This year the 2022 Commonwealth Games were staged in Birmingham and the wider West Midlands area. PTI Digital brought its extensive sports and entertainment expertise and experience to bear in support of the delivery of the technology overlay to iconic Games venues, such as Coventry Arena, Coventry Stadium and Edgbaston, which are also existing PTI clients.
Tony Dudley, Director of Telecommunications and Technology Programme Management at Birmingham 2022 said, “implementing the technology for the Games was a significant undertaking, delivered by approximately 1,500 Technology staff and contractors, and required the deployment of a private technology overlay to each venue, regardless of whether there was existing infrastructure in place. This was done to maintain uniformity, consistency, and manageability across all Games venues, however there are also several levels of dependency on the existing venues’ technology estate, people and operation, which is where PTI’s expertise came in, such as:
- Knowing the venues, identifying opportunity for reuse of existing to minimize unnecessary temporary overlay,
- Maximising the legacy aspect – one of the long-term aims of the Games is to leave a legacy for the specific venues and the region more broadly. PTI’s understanding of the venues, both in terms of how they operate but also the strategic aims of the clubs that own them, put them in a position to influence design considerations and technology choices that would help leave a lasting legacy for the venue and ultimately deliver better value and improved long-term benefit for fans and visitors.”
In addition, PTI is supporting post-Games with the redeployment of legacy network equipment to sporting venues including Edgbaston, Coventry Arena and Ashton Gate.
Technology underpins so many crucial aspects of the operation of a stadium, and as a result, the PTI teams worked closely and collaboratively with each of the key stakeholders e.g. Operations, Security, Facilities, Ticketing, Comms etc. PTI were able to leverage these relationships, along with the understanding of what needed to be achieved from a technological perspective in each area, to enhance and in some cases bridge the gap between the venues and the Games’ technology requirements.
Adrian Corcoran, Chief Information Officer at Birmingham 2022 said, “the support provided by PTI has been outstanding. For the venues where we worked with PTI, their local knowledge, involvement and commitment made the delivery much more efficient. Managing a complex technical deployment across these sites, in the context of so many venue deployments taking place in such a small window could have lead to multiple points of failure, but thanks to PTI everything went without a hitch. Their understanding of the “sprint to the line” nature of major events ensured the end delivery was a seamless experience.”
Whilst important and valuable, there is only so much information that can be conveyed via plans and documentation; PTI’s sole focus is in the sports and entertainment world, and our teams have an innate understanding of how technology underpins a multitude of operational and security requirements that work in harmony to make events happen, most of which go unnoticed by the attendees, but all of which combine to deliver, and ultimately enhance, the event day experience. It is this combined understanding, in conjunction with venue specific knowledge of the systems, operational processes and the key people relationships, that was made available to the Games Venue Technology teams throughout the planning, delivery, operational use and decommissioning of the various Games systems.
“Working with PTI was a real pleasure, as nothing was ever too much trouble, and they went over and above to support us in creative ways to play their part in ensuring that the Games and post-legacy strategy were successful.” Sally Hack, Technology Commercial Partnerships at Birmingham 2022.