Detroit – March 3, 2022 – NTT (NTT Corporation, NTT Ltd., and NTT DATA Services) and Ilitch Sports + Entertainment (IS+E), in partnership with the Innovation Institute for Fan Experience (IIFX) and members of its “Xperience” Consortium, have agreed to deploy NTT Smart Solutions for a Smart Venue pilot at Little Caesars Arena in The District Detroit.
As the leader of this initial IIFX Xperience Consortium project, NTT will help ingest digital data from multiple sources in real time to provide both an enhanced situational awareness for the management team and an improved fan experience. NTT Smart Solutions will be deployed to monitor occupancy level at the venue by applying predictive and correlative analytics to the data collected from optical sensors and ticket scans. The system will count the number of people in front of a gate and the number of tickets scanned, will visualize people traffic volumes, and then determine both the real-time and the predicted occupancy level and entry wait times.
Little Caesars Arena, the home of the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons and world-class entertainment, had its SAFETY Act Certification – the highest level of protection awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – renewed in early February. It remains the only combined NHL, NBA and entertainment venue to earn the distinction.
Today’s fans are increasingly looking for immersive, connected, and social experiences that start from the moment they leave home and end upon their return. Through this IIFX Xperience Consortium project, which includes leading technology innovators Axis Communications and Johnson Controls, the latest cutting-edge technology solutions will be installed at Little Caesars Arena to help address the current and emerging industry challenges.
The initial phase of the project will be focused on leveraging data from two main entrances to the arena and will include a total of four AXIS M5525-E network cameras to be used as crowd counting optical sensors. Two sensors will be installed at the Huntington Entry Northwest Entrance and an additional pair will be at the Comerica Southeast Entrance. NTT will deliver a web-based management dashboard to present visualizations and analytics in a single pane of view.
Akira Shimada, Senior Executive Vice President, NTT said, “NTT continues to lead the way in digitally transforming the sports and entertainment industry. We are delighted to find new opportunities to expand our footprint in Little Caesars Arena, one of the greatest entertainment venues in the United States. We look forward to expanding our partnership with Ilitch Sports + Entertainment and IIFX to support other venues in improving visitor experience.”
Bill Baver, Vice President, NTT Smart Solutions added, “As we work with NTT DATA Services Chief Digital and Strategy Office, we are deepening our capabilities and evolving our value proposition to meet specific needs for venues. Furthermore, this partnership with Ilitch Holdings will be instrumental in strengthening our presence in the Detroit area.”
Dr Lou Marciani, Director and Founder of the IIFX, said “NTT is a global leader in smart technologies. As one of the Founding Trustees of the IIFX Xperience Consortium, NTT is leading our pathfinder project, building the framework for all future Consortium “Living Lab” projects.”
“We are pleased to partner with NTT to enhance the guest and security experience at Little Caesars Arena,” said Richard Fenton, Vice President, Corporate Security & Safety at Ilitch Holdings. “Ensuring the safety of our fans and colleagues is our top priority, and incorporating evolving technologies is a key part of that process.”
NTT Smart Solutions were initially conceived to enhance public safety in the City of Las Vegas in 2018. Since then, they have also been adapted to track usage and occupancy in parks and beyond and with implementations by other clients in several industries, including Clark County for park occupancy and vehicle counting, IndyCar for the improved fan experience, Chicago's Navy Pier for increased situational awareness, Edmonton International Airport for on-demand buses, and transit agencies for passenger safety. NTT is planning to continue to move forward with its smart capabilities to address new challenges facing organizations worldwide while also contributing to local economic development.
About the Innovation Institute for Fan Experience
Founded in 2020 amid the pandemic by veteran sports and entertainment industry leaders, IIFX’s vision is to be the leading and most trusted global authority on providing safety, security and fan experience for sports and entertainment. With offices in the USA, UK and Canada, IIFX produces content, events, and facilitates dialogue and collaboration in in the sports and entertainment industry around its core areas of expertise. Visit: iifx.org for more.
About Ilitch Sports + Entertainment
Ilitch Sports + Entertainment (IS+E) is reimagining the power and potential of providing world-class sports and entertainment experiences to fans, guests, and corporate partners. IS+E was formed as the shared business arm of the storied Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers, Olympia Parking, and The District Detroit, the region’s emerging epicenter of entertainment in the heart of the city. Ilitch Sports + Entertainment operates the award-winning Little Caesars Arena, Comerica Park, and the iconic Fox Theatre, all within a four-block radius in The District Detroit. It also maintains a joint venture interest in 313 Presents and provides facility management services for Pine Knob Music Theatre, Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill, and the Meadowbrook Amphitheatre.