Networked technologies and digitization are gradually making their way into football stadiums. The Austrian Bundesliga club FK Austria Wien has fundamentally modernized its home stadium. In addition to WiFi throughout the Generali-Arena and the latest technology in the event rooms, the electronic locking system from Uhlmann & Zacher (U&Z) ensures a modern atmosphere in the stadium.
When it opened in 1925, back then as the Czech Heart Square, today's Generali-Arena in Vienna looks back on a long history. After FK Austria declared the arena to be their home stadium in 1973, broad extensions and renovations followed in 1982. In the course of the general renovation in the years 2016 to 2018, the entire complex was completely modernized and equipped with innovative technology.
In a stadium with the enormous capacity of 17,500 fans, the planners have to overcome some challenges. The Generali-Arena has many different areas with different security levels and correspondingly different access authorizations. There are, for example, the public fan areas, various ballrooms, meeting rooms and honor boxes as well as the security control rooms and not to forget the rooms for the teams.
The internationally active Kapsch BusinessCom AG, based in Vienna, oversaw the project as a competent partner and, in addition to the electronic locking system, also ensured the successful installation of the latest technology in the historic stadium in other areas. As part of the extensive modernization of the entire stadium complex, Kapsch relied on an electronic locking system from Uhlmann & Zacher. The modernization also includes free WiFi for all football enthusiasts and a cashless payment system that keeps waiting times as short as possible, especially at half-time. All the technology in the event rooms is operated via an app. The progressive orientation of the club and the stadium also includes the purchase of electricity from 100% renewable energies, which are largely self-generated. A new electronic locking system is a further, consistent step towards future-oriented equipment.
In total, more than 450 electronic locking units were installed in the stadium complex. This includes electronic door handles and locking cylinders as well as padlocks with electronic knob modules. All of the mentioned locking units are used as variants for both indoor and outdoor areas. The specialty of the electronic door handle from U&Z is that the entire electronics as well as the mechanics, power supply and LED signaling are completely built into the handle itself in the smallest of spaces. The timeless stainless steel design also adapts flexibly to any architectural interior. The electronic door handle is clear and intuitive to use thanks to the optical and acoustic signals. All electronic locking units from Uhlmann & Zacher could be easily and quickly integrated into the Kapsch system thanks to the "OSS Standard Offline" standard used.
500 transponders were issued in the course of the new electronic locking system, including 350 "classic" transponder cards and 150 new types of transponder bracelets, which, thanks to their sporty design, are particularly suitable for the furnished property. The MIFARE® DESFire® technology used, with its encrypted file system, is one of the most secure transponder processes in the world and represents the leading technology in this area.
The electronic locking system from Uhlmann & Zacher has been in reliable operation in the Generali Arena since 2018 and has convinced those responsible at FK Austria. Necessary adjustments in the system, for example through extensions or renovations, can be carried out cost-effectively and time-efficiently at any time.
Protector, Issue 11/2020
Photo: FK Austria Wien/Andreas Perkmann Berger