Roboticket’s smart seat technology enabled Polish football club Lech Poznan to sit thousands of fans together at the club’s game at Poznań Stadium last night.

Following the Polish authorities’ approval of a plan that allows fans to sit together, yesterday’s game against Pogon Szczecin at the 43,000-capacity arena saw supporters sit in groups of up to six people who share a household and buy tickets together to sit together in the stands.

The groups sat at least three seats and one row from any other supporters thanks to an allocation algorithm developed by Roboticket, which is partnered with four Ekstraklasa clubs, including Lech Poznan.

Polish regulation states that clubs are allowed to fill up to 25 per cent of the stadium capacity. For Lech Poznan, only 7,500 seats were made available as the main stand at Poznań Stadium was unavailable and the club also had to create a safe zone for players, staff, and TV right holders.

However, approximately 18 per cent of ticket holders did not show up, making the final attendance 5,113.

Daniel Zielinski, Lech Poznan ticketing manager, said: “The matchday operations were challenging mainly because of a completely new setup. Box offices were closed due to restriction, our experience allowed us to carry the sale and customer support 100% online, only ‘print at home’ or mobile tickets were allowed.

“Although the crowd was not so big, we were extremely happy to welcome our fans back to the stadium. We have been tested in heavy rain conditions, but all went well and smoothly. We are looking forward to the next game with Legia Warszawa on July 4 where we expect about 10 000 people.”

Piotr Kicinski, Lech Poznan chief of stewards, added: “The operations were 100% successful, the stewards at the post-match briefing did not even report a single problem related to access and ticket control.”

Michał Pyda, Roboticket’s business development director, told TheTicketingBusiness earlier this month that it has been using technology it usually uses to ensure fans sit together to keep them apart to abide by the rules laid out by the authorities.

Pyda said: “The ‘orphan seats’ algorithm in our stadium visualisation engine really comes in handy right now. Normally, the mechanism helps improve the seat allocation density and prevent seat gaps. Today we made it to work completely on the opposite side to create gaps in order to maintain the social distance automatically.”

Images: Przemysław Szyszka – Lech Poznań