‘The Last Mile’: A path to event excellence


Thomas Albinger at Coliseum Europe 2023 Image: Coliseum GSVA

In a candid conversation with ‘Coliseum,’ Thomas Albinger, Managing Director of Companeer GmbH in Germany, expressed enthusiasm for the National Football League (NFL) match hosted at the Allianz Arena. However, he noted that the City of Munich missed an opportunity to fully embrace its role as a Host City. Albinger described their approach as distinctive, acknowledging that while the NFL event left unforgettable memories for fans of American football, there remained untapped potential to create even more extraordinary experiences. He emphasized that the relevant authorities didn’t fully grasp a pivotal aspect of event organization – ‘The Last Mile’.

At the Coliseum Summit, Thomas Albinger, Managing Director and Co-Founder of the Munich-based consulting firm Companeer, took the stage to shed light on an often underestimated aspect of event planning – ‘The Last Mile’. With a wealth of experience in assisting Host Cities and venue operators with safety, security and mobility strategies for major events, Albinger’s insights were invaluable.

In his presentation, Albinger addressed the critical role that ‘The Last Mile’ plays in shaping the success of large-scale events, specifically focusing on matches held at the Allianz Arena in Munich, including the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) EURO and NFL events. His approach focused on posing pertinent questions and exploring the untapped potential of ‘The Last Mile’, rather than offering readymade solutions.

The Troublesome Last Mile?

One of the central themes of Albinger’s presentation was the notion that ‘The Last Mile’ is often viewed as a troublesome zone, riddled with complexities and challenges. He illustrated this point by recounting a project involving the German association football club FC Hansa Rostock’s Ostseestadion. The close proximity of home and away supporter blocks necessitated significant buffer zones resulting in a loss of over 1,000 seats. The proposed solution, which involved relocating the guest block, revealed how ‘The Last Mile’ can profoundly impact a venue’s utilization.

When and Where does ‘The Last Mile’ Begin?

Albinger delved into the fundamental questions of when and where ‘The Last Mile’ should commence. He highlighted instances where it starts at transportation hubs, such as bus or underground stations near the venue. However, factors like visitors arriving by car or staying overnight further complicate this determination, often requiring input from the Host City, authorities and event organizers.

Asking the Right Questions

Crucially, Albinger encouraged a shift in perspective when approaching ‘The Last Mile’. Rather than solely focusing on where and when it begins or determining responsibility, he advocated asking how to leverage ‘The Last Mile’ to enhance safety, security, visitor experience, and sustainability.

A Chance to Improve Visitor Experience

Albinger transitioned from discussing European football culture to the first regular NFL match in Germany, emphasizing the different expectations of American football fans. With three million ticket requests for a 70,000-seat stadium, the demand for pre-match events was evident. Unfortunately, Munich’s reluctance to allocate a downtown public space resulted in congestion at the stadium, missing out on the potential to create a unique visitor experience in ‘The Last Mile’.

Sustainability Potential in ‘The Last Mile’

The sustainability aspect of ‘The Last Mile’ did not escape Albinger’s scrutiny. While stadium energy consumption often garners attention, he presented a counterintuitive finding: Spectators at the stadium use less energy per capita than those watching the match at home, with floodlights primarily serving media and TV audiences. The real sustainability concern, he argued, lay in the travel to and from the venue, citing the significant energy expenditure associated with car travel.

A Call for Acknowledgment

Albinger closed his presentation by referencing a project with a regional train service provider in Toronto (Canada), focusing on crowd control plans for stations near the BMO Field, set to host FIFA World Cup™ matches in 2026. He emphasized the necessity for Host Cities to recognize ‘The Last Mile’s’ impact and potential, inviting the audience to explore this topic further with the next speaker, Helmut Spahn, Director of Safety, Security and Access at FIFA.

In a world where the success of major events hinges on visitor experiences and sustainability, Thomas Albinger’s presentation at the Coliseum Summit in London (UK) underscored the significance of ‘The Last Mile’. It challenged the status quo, urging the event planners and Host Cities to embrace ‘The Last Mile’ as an opportunity rather than a problem. Albinger’s thought-provoking insights may very well pave the way for more successful, sustainable and memorable events in the future.


Munich (Germany)-based Companeer helps venue operators to get the best out of their stadium and arena at any stage by delivering out-of-the-box concepts and reliable feasibility studies ahead of planning. It also delivers result-driven project management during design, planning and execution, security and mobility concepts during operations and tools and processes to support the operations team.

Allianz Arena

The Allianz Arena is a football stadium in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, with a 70,000-seating capacity for international matches and 75,000 for domestic matches. Widely known for its exterior of inflated ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) plastic panels, it is the first stadium in the world with a full color changing exterior.


The delayed 2020 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as UEFA EURO 2020 or simply EURO 2020, was the 16th UEFA European Championship, the quadrennial international men’s football championship of Europe organized by the Union of European Football Associations – the governing body of European football.

Munich’s Allianz Arena was one of the venues for the delayed UEFA showcase. It was held from June 11th-July 11th, 2021.


New York (US)-based the National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league that consists of 32 teams, divided equally between the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference.

To expand the sport’s international reach, the NFL hosted its first regular-season game in Germany in November 2022, with the event held at the Allianz Arena.


FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) is the world’s governing body for the sport of football (known as soccer in some countries). Founded in 1904, FIFA is headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland.

The FIFA World Cup™ is one of the most prestigious sporting events on the planet, drawing millions of fans and top-tier talent from around the globe. The 2026 edition is particularly special as it will be the first World Cup hosted jointly by three North American countries: Canada, the United States and Mexico. This unique collaboration underscores the global appeal and reach of the sport.

The 2026 World Cup is also poised to be the largest in history, with an expanded format that will see 48 teams competing, up from the traditional 32.

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