Galo home to flaunt tech bells and whistles



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Brazil MRV Arena technology concept Image: Arena MRV/Clube Atlético Mineiro

Clube Atlético Mineiro, commonly known as Atlético Mineiro or Atlético, and colloquially as Galo, is a professional football club based in the City of Belo Horizonte, capital City of the Brazilian State of Minas Gerais. The team competes in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, the first level of Brazilian football, as well as in the Campeonato Mineiro, the top tier State league of Minas Gerais.

Atlético is building its new stadium, the Arena MRV, which will have a capacity for 46,000 spectators and is all set for a 2023 opening. The Galo will enjoy the most technologically advanced stadium in Latin America once complete. The construction work of the plush venue is on despite COVID-19 making mincemeat out of Brazil.

Leandro César Lopes Evangelista, Head of Technology, Arena MRV, Brazil, shares exclusive technical details with ‘Coliseum’ as regards the under-construction venue and says that a lot of fans these days prefer to come to arenas which enjoy technical edge. To ensure that fans enjoy a flawless technical journey once inside the venue, Arena MRV has hired the services of the professional services company Accenture to further boost the tech quotient of the under-construction facility.

Leandro César Lopes Evangelista stated that they have an ambitious technology plan to make the fan’s technical journey “very exciting”. He informed that the Arena MRV will be a multipurpose venue in Belo Horizonte (Southeast of Brazil) that will serve as the pad of the top-flight club – Clube Atletico Mineiro – one of the biggest soccer teams in Brazil – “Being a multiuse facility, it will also host events like music concerts for around 60,000 people.”
 

Galo goals

  • Forging close ties with fans;
  • Generating diverse revenue streams; and
  • Technological prowess to be the fulcrum of the whole development.

 
Evangelista asserted that their main objective is to ensure that Arena MRV emerges as a venue which boasts the most advanced technology not only in Latin America but also stands out as one of the most futuristic facilities in the world.

He informed that the arena is likely to get off the ground in February or March 2023. Minas Gerais does not have much to boast about in terms of spiffy venues and Arena MRV is all set to shine on the State’s horizon.

Tech vision

The technology vision is to leverage advanced technologies like 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), Analytics, and XR in the venue so that fans get to experience the best in technology.

Evangelista added that the main objective is “To capture business expectations, evaluate best market practices (national and international) and understand client needs. They will also help in advancing with the project.”
 

Business expectations, market practices and client needs:

  • Stakeholders’ interviews;
  • Benchmarking sessions;
  • Interviews with fans (qualitative research); and
  • Interviews with event producers.

 
He affirmed that Arena MRV as well as the ‘Galo’ place topmost priority to the fan experience. Their ultimate goal – once the fans enter Arena MRV they will get swept off their feet looking at the technical features the venue will come armed with.

The people associated with the development did interviews of few stakeholders to get a better insight into what spectators exactly desire in an arena so that they can implement the same. The viewpoints of the top brass executives of Arena MRV have also been kept in mind while carrying out the project work.

Arena MRV decided to take pages out of the books of stadia like the ‘Spurs’ home – the 62,850-capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London (UK) which features excellent Wi-Fi facilities in their venue, high-density 6G Wi-Fi, the Dubai Parks and Resorts experience as “Their brand of entertainment is the best and we can learn from them on how to give fans an exalting experience while in the venue.”

The MRV Arena is doing its homework well – like around 1,000 fans being interviewed to exactly know what fans in general want in an arena with special reference to technology. As the Brazilian State of Minas Gerais does not enjoy any chic venue, major acts cannot be held. Arena MRV is sure to emerge as a technological marvel where all big-ticket and events extraordinaire can be held.
 

Business drivers

  • Safety quotient – Visitors once they enter the arena precincts will have to feel safe and secure in a post-COVID world. Highest standards of cleanliness will have to be maintained so that fans can let their hair totally down inside Arena MRV;
  • Personalization of the fan journey by establishing a one-to-one relationship;
  • Seamless fan journey;
  • High on the entertainment quotient; and
  • Working to protect the interests of the community on which the arena will sit.

 
Evangelista stated that their main objective will be to work for the community for the stadium will sit in a neighborhood where people belong to the disadvantaged section of the society.
 

Arena technology strategy

Evangelista added, “To reach the business’s goals, we proposed different strategy to MRV Arena: To build a platform business, being able to directly influence the fan experience and generate new revenue streams.”

He continued, “We are building a real estate venue with a tech platform. Every part of the venue will be infused with technology as we want the world to remember Arena MRV as a hi-tech venue where everything is technologically-driven.”
 

Future fan journey

  • Publicity blitzkrieg for any event being held in Arena MRV;
  • Streamlined transportation network to the arena; and
  • Arena MRV will have to cater to all kinds of fans – some fans view the venue as a place of tourist attraction and will desire such facilities while some will visit the venue for its technical teeth and digital edge.

 

Technology layers

  • Active devices – Wearables and smartphones to provide digital experience to fans;
  • Passive devices – Devices that support the activation of fan experiences. For example, IoT sensors and beacons;
  • Connectivity – Full coverage of the fan journey powered by 5G (outdoor) and Wi-Fi-6 (indoor). Seventy percent of fans should be able to stay connected once inside the stadium even when it is a packed house;
  • Cloud-based solutions;
  • Enabling technologies – Technologies that enable digital experiences. For example, wearable technology, machine learning, analytics virtual/augmented reality;
  • Channels – Varied communication channels with the fans. For example, super app, social networks, Whatsapp, web portal, etc.
  • Digital services – Services generated by the platforms needed to activate the fan experiences. For example, promotions, ticket purchase, seat view, parking space reservation, concierge, etc.

 
Evangelista is of the view that a venue can do brisk business only if it knows the art of keeping fans engaged and to be able to do that “We should be totally open to innovation and come up with such offerings which never ceases to amaze the spectators.”

He concluded by stating that Arena MRV’s technology plan will have to be done with lot of precision and attention will have to be given to every small details like “dots the i’s and crosses the t’s”.

The tech journey of fans entering Arena MRV in Brazil is sure to become the talk of the town and catch fans with a rage.

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