to Tottenham’s London rivals. C’est La Vie. Just to be part of the football culture in this country is good enough for me.
From around 6am before a 3pm match, over 3,000 stewards, catering and other staff must be allowed on site to prepare and manage a game. Recent stadium incidents have shown how important it is to know how many stewards are on site to manage any incidents, and that every steward attendance has been validated as they entered the stadium. A further complication is that for most stewards their ‘hours worked’ is calculated from the moment they scan in their ID cards. This presents a real challenge for me and my team.
But rise to the challenge we have.
By working closely with other suppliers and partners on behalf of stadium management and football clubs, we have created a unique process and technical solution to switching into ‘Matchday mode’, allowing stadium managers to securely manage thousands of workers onto their site quickly and safely, making validation checks for every staff visit, as they arrive on site, in real-time. Being able to revert easily to ‘non-match day’ status is also critical.
As a Spurs fan, I’m hoping for an introduction to the Spurs stadium management team to talk about this service. But even if I don’t get to complete a site visit and quote for the work, I’m proud of my team’s small contribution to running one of the largest sports leagues in the world.