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Cleveland Cavaliers to use crowd intelligence software as more fans return to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

The Cleveland Cavaliers have announced a new technology partnership aimed at ensuring a safe return for fans at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from Dec. 29, 2020.

As the Cleveland Cavaliers prepare to host nearly 2,000 fans at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse at games moving forward, the arena has announced a new technology partnership aimed at ensuring a safe return.

RELATED: More Cleveland Cavaliers coverage from WKYC

On Thursday, the Cavs announced a new collaboration with the crowd intelligence software company, Armored Things. According to a release, the Cavs will use Armored Things' crowd intelligence solution to "manage fan density at key entry and gathering points and enable smarter decisions related to staffing, security, and sanitation."

Additionally, the same software will also be used in the team’s business offices at the FieldHouse in order to help maintain safe spacing in common areas.

The new software will allow the venue’s facilities and security teams to leverage the venue’s existing Wi-Fi and security systems in order to gain an accurate, real-time understanding of how many people are gathering and moving around specific locations in the FieldHouse. That information will then be used to alert staff to potential congestion and help it make better decisions related to fan and staff health safety and experience.

“As we continue to welcome additional fans back to live events at the FieldHouse, Armored Things can help us provide a safer experience for fans as well as our staff, no matter the number,” said Michael Conley, Chief Information Officer for the Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. “COVID is a pressing issue right now, but this is also an important investment in our long-term security and operations infrastructure. The ability to understand the flow of people in the venue equips us to stay one step ahead of their needs, deploy resources more intelligently, and optimize the event environment.”

Last week, the Ohio Department of Health issued a variance allowing the Cleveland Cavaliers to host 1,944 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse -- 10 percent of the arena's capacity. In making their proposal to reallow fans, the Cavs outlined the following plan for safely hosting fans at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse:

  • The seating of spectators in groups/pods of up to eight members of the same family/party with six feet of social distancing between groups. 
  • A detailed spectator way-finding from entry into, and throughout, venue, including directions to enter specific entryways and. physical barriers, social distancing markers and signage for queueing lines.
  • Masks/facial coverings to be required except when eating or drinking.
  • Increased cleaning in all areas, including a dedicated sanitization team during games/events to focus on in-event surface touch points.
  • The FieldHouse has been equipped with latest HVAC technology with a control board used to "get real-time information and tweak airflow throughout the facility (including increased flow of outside air inside the arena bowl and concourses)."
  • Upgraded HVAC system/air filters.   
  • The installation of UVC germicidal lights in the building air handler units to disinfect HVAC airstreams. 
  • An Infectious Disease Emergency Response Plan for handling sick spectators/employees/others during games/events.