Imagine a system that allows you to monitor and control stadium operations right down to the opening and closing of doors for all World Cup venues remotely.
That’s exactly what the organisers of the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 have created.
Aspire Command and Control centre will be the technical hub for the tournament, centralising all the operations for the eight stadiums thanks to the connected stadiums platform.
This innovation was possible thanks to the compact nature of host country Qatar and the relatively short distances between the venues. There are 2 000 cameras at each of the eight stadiums plus a digitally created twin model at the centre. This will allow close monitoring of every aspect of crowd movement.
The centre will operate 24/7 during the World Cup with a staff of at least 85 in the room at all times.
They are able to see which gates are overcrowded and how many people are seated in the different blocks at any given moment. With this system and the proactive approach the team at the Command centre aims for, an incident like the one at the Uefa Champions League final in May could be better controlled or even pre-empted and avoided.
Niyas Abdulrahiman, executive director of tournament ICT, said: “The centre is connected to all the eight world cup stadiums located in different parts of the country.
“From here we have capabilities to remotely manage a number of operational aspects in the stadium, specifically facility management, safety and security services, and IT support operations.
“This is the world’s first connected stadiums platform that has been implemented for a World Cup.”
The connected stadiums platform allows management of audio and video, facility, safety and security, and even temperature control all from the control centre, which is located in the Doha Sports City complex, which also houses Hamad Aquatics centre, Aspire academy, and Khalifa Stadium.
Every room, corridor, approach road, and parking area of all the eight stadiums are covered by the nearly 16 000 CCTV cameras.
There is no corner of the stadium that cannot be monitored by the Aspire Command and Control Centre. And they can watch all eight stadiums at the same time if needed.
How close can they zoom in to the crowd? Enough to identify people’s faces.
The Aspire Command and Control Centre has been tested in live events like the Arab Cup and director of the centre Hamad Ahmed Al-Mohannadi is confident they are fully ready for the big kick off on November 20.
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