The ‘smart keys’ of Finland’s Nokia Arena


Mobile devices acting as key at Nokia Arena Image: Abloy

Europe’s newest multipurpose arena, Nokia Arena in Tampere, Finland, which went on stream on December 3rd, 2021, includes state-of-the-art access management. Security and access control systems are integrated with arena staff shifts and logistics. Mobile devices and wristbands are used as keys. Rapid emergency exit is also central to the arena, which draws 15,000 people. Solutions for the arena have been provided by Abloy Oy.

‘Abloy’ stated that a new era began in the heart of Tampere, Finland, when the Nokia Arena opened its doors on December 3rd, 2021. The arena, designed by the internationally renowned Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind – and built above the main line railway – will host large events, including the 2022 Men’s Ice Hockey World Championships.

The 2022 Men’s Ice Hockey World Championships will be the 86th such event hosted by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). Teams will participate in several levels of competition. The competition will also serve as qualifications for division placements in the 2023 competition. It will be held from April 25th, 2022 to May 29th, 2022, and will be hosted by Finland.

The 15,000-capacity Tampere Deck Arena, commercially known as the Nokia Arena, is an indoor arena in Tampere, Finland. It will host ice hockey games and large cultural events.

Joensuu (Finland)-based ABLOY offers security and locking innovations dedicated to creating more trust in the world. Combining digital and mechanical expertise, Abloy Oy develops industry-leading security solutions that protect people, property and business. Abloy is part of the ASSA ABLOY Group, the global leader in access solutions. Every day, it helps billions of people experience a more open world.

‘Abloy’ further stated that the central location of the venue in the City Centre and its opening hours around the clock highlight the importance of access management. For example, it must be possible to separate semi-public, open areas from premises accessible only to employees or hotel guests. Security solutions as well as access management and control systems for the arena have been implemented by Abloy.

Said Jari Perälä, Vice-President, Domestic Sales and Marketing, Abloy Oy, “The Nokia Arena is a striking example of security trends, where access rights are becoming digital and door environments are touchless. In this development, various human resources, space and access management systems, for example, are integrated. They share information to improve operational efficiency and security. There has been a lot of discussion about the API economy, i.e., utilizing data shared through application programming interfaces, in recent years.”

Wristbands as keys

In the arena, the doors are opened with access rights on mobile devices and wristbands. Electromechanical keys are also used.

Informed Jani Helenius, Property and Security Manager at Nokia Arena, “We have introduced a wide range of keys. Access permits can be sent to smart devices, in which case the door opens with the help of a mobile phone or smartwatch in the blink of an eye. This way, for example, an ice hockey team training in the rink does not have to worry about losing the keys or returning them to the right place when the access rights expire at the end of the game shift. When granting access, it is also possible to determine which premises can and cannot be accessed.”

Added Jukka Peltola, Assistant Captain of the Finnish ice hockey league team Tappara, “The doors of the arena open with a smartphone or smartwatch, which is really clever. I am convinced that the hockey people will enjoy many moments in the new arena.”

The Nokia Arena is the home arena of the Finnish professional ice hockey teams Ilves and Tappara of the SM-liiga (top professional ice hockey league in Finland).

Abloy’s Key Account Manager Mikael Ermala added, “The locks are also integrated into the work shift system of the arena’s restaurants. For example, when a waiter arrives at the beginning of his or her shift, the access rights granted to the person immediately take effect in the premises.”

Push bars

Directing an audience of 15,000 to safety in case of emergencies is essential for an event center like the Nokia Arena. That’s why the locks on the arena doors are integrated with the fire safety system. Smooth evacuation is also ensured by ABLOY push bars. All doors and exit routes in the customer premises are equipped with push bars, also called panic bars or crash bars, so that the doors open quickly and easily when needed.

Added Helenius, “Simulations during the construction phase have shown that 4,500 people can be guided away from the main floor of the arena in less than eight minutes. The entire arena can be emptied in about 15 to 20 minutes, in an optimal situation. This would not be possible without effective opening mechanisms on the exit routes.”

Added Perälä, “The Nokia Arena is an important project for us, where together we have been able to develop completely new, technology-enabled ways of using locking solutions. We have good experiences securing similar large arenas, such as the 39,784-capacity Helsinki Olympic Stadium in Finland and the 55,000-capacity Warsaw National Stadium in Poland.”

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