AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, 26 November 2007 - Cisco® announced today that Amsterdam ArenA, a premier multipurpose sporting and entertainment venue and home to AFC Ajax football club, has turned to Cisco to help make the famous stadium smarter. With the deployment of Cisco Internet Protocol (IP) technology, the stadium is introducing several innovative services for the 2 million visitors it attracts each year. Visitors will be able to reserve seats from home, get access to real-time travel and parking information, and pay for tickets using their mobile phones. Spectators and sports fans can more easily access all stadium-related services and the organisation can deliver improved visitor service at every event.
Amsterdam ArenA chose Cisco not only for its scalable and highly reliable IP infrastructure, but for capabilities such as unified communications, video delivery and wireless services. These capabilities can be applied throughout the site, helping Amsterdam ArenA to create a multimedia platform that provides visitors with a richer, more personalised service. KPN Telecom, a member of the Cisco Powered Program, will install the infrastructure.
Henk Markerink, director of the Amsterdam ArenA said: "The most important goal of the Amsterdam ArenA is to further improve the customer experience, which includes focusing even more closely on the entire service provision chain, from the moment the customer buys tickets, as they travel to the ArenA, the visit itself, to the time he or she is back at home and wants to book tickets again. The Cisco IP network plays a central role in fulfilling the entire customer experience. In the next couple of years we want to use this network to integrate our payment and entry-control systems, to enable the provision of digital signs and narrowcasting, and to make better use of new media. We aim to introduce the first services in the middle of next year."
Coks Stoffer, general director of Cisco Netherlands said: "Consumers want access to personalised information wherever they are, instantly, especially when they are at live events. The challenge for stadiums and event organisations around the world is to develop ways to meet these demands. For the new generation of stadiums, the network is no longer purely an infrastructure for bandwidth, but a platform that makes new sports and entertainment experiences possible."
The Cisco IP platform reduces operational costs by standardising and virtualising everyday IT services such as security, mobility and storage. Third parties, such as the main tenants of the Amsterdam ArenA, can easily use the network to offer additional services. Integration with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology will make it possible to offer location-specific information to visitors as well.
Markerink added: "The Amsterdam ArenA depends strongly on its transport links. The public transport connections are perfect and the accessibility for motorists is fine, with four motorways nearby and parking for more than 11,000 vehicles. But if the area around the ArenA wants to grow further, then we need to improve mobility. For example, we are thinking of various 'travel on demand' solutions and how to improve the provision of information to visitors. On the day of an event, for example, we want to be able to send customers an SMS text message with that day's weather forecast. We also plan to send information to car navigation systems and mobile phones about the best route to take and where to park."
"Cisco makes it possible to transmit voice, data and video via one simple IP network," said Stoffer. "This network will also make it possible to offer various new services wirelessly. Examples include narrowcasting, the provision of tailor-made information and payment by mobile phone. Even the stadium entrances will use wireless technology. Cisco has equipped a number of sporting arenas with similar intelligent networks, including the world-famous Bernabéu stadium in Madrid, the Allianz Arena in Munich, Ascot racecourse in the UK and the Misano racetrack in Italy. Thanks to a comparable 'connected stadium' infrastructure, the Amsterdam ArenA will be able to extend its reputation as a world-class multipurpose venue and business centre."
Cisco technology to be deployed at Amsterdam ArenA includes Cisco Catalyst® 3750 Series Switches, Catalyst 6500 Series Switches, Aironet wireless access points and CiscoWorks LAN Management Solution.
Cisco Connected Real Estate
Intelligent networks can not only make stadiums smarter, they can be applied to buildings as well. The IP network makes it possible to integrate and run various stand-alone building management systems centrally, via the same network. These include heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, lighting, fire prevention, closed-circuit TV, access and other systems and services. This reduces costs while improving safety, and increases the opportunities to use locations for multiple purposes.