FOAMHAND BLOG: Supporting the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, Part 1
2018 has started at a rapid pace for the FOAMHAND team as we continue to support the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee with crowd management planning for the Winter Olympic Games next month. As we build up to the Games we are going to provide an insight into the Winter Games venues. In our first blog we will be looking at the Gangneung Olympic Park. The Gangneung Olympic Park includes 4 competition venues:
- Gangneung Hockey Centre
- Gangneung Oval – Speed skating
- Gangneung Ice Arena – Figure skating and short track speed skating
- Gangneung Curling Centre
As with any Olympic Park you also find NOC Hospitality Houses, a large Megastore, Restaurants, Sponsor Pavilions, and a Live Site where spectators can try ice-skating on a temporary ice rink. Each element of the park has an operational plan which needs to integrate seamlessly with the park wide Crowd Management Plan.
A variety of performers will entertain crowds who are moving from venue to venue or waiting for a game to start. Street performers will including busking, parades, magic shows and also folk performances such as tightrope walking, madangnori (traditional Korean outdoor performances). All this adds to the spectators experience and has required careful consideration when developing the Crowd Management Plans with the venue team. Street performances can attract large crowd causing crowd flow issues, however they can also greatly support crowd flow operations particularly where queuing can be expected. This was used to great effect at Stratford Station next to the London Olympic Park, where street performers entertained people queuing to enter the Underground Station.
The Olympic Park is compact with a central spectator route linking the venues together. Much of our modelling work has focused on the Common Domain areas (the bits in between the venues). Key questions we needed to answer include: What is the capacity of the space, where are there likely to be bottlenecks, on which days and at what times could this be an issue, what are the impacts on non competition venues and importantly is there space for more people to enjoy the park?
Similar to previous Olympic Parks we have worked with the Organising Committee to consider NETS (Non-Event Ticket Spectators). These are spectators who could enter the park but do not have a ticket for a competition venue. A balance needs to be struck between the desire to create a buzz in the park, filled with spectators against the crowd safety aspect and ensuring a comfortable pedestrian density level of service level is achieved throughout the park.
The Common Domain population ebbs and flows as spectators arrive and depart at the four competition venues. FOAMHAND have a wealth of data and knowledge of arrival and departure profiles from previous Olympic Games and other major sporting events. We combine this with information we gain from the Organising Committee and local partners about crowd behaviour in Korea.
The Olympic Park will be the heart beat of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games and undoubtedly will be the venue to visit for anyone planning on attending the Games next month. Please get in touch if you would like to know more about our work with PyeongChang 2018.
With offices in the UK, New Zealand and Australia, we work with city planners, event organisers around the world to ensure a safe and enjoyable event for all, offering expert knowledge from our team’s major event experience which is founded on the planning and delivery of over 40 global events over the last decade.
The specialist team at FOAMHAND® are experienced industry leaders focused on providing the safe and efficient movement of people for all types of events from cultural events, air shows, pop concerts, and world stage sporting competitions, with the aim of achieving ‘seamless spectators journeys’.
Understanding crowd dynamics and the targeted use of models to replicate crowd flow is one of the specialist skills adopted by all FOAMHAND® lead planners. We provide a professional and effective approach to the planning, design and modelling of event infrastructure, using a number of pedestrian modelling simulation packages. These internationally recognised software tools are designed to provide realistic simulation of pedestrian movements. We carefully interpret the data outputs to inform your event planning through a detailed understanding of pedestrian arrivals, walking speeds, facility layout and interactions with vehicular traffic.