Sunderland AFC has appointed APT SKIDATA, the UK’s leading provider of advanced people access solutions, as its new partner for access control. The new five-year partnership agreement will see APT SKIDATA upgrade and install the latest access control technologies at the Stadium of Light which will be completed ahead of the 2023/24 season.
A key driver to upgrade with APT SKIDATA was the move to Near Field Communication (NFC) ticketing using SKIDATA’s Sweb eTicket service. This will allow matchday fans and event visitors fast and secure access to the stadium whilst also helping to reduce the club’s carbon footprint and contributing to SAFC’s sustainability goals.
The NFC eTicket solution will allow fans to buy match tickets on the club’s dedicated digital ticketing website. These NFC Passes are instantly delivered to Apple Wallet or Google Wallet which means fans simply have to tap their smartphone or smartwatch at the new Flex.Gate readers to gain stadium access via the turnstiles. The hospitality and VIP guest experience is also being upgraded with the deployment of the Door.Gate Pedestal reader offering maximum flexibility and contactless access.
Steve Davison, Chief Operating Officer at Sunderland AFC, says: “Following a comprehensive review of the Global Access Control market, we identified APT SKIDATA as the outstanding long-term partner when contemplating the future of sports and event ticketing. Their recent award-nominated deployment of NFC ticketing at Leeds United continued to showcase their innovation and reliability – and their best-in-class adaptable hardware will ensure SAFC remains at the forefront of fan experience and stadium access for many years to come.”
Steve Murphy, Managing Director at APT SKIDATA, adds: “We are thrilled to be working with Sunderland AFC as the club’s new Access Control Partner. SAFC’s Executive Team undertook a robust and thorough process that fully explored the future landscape of ticketing and access control.
“Adding the Stadium of Light to our ever-expanding portfolio is a privilege for our organisation and we are proud to be working with a club that puts the supporter experience at the heart of its operations. We are excited to be supporting the club in achieving their digital innovation and sustainability goals.”
SAFC will be working closely with APT SKIDATA in the off season to produce comprehensive fan communications around how to download and use NFC passes for entry to the Stadium of Light for both general and hospitality access. The 2023-24 campaign season will see the change come into effect following the highly anticipated summer of music that will see global superstars Beyonce and P!NK perform live on Wearside.