Stadium Security: Balancing visitor safety with visitor enjoyment

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Protecting sporting events where large groups of people gather has been at the forefront of the security industry of late, especially with the recent completion of Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Thousands of miles and continents apart, both events attract thousands of spectators from around the world to cheer on their favorite teams or support their home country. Despite their differences, with the Super Bowl celebrating the big game of one of America’s favorite sports and the Winter Olympics celebrating multi-national competition, they both have many commonalities from a security standpoint.

Stadium and event security are two of the most challenging security scenarios because they both require calculated combinations of manpower and technology to continuously monitor large groups of people. And even with a series of security checkpoints along the way to scan tickets and to manually check bags and backpacks to guard against banned items, these events still require a continuously watchful eye to quickly identify problems and ensure crowds do not get out of control.

That’s where surveillance technology comes into play. In the last five years, upgrading surveillance in stadiums has been one of the most sought after projects because it provides the ability to remotely monitor an event from a single command center and to proactively respond to an issue before it unfolds.

As part of Panama’s preparations to host the 39th Baseball World Cup in 2011, country officials outfitted four baseball stadiums in four different cities with new IP-based surveillance technology, which enabled security personnel to quickly identify problems and maintain control of potential security incidents. With the American Dynamics VideoEdge Network Video Recorder (NVR) and the victor Unified Client as the video management solution, these stadiums were able to monitor live surveillance footage for faster response as well be able to quickly search through recorded video after an incident occurred.

Fenway Park, home to the 2013 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox and Major League Baseball’s oldest stadium, provides yet another example where major upgrades to the surveillance systems at this stadium served as the foundation for a recent, large-scale security improvement project. With 35,000 fans coming in and out of the stadium on game day, it was time for the stadium to install an IP-based surveillance system to improve security’s view throughout the entire facility and to protect spectators. Integrating American Dynamics video solutions with Kantech access control, Fenway Park was able to update their security system and poise themselves for future innovation.

Sporting events are not the only large-scale surveillance challenges; take for instance the Hollywood Bowl in California, with an audience over 18,000 and so much talent on display, it represents a daunting security challenge. Every corner of the stage, parking lots, and neighboring freeways are carefully monitored to ensure that people and traffic are moving freely. The stage manager relies heavily upon the live video to ensure the show starts on time, allows him to call for more ushers to move people along, or delay the opening act if necessary.

Next time you attend an event, whether it’s a baseball game, football game, or a music concert, you can most certainly expect that surveillance is playing an important role to keep both the facility and spectators safe.

If you would like to learn more about what Security Solutions are best for you, contact MCC today! 


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