The objective of stadium owners is to attract visitors to their stadiums and by this optimally use their business potential. Stadiums face increasing competition from home-viewing options, with which especially aging stadiums have trouble competing. This paper aims to study the concept of smart stadiums as a solution to this problem, adding the corona age as an additional challenge.
First, (smart) stadium literature and theories are reviewed. Then, a case study is conducted, consisting of document review, observations and semi-structured interviews with specialists. The case that is studied is the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam – the stadium has the ambition to be the most innovative stadium in 2020.
Nine different smart tools were identified in the case study, which supports the optimization of various processes in the stadium such as ticketing and crowd control. The findings from this case study showed the potential of the smart stadium concept and how it can add value for the stadium’s stakeholders. The use of smart tools can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of stadium operations, and it can be used to improve the visitors’ experience. However, concrete numbers of progress were difficult to obtain because the smart tools were only recently implemented.
As seen in the past few years, more and more stadiums are branding themselves as a smart stadium. However, research on this subject is still scarce: existing research focused on other types of real estate. By exploring the work done in theory and practice, the authors hope to increase research on the subject of smart stadiums.
We would like to thank and acknowledge the interviewees for their contribution to this research, Wilco Leenslag from KPMG Innovation Advisory and Sander van Stiphout from the Johan Cruijff Arena for their valued participation and sincere support in the research process.
van Heck, S., Valks, B. and Den Heijer, A. (2021), "The added value of smart stadiums: a case study at Johan Cruijff Arena", Journal of Corporate Real Estate, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 130-148. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCRE-09-2020-0033
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