Supporting A Great Summer of Football: Lighting Stadium Surroundings

Cedric Collard - Schréder Sports Segment Manager
Cédric Collard

Across Europe, fans are enjoying the UEFA EURO 2020 football tournament at home, in bars and, for a lucky few, in person. A response to unprecedented times, the competition is being held across the continent for the first time in its 60-year history, with 11 host cities in all. And of course, things have kicked off a year later than planned, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Welcoming fans back in a safe, enjoyable atmosphere is a huge deal for host venues and the continent as a whole, and Schréder is proud to be playing a role. While we’ve lit plenty of pitches, that’s only part of the fan experience when attending the match. Our cost-effective LED lighting solutions enhance the landscape and ensure a safe passage for spectators around the whole area.

This blog explains how lighting solutions have helped two host stadiums, Puskás Arena in Budapest, Hungary and London’s iconic Wembley Arena welcome fans back - and how Schréder can bring similar expertise to helping light your sports arena, whatever the size or scale. Visitors don’t just experience the 90 minutes of the game: access roads, public transport access, car parks, seating areas, esplanades, entrances and façades are all part of their special day.

Where The Magic Begins

The right lighting for the pitch itself is essential, and Schréder has a long list of references in this department. But it’s so important to get the rest right. Lighting access roads correctly makes them safer and can help manage flows of people for good crowd management, especially for those arriving on foot. Car parks are an integral part of most stadium’s mobility solutions, and again require good lighting to be safe. 

Comfortable seating areas make fans more likely to enjoy the game, and pleasant lighting means they are more likely to nip out for drink and snack at half-time. And corridors and pathways leading to seating areas can help with crowd management and can go one step further by integrating cameras, free WiFi, intercom and other facilities, again encouraging visitors to leave their seats during half-time and linger before and after matched.

Finally, façades and esplanades leading to the stadium can make a big first impression: on top of the wow factor, Schréder has plenty of adjustable DMX solutions to light them in different team colours. They can also create a striking night-time feature and interact with the game itself. We made the facades of Brazil’s Mineirão Stadium and the Estádio Nacional light up when goals were scored there during the 2014 World Cup - a magical touch for the beautiful game. Just as in Brazil, our sustainable solutions are enhancing the areas around the Euro host stadiums, as well. 

Lighting the Path to the Home of Football

Wembley will host the EURO 2020 final and semi-finals. The world-famous stadium also regularly hosts other major sporting events including the FA Cup Final, the Football League Cup Final and regular season NFL games, and is known worldwide for its epic music concerts, too. It attracts more than 2 million visitors per year. It usually seats 90,000 people, but will be restricted to 21,500 for the Euro group matches.

Originally built in the 1920s, the site was completely overhauled and re-opened in 2007. The stadium’s 133m high arch has become a new landmark for London and is instantly recognisable around the world. In 2012, Wembley Stadium played a huge part in making the London Olympics a success. As with other host cities, London focused on bringing the area around the stadium back to life and ensuring a great legacy.

Schréder delivered bespoke lighting solutions to light Wembley Way, enhancing safety and the fan experience

The journey to the big game is part of the experience, and from the moment fans step out of the tube station, they’re immersed in the legendary Wembley atmosphere. Schréder delivered a customised solution for the road running from Wembley Park underground station to Wembley Stadium itself, working with a design team including Architects Dixon Jones and the lighting designer Spiers Major
The path from tube station to stadium is dynamically lit to improve safety and adapt in response to changing density of users and events. The bespoke lighting columns create an architectural feature by day and night, with posts to hang banners to create atmosphere and promote future events. The approach becomes a moment of anticipation - and encourages more people to come to the station by public transport, which is great for the environment, as well.

Schréder's LED handrail ensures perfect visibility and safe passage for the thousands of fans making their way in and out of Wembley Stadium

We also lit the steps leading up to the stadium, with a discreetly integrated LED handrail. It ensures perfect visibility for the many people to make their way into and out of the stadium safely, even on a dark winter’s night. Bathing the steps in soft white light, the stadium becomes an elevated space for celebration and world-class entertainment. 

Above all, the lighting columns take the experience beyond lighting. Our solution includes provision for lighting, sound, wireless access points, footfall cameras, traffic signals, microphone stations and digital media screens. We worked with developer Quintain and Principal Contractor Volker Fitzpatrick to create an immersive approach to the stadium itself. 

Taking The Game Beyond The Stadium

The new Puskás Arena was completed in 2019 and is home to the national football team of Hungary. It can seat 67,000 people at a football match, and will host four games in this summer’s tournament. Named after legendary footballer Ferenc Puskás, the venue can also host concerts and has a conference centre - so versatile lighting is essential. 

The stands are lit with 304 OMNISTAR luminaires, which are installed with DMX control features, so the stadium can entertain visitors with spectacular light shows during breaks. The pedestrian bridges and areas leading to the seating area are lit by SHUFFLE columns, which are fitted with WiFi to provide full coverage and ensure fans can share their experience on social media. They are also fitted with cameras for good crowd management, so security can react quickly to any worrying situations. 

SHUFFLE delivers light, WiFi and CCTV to ensure safety and connectivity for fans at Puskás Arena in Budapest

The tournament is off to a great start - from the remote control car that delivers the ball to record-breaking goals there’s plenty to keep fans entertained. Schréder is based in Belgium, and we’re watching the Red Devils’ progress keenly. However, we’re a truly global company (active in over 70 countries) so we want to wish all the teams the best of luck - and all the fans a safe, well-lit experience as life (and football) gradually returns to normal.

About the writer
Cédric joined Schréder in 2013 with a solid experience in marketing. With his expertise and industry knowledge, Cédric leads the Industry and Large Area Business segments including Sport Lighting and Breeam certification. He collaborates with our research, product development, sales teams worldwide and sport associations to deliver sustainable and energy efficient lighting solutions, tailored to each individual project using the latest in lighting calculation software, lighting management systems and BIM techniques.

Connect with Cédric on LinkedIn