Sun Life Stadium uses data analytics to score with fans

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Sports franchises everywhere are competing for eyeballs with big-screen HDTVs, all manner of mobile devices and other venues broadcasting games. So officials at Florida’s Sun Life Stadium – home of the Miami Dolphins football team – considered ways to make the game-day experience for fans even better. They decided to borrow some smart cities technologies.

“The goal was to save our fans time by alleviating friction points, and on the monetary side, to enable a more efficient business that would lessen the need to raise ticket prices and provide the resources to invest in the future,” explained Jim Rushton, the Chief Revenue Officer. “It was a clear mandate for a new way of doing business.”

One solution the stadium settled on was using data analytics to optimize operations and traffic flow – long lines being one of the “friction points” Rushton mentioned.

Working with Smart Cities Council member IBM and leveraging the IBM Intelligent Operations Center, data is streamed in real time from stadium point-of-sale systems, turnstile scans at gates, weather feeds and other sources. The stadium’s command center integrates all the data sources into a common control room console. The combination of real-time monitoring with business rules and intelligent controls enables stadium officials to optimize the operations and traffic flow.