Blog Partner: Reggiani

Vandalism or professionalism

By Joachim Ritter

Ever since Munich opened the Allianz Arena in 2005 and demonstrated that a football stadium can communicate what is going on inside the stadium via the facade lighting, colour(-changing) facades on sports arenas have become astoundingly popular. Red, blue or white documents who is “wearing the pants”, let alone the shirts, on any given day. The thrill the fans arriving for the game get seeing their team’s colours displayed to all and sundry enhances their feeling of confidence that they will win. Neither Barcelona nor Madrid can technically keep pace with this!

This year’s European Football Championship as well as the summer Olympic Games are further proof: sport revolves around emotions, and always will do. Exactly what light is all about! I am not talking about the fireworks we sometimes see let off at matches. What some fans find exciting and view as an expression of celebration or disappointment is dreaded by the officials staging the game because of potential injury to others. This sums up the problem at hand. On the one hand, the officials want to stage a spectacle that will give rise to strong emotions, but on the other hand they don’t want fans to run riot. And they certainly don’t want any situations to get dangerous.

The solution is actually pretty obvious. As is so often the case in sport, success is the result of technique and coordination. The same applies when using state-of-the-art lighting technologies in sports arenas. I would go as far as to say that the design scope offered by lighting technology today is predestined to be used in these event venues for the masses. For economic reasons, besides sports events the stadiums are also used for large-scale show business events. And those of you who have had the chance to see Madonna and the like on stage will know that football stadiums with nothing going on in them – before the show – are about the farthest from exciting you can get. It is the light show that sparks the event and gets everyone rocking.

No, exciting dynamic lighting is part of what it takes to run a sports facility in this day and age. We are talking about facilities for mass events, where the economic potential is a key factor. The management staff running them cannot afford to make any mistakes or save in the wrong places. The right investment can make all the difference to maximum or minimum takings, and naturally to the success of the venture as a whole.

With the technology available today practically anything is possible – as we saw recently at the Olympic Games in London, and before in Peking. Lighting effects, dynamic light, colour, interactive elements. Sports arenas are made for modern lighting applications and modern lighting applications are made for sports arenas. Nothing is too complex that it cannot be realised, no idea too daring.











To return to the Allianz Arena: the following is directed at the football fans among you. It remains a mystery why the facade of the Allianz Arena was lit in green for this year’s Champions League Final, thus forgoing any home advantage for the team from Munich. We all know how it ended up: FC Chelsea won on penalties although FC Bayern were clearly (!) the better team for 120 minutes. I bet it was the light that made the difference between victory and defeat. After all, you have to get everything right if you want to be successful…

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