When you think about who needs access to a sporting venue in addition to ticket holders (stadium staff, contractors, hospitality, catering, stewarding and security teams, players, VIPs and members of the media), the numbers can be staggering. We’re expecting to process close to 90,000 accreditations for a major sporting tournament this summer.
The result may be a shiny badge for everyone, but the work that goes on behind the scenes by accreditation teams to process applications, collect and verify documents and approve entry couldn’t be more important. The accreditation process is there to protect venues and visitors. It ensures contractors have the right licenses and insurances. It prevents illegal workers and only allows the right people into the right spaces at the right times. And it tells you exactly who is in your venue whenever you need to know.
But tournaments present a unique set of challenges for accreditation managers.
Intense media attention and the presence of large crowds in restricted areas have made sporting events prominent terrorism targets. Tournament organisers have had to commit to heightened security measure not just inside the stadiums and arenas, but also in fan zones and high-traffic areas for people and vehicles.
The number of temporary workers and volunteers to accredit at a multi-venue tournament can be an impossible task without a refined and strict accreditation procedure. The FIFA World Cup in Russia hosted 64 football matches across 12 venues. Every single game would have needed thousands of temporary workers and volunteers across multiple security, hospitality, catering and stewarding teams. The Olympic Games in Rio employed more than 70,000 volunteers.
And venue infrastructure can pose operational challenges. You need to get people into each venue safely and efficiently, but rarely do tournament organisers operate the venues. Stadiums are hired along with whatever infrastructure is in place at the time. Wifi connections, ICT systems, venue managers, security teams, access control technology and contractors will often be different each time.
A central online accreditation system that can be used by all contractors, venue and security teams across all stadiums and matches will solve many of these challenges. Accredit Solutions has worked on major rugby, cricket and football tournaments across the globe, and provides software for some of the largest stadiums and clubs in the English Premier League.