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Case Study

Tackling microweather

The New England Patriots and Gillette Stadium’s field crew, stadium operations, stadium parking, and groundskeeping use ClimaCell to get stadium-specific microweather insights and alerts on web and mobile.

42°21'02.1" N 71°03'27.6" W

The Challenge

No matter the season, outdoor entertainment venues must consider the weather forecast in making decisions. The Operations team at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, goes a step further – harnessing high-performance microweather™ data to optimize operations over the stadium’s 1.9 million square feet. The team prepares for and successfully hosts a wide range of outdoor events for up to 65K attendees, from NFL games, MLS games, NCAA Events, motocross, monster trucks, and concerts. Several Gillette Stadium departments monitor the real-time and forecast weather on a daily basis and during events.

“If lightning is going to touch down on the property, we need to know about the threat in advance – we need to get everyone to sheltered areas so that they are protected from the elements. ClimaCell’s tool tells us when to expect a weather event and when it will pass us.”
Jason Stone, Senior Director of Operations, Kraft Sports and Entertainment

Climacell’s Solutions

Field Management:

Water saturation levels are key for optimizing field conditions. The field crew needs advance knowledge of microweather conditions in order to cover the field at the right time, program the field’s smart water system, schedule upkeep and maintenance, like painting the field, and estimate costs of snow removal per inch of accumulation.

Stadium Field Operations calibrate the field system using microweather precipitation data, enabling the field crew to grow grass year-round on the practice fields and to protect the field when it rains.

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Football Games:

The New England Patriots need to understand the exact weather that will accompany their games. This affects how they choose to practice in the days prior to the game and what equipment they use to train. For example, when it is expected to be cold and wet, players may use different cleats that will help with traction during adverse weather conditions.

ClimaCell’s microweather forecasts for practices and games help coaches maximize the players’ conditioning for any game weather.

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Food and Beverage:

Stadium Operations taps into ClimaCell’s historical data to model food and beverage sales that take weather conditions into account. Studying the correlation between the ‘feels like’ temperature and demand for refreshments helps the team predict future sales and make sure there’s enough supply to sell more of what people buy in different conditions..

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Lightning:

When an NFL football game is at risk of lightning, the Gillette Stadium Operations team will set up a 10-mile ring around the stadium and alert game officials of potential weather that could impact the game. Once the lightning is 5 miles away, game officials will be alerted to pause the game if needed.

“If lightning is going to touch down on the property, we need to know about the threat in advance – we need to get everyone to sheltered areas so that they are protected from the elements. ClimaCell’s tool tells us when to expect a weather event and when it will pass us.”
– Jason Stone, Senior Director of Operations, Kraft Sports and Entertainment

With by-the-minute information about when the weather will pass, Gillette Stadium can make customer experience decisions, such as communicating the time that the event will resume based on the weather delay and warm up time, or such decisions as discounting food and beverages during the delay.

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Ticketed Spectator Experience:

While football and soccer games can play in inclement weather, events such as concerts and motocross can get delayed due to heavy rains. If there are high winds or lightning, the show can’t go on – for safety reasons.

ClimaCell’s HyperCast sends severe weather alerts to the operations team, providing maximum lead time to make the call about moving an event earlier or later. If an event is rescheduled, lead time is important to ensure ticketed spectators get the message, whether on social media or other channels. Additionally, accurate weather predictions help reduce needless cancellations or delays, improving the fan experience.

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