Millions of football fans have been packing into stadiums across Russia to watch football matches over the past few weeks, culminating in a victory for France. Little did they know that they were helped in this by KONE technology.
It starts from Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, where many of the teams and fans depended upon KONE’s moving walkways, elevators and escalators to get them to their destination.
Similarly, KONE has installed and currently services escalators and elevators for six of the twelve stadiums where matches were held, including the 78,011-capacity Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, which hosted the opening match and the final last Sunday on July 15.
All in all, more than 200 KONE elevators are used at the different stadiums and at the airport. In fact, odds are that if you have watched a match at a stadium, you’ll have ridden a KONE escalator to get to your seat.
On the ball, all the time
Preparing a mega competition like this is no easy task. Apart from ensuring that the equipment is reliable enough to handle the enormous mass of people, there is also the security aspect to consider.
“A lot of inspections were held in the stadiums before the tournament, some of them in cooperation with Russian security services,” says Sergey Brazhnikov, KONE project manager and football fan. “They checked everything, including the shafts.”
Planning for the event began well in advance, starting with the Sheremetyevo airport, which built a new terminal as part of its long-term development plan. The airport project was a major undertaking for KONE, which included solutions for the new Terminal B, cargo terminal and north and south stations for the inter-terminal underground passage.
That’s not all. Five of the six stadiums KONE is involved with are completely new, and the central one – Luzhniki in Moscow – was modernized so thoroughly with KONE participation that it is practically a new venue.
“There was high pressure right from the beginning to meet the strict deadlines due to the importance of the project. We had meetings with the customer at least every week to check our progress,” explains Brazhnikov, who was responsible for the airport project. “During the project implementation there were also regular inspections of the airport by FIFA officials and representatives of the Russian government.”
People Flow for everybody
Yet, getting the various People Flow solutions in place was just part of KONE’s contribution to the tournament. There is also the servicing and maintenance to consider.
KONE has been entrusted with service contracts for the six stadiums, so staff needed to be on hand to make sure all the players, coaches, journalists and fans could move freely and enjoy their experience.
“All of our service people required accreditation for the tournament and for each game they needed new permits to stadium zones, including VIP areas. It was challenging,” says Brazhnikov.
Demanding deadlines, intense scrutiny, tight security and high expectations both from the organizers and fans made the event one to remember. And KONE strives to provide the same quality solutions to all of their customers.
“The most rewarding thing is that everything was done on time and the customers were satisfied,” says Brazhnikov. “We have to guarantee smooth People Flow for everybody.”