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Wembley Stadium

We were commissioned by The FA to provide expert advice to support its planning for its wide range of events with differing crowd dynamics at Wembley Stadium.

Background

Movement Strategies was appointed as the crowd movement advisor for The Football Association (The FA) at the start of 2019. With 90,000 seats, Wembley is the largest stadium in the UK and hosts a variety of prestigious events including football, European Finals, NFL, boxing and international artists such as Ed Sheeran, BTS and Fleetwood Mac. The FA required that these major events in this iconic stadium were not only safe and secure, but also delivered an excellent spectator experience, including during arrival and departure from the stadium. We were commissioned by The FA to provide expert advice to support its planning for this wide range of events with differing crowd dynamics. The event planning also had to take account of the rapidly developing Wembley Park masterplan around the stadium, in which transport provision, circulation routes, and occupancy were changing. The commission included the development of crowd simulation models of ingress and egress for the stadium itself, and externally through the wider Wembley Park to the three rail stations, car and coach parks and other transport nodes.

LOCATION

London, UK

CLIENT

The Football Association

YEAR

2019 - Present

WHAT WE DID

Our goal was to deliver to the FA 'gold standard' simulation models that could be demonstrably validated against the event conditions. We carried out a significant site-wide data collection exercise. The data collected included 8,000 hours of crowd footage across 11 events at 40 locations around the external podium and wider Wembley Park estate, in co-operation with Quintain, the owner and operator of Wembley Park. The footage was analysed and distilled to provide accurate input data to underpin the crowd modelling. This data also allowed us to validate the outputs of the models.

Using this data, Legion microsimulations were created to model spectators from transport nodes to vomitories (A vomitorium is a passage situated below or behind a tier of seats in a stadium, through which crowds can exit rapidly at the end of an event) during ingress, and seat to transport nodes on egress.

These models included accurate representations of the well established crowd management techniques such as the famous ‘stop-and-go’ system. These base models were created to ensure that they could be easily adaptable to model evacuation scenarios, other alternative events or design changes that would occur within the stadium or around the park.

Figure 2 External egress Legion model  

These models have been used as vital operational planning tools for the delayed 2020 UEFA European Football Championship where additional spectator security and ticketing processes were required.

The outputs and metrics from our analysis allowed queue sizes and delays to be clearly communicated to key stakeholders.

A similar process has been adopted to understand the impacts of construction phasing in Wembley Park on crowd movement around the stadium.

RESULTS

Movement Strategies continue to provide on-going crowd movement consultancy to The FA. Our models are frequently used in the control room to allow match-day operators to compare modelled results against the actual outcomes. This has become a valued tool to monitor both ingress and egress and for decision making to ensure that a safe and enjoyable customer experience can be delivered site wide. The data collected has also been used for academic purposes to understand how densities and flow rates change by event type and audience demographics.

You can read the research paper here

Tom Legg, The FA’s Head of Transport and External Operations for Wembley Stadium, said:
"Being able to draw on the industry leading experience and knowledge of Movement Strategies has been invaluable in the development and execution of safe and efficient crowd management operating plans. The area around Wembley Stadium is going through a transformational period in its history, creating an increasingly confined and complex operating environment. The delivery of events with up to 90,000 spectators would not be possible without the foresight and guidance provided by Movement Strategies, enabling the stadium to maximise the use of both internal and external space. The agility with which Movement Strategies tailor their advice has allowed Wembley to successfully attract and deliver a variety of world-class sporting and entertainment events, and enhance the stadium’s world-renowned reputation.’'