When are they coming? Understanding and forecasting the timeline of arrivals at FC Barcelona stadium on match days

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Feliu Serra Burriel, Fernando Cucchietti, Pedro Delicado, Eduardo Graells Garrido


Futbol Club Barcelona operates the largest stadium in Europe (with a seating capacity of almost one hundred thousand people) and manages recurring sports events. These are influenced by multiple conditions (time and day of the week, weather, adversary) and affect city dynamics -- e.g., peak demand for related services like public transport and stores.

We study fine grain audience entrances at the stadium segregated by visitor type and gate to gain insights and predict the arrival behavior of future games, with a direct impact on the organizational performance and productivity of the business. 

We can forecast the timeline of arrivals at gate level 72 hours prior to kickoff, facilitating operational and organizational decision-making by anticipating potential agglomerations and audience behavior. 

Furthermore, we can identify patterns for different types of visitors and understand how relevant factors affect them. 

These findings directly impact commercial and business interests and can alter operational logistics, venue management, and safety.