Top-flight German soccer club Eintracht Frankfurt have announced plans for a new digital centre as part of the upgrades to their Commerzbank Arena home.
The Bundesliga club and local authorities recently agreed a new deal to secure the stadium’s future until June 2035, which will see the capacity of the Commerzbank Arena expanded to around 60,000 as part of an agreement that will see the club become the venue’s operator.
As part of those upgrades Eintracht Frankfurt are establishing an ‘Arena of IOT’, which will see them embark on securing partners across the fields of smart building, facility management, energy management, logistics and mobility to develop innovations for market use.
The Internet of Things (IOT), which refers to digital interaction with the Internet and in the industrial sector, is aimed at connecting machines and systems for automation.
The new digital centre will be equipped with its own resources for project, space and personnel resources, with Professor Kristina Sinemus, the state minister for development, acting as the Arena of IOT’s patron.
Eintracht board member, Axel Hellmann, said: "We are happy to announce that after the agreement with the city about the use of the stadium, we are opening the first chapter on the digitisation of the stadium and at the same time contributing to the strengthening of the stadium digital locations in Hesse.
“The stadium is the ideal place to test future-proof digital industrial models for use in the market. At no other place in Hesse do so many people come together regularly for matches or concerts as at the Commerzbank Arena. Industrial digital applications that work in such an environment will also work at all transport hubs if bandwidth is adequate.”
The development signals a new phase for Eintracht and their relationship with their home stadium. Under the agreement with the city of Frankfurt, the club have full rights to use the stadium, including the surrounding training area, as a year-round tenant. The club currently pays the city €8 million (US$8.92 million) per year to rent the stadium, with that halved if they are playing in the second-tier 2 Bundesliga.
Under the new deal, Eintracht will be granted the right to sublet the stadium for things such as concerts or other sporting events, as well as assuming control of the catering operation and the marketing of commercial rights to the stadium.
This infrastructure redevelopment project will centre on incorporating safe standing in the upper part of the northwest section of the stadium.