While baseball isn’t generally the most forward-thinking of America’s most popular sports, the MLB has taken some sweeping changes in the past few years to integrate more technology into their activities. It can be seen in everything from biometric check-ins at stadiums to assisting umpires with their judgments. But one thing that might not get much attention is how tech can improve the safety and security of a stadium. Boston’s Fenway Park could serve as one of the most important testbeds for innovations in safety.
Johnson Controls, a company focused on creating smart ready spaces, recently hosted a panel at Fenway Park, and security options played a major part in the discussion. Smart technology could serve as one of the great innovations in sports stadiums in the coming years, and perhaps the largest application of this technology comes in the form of safety systems. Life safety systems top the list of uses for smart technology, with security following close behind, and that’s supported by the numbers. 85% of businesses surveyed by Johnson Controls intend on implementing smart fire and life safety systems, while 72% have plans to integrate smart security systems in their facilities.
It should come as no surprise then that Fenway Park is working in close collaboration with Johnson Controls to revolutionize the technology in the stadium. And while the future of this relationship will likely constitute a number of practical life safety systems, the biggest focus seems to be on cybersecurity. With so much customer information passing through the stadium on any given day and with much of that data being digitized, the potential for security breaches is worrying.
Exactly what form these new security innovations might take are uncertain, but the Red Sox aren’t the only team getting on board with the revolution. The NFL’s New York Jets were one of the first major league teams to make changes to their policies – partnering with IdentoGO to create identity and biometrics policies that offer convenient new options to customers while also being cognizant of the security risks. A competitor to IdentoGO – Clear – recently signed a contract with Major League Baseball to implement similar systems into their stadiums. Where the next threat will come is uncertain, but the league seems to be taking abundant caution as they implement these new systems into their infrastructure.