The City Ground

Transforming a legacy stadium whilst preparing for the future

Background

The vision of the club owner, Mr Evangelos Marinakis, is to deliver Nottingham Forest back to the top flight of English football, whilst providing a stadium and infrastructure that reflect the ambition of one of the most iconic English clubs. With the redevelopment of The Peter Taylor Stand planned, the club turned their attention to the role of technology, leveraging the building transformation as a catalyst for a digitally led fan experience.

The Challenges

There has been a historic challenge of delivering strategic technology across the club, which has resulted in disparate infrastructure that is now struggling to cope with modern working processes. The proposed redevelopment of the ground has also caused a hold on investing in upgrades, as the club was unsure what infrastructure could be moved across in the future.

The PTI Solution

The initial PTI Technology Audit had highlighted a number of critical issues that needed to be immediately addressed. This included:

  • Addressing over 90 critical technology issues
  • Management of existing supplier contracts (to help rationalise and reduce spend)
  • Identification and catalogue of the club IT assets
  • The delivery of the updated E-Commerce platform
  • Management of the day to day IT operations

After the initial PTI Technology Audit, two services were quickly identified as essential to the club. PTI’s ongoing technology consultancy services were engaged to ensure strategic technology delivery, as well as Managed Services to help manage and deliver the day to day technology requirements.

A PTI Lead Technology Consultant  was deployed to get a detailed understanding of the infrastructure required to ensure the club is ready for the new season, whilst continuing to make strategic plans for the future. PTI are delivering a wrapped managed service, comprising of an on-site engineer and remote help desk to ensure the efficient delivery of technology.

With the strategic action plan put in motion during the summer of 2019, the club have made a great start on their technology transformation journey. These solutions will immediately add value across the 2019/20 season and will continue to assist in the technology maturity with the build of the new Peter Taylor stand.

Key areas of focus and service delivery already underway are:

  • WiFi Survey to enhance connectivity
  • New server infrastructure
  • Upgraded connectivity and fibre optic lines (4X speed improvement whilst saving 50% on cost)
  • Transferring Managed Service to provide a sport focused service, whilst saving on cost
  • Increased resiliency across the network
  • Enhancements to the in house operations, with the delivery of Microsoft 365

Even with the partnership in the early stages, the club has already seen a number of key indicators, which has provided confidence and benefits, including:

  • Enhanced infrastructure resiliency
  • A technology platform from which they can build upon
  • Achieving short term IT wins, with long term future in mind
  • Confidence to plan a longer term strategy for fan engagement and the technology opportunity the new stand development will provide

With exciting projects such as a new E-Commerce Platform, Ticketing Platform, ISP, CRM, WiFi, Networking and Cyber Security to focus on over the next year, the club are investing in the infrastructure that will provide the platform for commercial growth in the years to come.

PTI Consulting has been helping Nottingham Forest understand exactly what our infrastructure and technology stack looks like today and create strategic recommendations on where we need to invest. Our vision is to deliver a future ready infrastructure that enhances the environment for our people to work and offer our fans the very best match day experience possible.

Samantha Gordon, Chief Financial OfficerNottingham Forest FC

What’s Next

The PTI Technology Audit has helped Nottingham Forest fully understand exactly where they were with their technology estate, including a detailed view across all the current risks and immediate items to address. This has equipped the club with insight and knowledge to make better decisions on what to prioritise and where to invest the club money.

A wide ranging road map of essential upgrades and new solutions have been accepted by the board, where PTI will continue to manage the strategic technology delivery.

The club are now able to proceed with plans to redevelop The City Ground and surrounding area. Central to this redevelopment will be the creation of a new Peter Taylor Stand, which will see the introduction of world-class facilities including a museum, a new club shop, range of hospitality lounge options and restaurants and executive boxes. In addition to this there will be new spacious concourses for general-admission supporters as well as improved facilities for supporters with disabilities and a substantial increase in wheelchair spaces.

The new, modern, state-of-the-art structure will see The City Ground’s capacity become the highest in the East Midlands, reaching 38,000 after completion.

We have been keen to make improvements to the match day experience to ensure fans who visit the City Ground have the best possible experience. Our commitment to the vision of building the club infrastructure that our people and fans can be proud of starts today and will result in a new era for our iconic club.
The team at PTI are challenging our working processes, which is helping to drive technology transformation right across the organisation. Our people are seeing real improvement through change and we’re excited to continue the journey over the coming years.

David Cook, Chief Commercial OfficerNottingham Forest FC