The MetLife Stadium, a $1.6 billion construction, opened in April 2010 and boasts a seating capacity of 82 500. The stadium wanted to replace 26 IP cameras located at the perimeter gates of the stadium and also to deploy 180° panoramic-view cameras in place of the 27 pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras that covered the exterior perimeter.
Given the large crowds they attract, each football game, concert or other event has its share of unique challenges, including monitoring fan conduct, crowd management situations and dealing with medical emergencies. MetLife Stadium’s main goal in upgrading its surveillance system was to ensure a safe, secure environment that would contribute to a memorable guest experience.
Incident prevention and monitoring were additional key goals of the project. MetLife Stadium staff members are challenged with trying to determine what happened after an incident occurred. There are often various versions and accounts from those involved and from independent witnesses. Clear recorded video is needed to reveal what actually happened.
Prior to the new camera system being installed, MetLife Stadium used four PTZ cameras to monitor the seating bowl area and these cameras were only used reactively when an incident came to the attention of the stadium’s command centre. With the new camera system, every seat in the seating bowl is monitored at all times. Being able to have its command centre personnel go back in time and review everyone’s actions is an extremely valuable investigative tool for stadium security personnel and for public safety agencies. Among the stadium security management team’s other goals are to identify and examine objects left behind, monitor security screening procedures, investigate slip-and-fall incidents, observe staff performance and provide surveillance for counterterrorism efforts.
Because MetLife Stadium was designed to be a network-controlled building, IP cameras were part of the original design. When it came time to install cameras to cover the seating bowl, IP was the only platform considered, according to Daniel DeLorenzi, director of security for MetLife Stadium.
“To run an analogue system would have been cost-prohibitive due to cabling, and the cables would be single-purpose. If upgrades were necessary, the project would have to be completed all over again,” DeLorenzi said.
DeLorenzi and the rest of MetLife Stadium’s security management team turned to Robert McCabe, owner of Corporate Security Services, Inc., located in Edison, N.J., to assist in selecting IP surveillance components and to design and implement the video surveillance solution. After a careful evaluation process, an optimal surveillance solution was built around megapixel imaging technology from Arecont Vision to ensure wide area coverage with extreme detail and to enable forensic zooming on live and recorded video.
Corporate Security Services deployed more than 130 Arecont Vision megapixel cameras throughout MetLife Stadium, including MegaVideo Compact 10-megapixel (MP) cameras located around the bowl of the stadium to provide a view of every seat in every section. SurroundVideo panoramic 8 MP cameras provide 180° coverage of entrances and common areas and MegaDome cameras with remote focus and wide dynamic range (WDR) are located in the stadium’s security entrance areas.
Arecont Vision WDR cameras provide detailed video where bright and dark images exist in the same scene. The Arecont Vision megapixel cameras are controlled using Genetec Security Center, a unified video management system (VMS) which is monitored by a centralised security command center within the stadium.
Because of the high level of detail it provides, one Arecont Vision SurroundVideo panoramic camera covers the same area as multiple IP VGA resolution cameras. By using Arecont Vision cameras to reduce overall camera counts, MetLife Stadium’s security team was able to achieve its goal of implementing an unobtrusive high-performance video surveillance system. With a reduction in the total number of cameras implemented, the system can be more efficiently managed.
MetLife Stadium’s policy is to initiate real-time recording 24-hours prior to game day, at which time every camera within the stadium is recorded at its full frame rate. Incidents are recorded prior to, during and for several hours after a game or other event. This allows the security staff to easily search and play-back detailed video of any reported incidents from any of the cameras to determine what happened.
The excellent image quality provided by the Arecont Vision megapixel cameras makes it possible for stadium security to identify individuals, and the high frame rates allow them to see actions that occur. Additional benefits of the Arecont Vision cameras include day/night video capabilities where mechanical infrared (IR) cut filters are used for clear images in low light, H.264 compression to reduce network and storage costs and Power over Ethernet (PoE) to reduce cabling costs.
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