Spanish soccer club Real Sociedad have signed a deal with Microsoft Sports and Microsoft-powered Global Sports Innovation Centre (GSIC) to launch a program, using technology-based start-up companies to improve the facilities of the club’s Anoeta stadium.
The agreement will place technological innovation at the heart of plans to turn the arena into a smart stadium. Designed by GSIC, the program focuses on the four major aspects considered by Microsoft Sports in its ‘smart’ venues projects.
The design of the stadium is planned to centre on the comfort of the fans, whilst bidding to make the architecture such that the venue becomes an iconic building in the region. Microsoft Sports also insist that the stadium is used as a multi-purpose site, maximising its business potential.
The project begins on 13th July, with ten start-up companies selected in October. Between then and February 2019, the businesses will develop their technological solutions with the brief of transforming the audience experience at La Liga club’s home games.
At the conclusion of the development process, Sociedad will, ultimately, choose whether or not to implement any of the innovations.
Jokin Aperribay, Real Sociedad president, said: “For Real to turn the Anoeta into a smart stadium is an opportunity that we should not miss as it is perfectly aligned with our objective of offering our fans the best possible experience in our stadium, in addition to making it a meeting point for San Sebastian and Gipuzkoa.”
Iris Córdoba, general director of the GSIC, added: “This initiative seeks to identify the best innovative start-ups that can provide technological solutions around the smart stadium.”