Keeping an eye on stadium security whilst fans watch the game

Roy Alves

Around the country and the globe, sports fans are enjoying their favourite football games, rugby matches and other sporting fixtures on TV as well as within stadiums. While these fans are keeping their eyes on the games, most stadiums today employ various stadium security surveillance systems to keep an eye on the crowds, in order to make the experience a safer and in many case more enjoyable experience.

Sometimes, like last Saturday, things can go horribly wrong. During the Nedbank Cup semi-final at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, violence erupted which resulted in several security guards having to be hospitalised and damage to the stadium to the tune of R2.6 million.

“Stadiums gather large crowds of people over short periods of time. Yet, visitors rightfully expect high operational efficiency and a safe experience, without any incidents,” says Roy Alves, Country Manager, MEA, Axis Communications.

To help ensure visitor satisfaction, stadium management and authorised stakeholders needs to be provided with the relevant information, to enable them to make informed decisions when needed the most.

The security level at stadiums greatly depends on the capacity to efficiently detect, monitor and respond to potential and real security threats. Therefore, it is important to have a modern surveillance system in place, enabling monitoring of all critical areas at all times, including:

  • Entrances and exits
  • Ticket stands and ticket offices
  • Bleachers and escape routes
  • Food and beverage stands
  • Corridors, hallways and stairways

This will allow stadium management to have access to high-definition live and recorded video from any authorised computer or mobile device, and provide them with seamless integration with their access control system, smoke as well as fire alarms and emergency buttons to enable quick verification and/or response.

Moreover, stadium management will be able to efficiently monitor entrances, exits, ticket stands, escape routes, stairways and food as well as beverage stands, have an automatic camera tampering alarm to ensure continuous operation, along with vandal resistant cameras for cost-efficient operation and maintenance.

Furthermore, they will automatic alerts for trespassing and perimeter breach, be able to more efficiently investigate incidents through quick access to relevant video, and video quality that’s valid in court, while enabling centralised monitoring for optimal crowd and traffic control.

Adding an analytical layer

Analytics will allow for intelligent video solutions to monitor key indoor and outdoor areas for high volume traffic spots. This enables security staff to more easily and quickly recognise out-of-place objects, suspicious people and to analyse situations in real-time, to better detect potential threats. Coupled with more sophisticated security strategies, stadium personnel can easily alert those close to an incident so they can respond immediately.

“By developing comprehensive security management plans and providing better in-house training to security personnel, stadium management will help keep people safe. Along with these measures, more and more venues are upgrading existing analogue solutions to intelligent surveillance technology, to fill in security gaps and improve the total fan experience,” explains Alves.

Intelligent surveillance solutions, integrated with analytics software, help stadium security personnel improve situational awareness, identification and operational insight. This greatly assists stadium management in keeping attendees safe and ensure fans have a great time at the event.