Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham

Craig Flindall and Alex Perkins discuss Edgbaston’s technology plans, the progress they have made and how PTI have helped deliver these changes.

Edgbaston Stadium underwent a redevelopment in 2009/10. They have since focused relentlessly on customer service but were held back from fully realising their ambition through a skills and knowledge gap in the technology sphere.

PTI were first engaged in 2019, driven by operational requirements as Edgbaston sought to update its technology infrastructure and ensure that it was able to deliver a customer experience befitting its status as a world class venue. PTI began by creating and implementing the stadium’s technology strategy including the support structures and oversight for the Cricket World Cup 2019 and the Ashes Test Match in that year​. The focus then turned to rebuilding the core network in order to fit the needs of their vision, with scalability in mind.​

With the foundations in place, the emphasis to understand Edgbaston’s addressable audience became the priority. A managed procurement & deployment of new digital products including ePOS, mobile app, and ticketing platform were completed.

The acid test of Edgbaston’s digital ecosystem came with the second test between England and New Zealand in June 2020, which was the first pilot event in the second phase of the Government’s Event Research Programme, with 18,000 supporters (70% of Edgbaston’s capacity) allowed in each day. Edgbaston were only given two weeks’ notice that it would be able to host such a large crowd, but working together with PTI, the results exceeded any expectation.

From redesigning the ticketing process – which included the requirement to consent to be a part of the pilot study and which mandated all tickets to be presented digitally – to going cashless, in-app pre-ordering and click and collect functionality, to consumer Wi-Fi and providing fans with wayfinding tools to reduce close contact in queues for toilets and bars, PTI’s strategic approach enabled a frictionless customer experience and ensured customer safety.

PTI have now been engaged by Edgbaston to build on these successful foundations and to work together to design and execute a digital-age commercial strategy.

Stuart Cain, Chief Executive at Edgbaston said “Naturally we were thrilled to be asked to stage this pilot and see crowds back at Edgbaston, but we recognized that the definition of fan experience has changed over the last 628 days since we last hosted a major event. We had the technology and digital foundations in place through our long-term work with PTI, but they were able to rapidly expand our capabilities and through their operations, the results speak for themselves. We believe what we have achieved will become the minimum expectation for event goers in the future and look forward to challenging ourselves to continue innovating with PTI’s end-to-end support.”