Football & Sport

What does the future look like for the 2020-2021 season?

COVID-19 Impact

The pandemic has shut down multiple industries this year, one of the most affected industries being events. We’ve already ran an article on COVID-19 and Event Risk but here we take a more focused look at Stadiums who operate primarily for football, rugby and other sports. 

The current situation

As of August 14th, the Reproduction (R) Rate in the UK is between 0.8 and 1.0 with the growth rate still around -1% to -4%*. 

This means that the virus is not growing its new infection rate but it is only on a very small decline. It’s extremely difficult to predict the next month, let alone into next year. So what can anyone do but keep up with distancing, mask wearing and sanitising for the unforeseeable future. 

September 12th sees the start of the Premier League and we are currently in Phase 3 of the governments plan to return to competitive sports with spectators. 

Elite sport was given a five phased approach: 

  1. Return to training – at the most basic level
  2. Return to group training & easing of some restrictions
  3. Domestic Competition – No Spectators
  4. Cross border Competition – No Spectators
  5. Return to Competition – Safe Return of Spectators
So, what preparations are underway and what do venues need to do?

Spectators & Visitors

The NHS ‘Track and Trace’ and other applications such as ‘evePASS’have launched in recent weeks, and it’s a requirement for all guests visiting any venues to sign in and provide their details. The extent to which this is being followed and monitored isn’t yet known. 

What we can be certain of is that for events to go ahead, a registration of all attendees will be compulsory.

Spectators must provide all ticket holder details when purchasing tickets/ at the time of booking. Name and contact details for each individual. This allows the stadium or venue to get in touch with absolutely everyone, should a person report testing positive in the days following an event or if someone shows symptoms during the event. 

Communications from the venue to all spectators should be sent out at least 2 days prior to the event, asking them to confirm they understand and will follow the measures in place and declare they will not attend if they begin to show any symptoms. The email should also contain the venues processes in place to mitigate the spread of the virus and what is expected of the attendees. Examples, distancing at all times, if any one way systems are in place, if masks are compulsory, getting to and from the venue, queuing, hygiene etc. 

Any and all communications to spectators should be clear and concise to avoid any potential confusion. Infographics are a great way to present information as they use imagery to highlight and explain key information whilst holding attention of the reader. 

Competition Delivery Partners

A smaller role of liaising with the local authority to understand the local prevalence rate or lockdowns, travel arrangements of spectators and any other risk for that particular area. 

We won’t get into any detail here as our focus is the venue below!

Prepare the Venue

We’ll start with one word. 


This will have been greatly reduced to allow for distancing of different groups of people. Not only is it important to seat people safely apart, but the flow of those people in and out the venue needs to be distanced as well. A reduced capacity helps ensure both of these can be achieved. 

Spectators entering the venue, in holding areas before kick off, in walk ways and concourses, food and drink areas, and exiting the venue all need to be thought through with adjustments made to capacity and processes. 

So, a capacity limit has been set… There’s still various operating standards that need to be met. 

Here’s just a few of the things that have to be in place and/or reviewed: 

  • Roles and responsibilities including command, control and coordination arrangements
  • Ensuring staff have necessary PPE or equipment and are trained
  • A crowd management plan. Capacity level, flow of visitors, control of entry and exit, occupancy of lifts and smaller rooms, emergency planning etc. 
  • One-way systems where possible, especially for toilet facilities
  • Signage – everywhere. It needs to be clear what measures are being enforced and where 
  • Additional waste facilities. Ideally closed bins with more frequent rubbish collection
  • Frequent cleaning. All contact areas need to be cleaned more often especially in high touch point places such as toilets, door handles and handrails
  • Tape for and enforcement of, distanced queuing outside and inside of the venue 
  • Installing screens and barriers to separate staff and visitors where distancing cannot be maintained
  • Providing and encouraging contactless payments
  • Ventilation systems in place, serviced and monitored. In addition, natural systems such as doors ( doors!) and windows should be used where possible
  • Communication plan. Advising spectators on their journey to and from the venue, services provided or not operational, face covering requirements, restrictions, agreement to adhere to control measures and rules in place, hygiene protocols, medical facilities and more
  • Ensure medical staff in place, with Ambulance provision and isolation room(s) allocated
The amount of risk mitigation and consideration that each venue must go through is vast. A lot of planning has to go into producing the policies as a venue for events, plus assessing each event individually and also keeping up to date with the latest information from the government and adjusting accordingly. It’s no easy feat.

Using IRS Pro

We made IRS Pro configurable, to hand control to you, and allow you to shape the software however, whenever you need. 

  • All pre and post event checks can be completed and audited
  • Add any additional checks or measures you need in configuration 
  • Log completed cleaning tasks inside each event
  • Log any and all incidents in each event for a clear picture of what happened 
  • Run reports to monitor any incident trends over time or add a Covid flag to monitor related incidents
  • Add documents to an event, ensuring all information is in one place 
  • Add additional detail and other information via Notes for each event 
  • Communicate information with the Daily Log
For a demo on how IRS Pro can be used in Stadiums, contact
or just fill out the form via the Contact Us page, button below!

The information in this article was taken from