Follow us on Twitter @securitybuyer -- Security Buyer is available to buy digitally on Magzter -- Latest issue out now --
Stadium Security - Avigilon
Rogers Centre secures venue and improves operational
efficiencies with Avigilon HD Surveillance System
Avigilon HD Surveillance System would provide superior clarity, maximum coverage, and ease of management
Rogers Centre, formerly known as SkyDome, is one of the most dynamic and versatile entertainment complexes in the world, able to accommodate a variety of events suited for an arena, a domed stadium, and an open-air facility. Famous for its fully retractable roof, Rogers Centre is one of Toronto’s top tourist attractions, hosting more than 2,000 events and more than 60 million visitors since opening in 1989.
As a public venue, Rogers Centre remains vulnerable to security risks that can result in significant damage to property or personal injury, making security a top priority. Focused on providing spectators with a safe, comfortable, and entertaining experience, Rogers Centre deployed the Avigilon HD Surveillance System to secure up to 50,000 seated guests during sports events, concerts, family shows, tradeshows, and conventions. As an added benefit, the Avigilon HD Surveillance System has become an important business tool used by Rogers Centre to more effectively manage events and resources in its ongoing effort to provide the ultimate spectator experience.
Powerful and Flexible Surveillance
As one of the few multi-purpose stadiums in North America, Rogers Centre has deployed a security plan that is flexible and readily adaptable to meet the needs of any event – ranging from 5,000 visitors at a tradeshow to 50,000 during a Blue Jays Major League Baseball game. With a variety of security solutions including access control and analog-based surveillance systems already installed in some parts of the facility, stadium managers opted for an advanced, high definition (HD) surveillance system to cover the main seating area in an effort to better understand, assess, and manage incidents. “Because we host a range of events that require different configurations, we wanted a powerful, flexible, and cost-effective surveillance solution that could give us access to the information we need to make staffing decisions and address incidents to more successfully serve our customers,” said Mario Coutinho, vice president of stadium operations and security at Rogers Centre.
Previously, Rogers Centre had been using a portable surveillance system to manage real-time events, but with only one camera that required a human operator, many incidents were missed. “After an impressive product demonstration, we knew the Avigilon HD Surveillance System would provide superior clarity, maximum coverage, and ease of management – key features we needed to improve our incident management capabilities.”
Leveraging IT for performance gains and cost savings
With a fibre network infrastructure already in place, Rogers Centre was in a position to cost-effectively add the Avigilon HD Surveillance System as a key element of its surveillance solution. “Having the infrastructure in place was a key factor in our decision to deploy the Avigilon HD Surveillance System,” explained Coutinho. “To improve overall coverage, it is simply a matter of adding to the existing infrastructure; saving us both time and budget.” Coutinho was also impressed with Avigilon’s use of JPEG2000 compression technology to reduce bandwidth requirements and make more efficient use of the venue’s existing network. “It’s as simple as plug and play.”
Using Avigilon Control Center Enterprise network video management software (NVMS) with HD Stream Management, security personnel located in the command post monitor the 50,000 seat area and building’s perimeter live during events. Nineteen Avigilon HD 16MP cameras cover the entire seating bowl while a mix of Avigilon HD 1MP, 2MP, 5MP, 11MP, and 16MP cameras monitor the building’s perimeter. Three Avigilon HD Network Video Recorders (NVR) store surveillance footage. “The Avigilon HD Surveillance System is extremely reliable, scalable, and easy to use, dramatically improving our ability to effectively monitor events live and playback video to resolve potential conflicts or address guest complaints after the fact,” added Coutinho.
Value for the dollar
With the infrastructure already in place, making the move to the Avigilon HD Surveillance System was an easy one. “We knew we needed greater coverage in the seating area, but found the cost and management requirements of a traditional analog-based Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) solution prohibitive, given the scope of the area that we needed to cover,” commented Coutinho, who noted that he would have had to employ an operator for each PTZ camera installed. With the Avigilon HD Surveillance System, he was able to achieve complete coverage of the area with dramatically fewer cameras and fewer staff, which meant lower installation and management costs. In fact, Rogers Centre would have had to install hundreds of analog cameras to achieve the same coverage as just 19 Avigilon HD 16MP cameras. “The Avigilon HD Surveillance System simply gave us more value for our dollar.”
Facilitating security management
After going through Avigilon’s online training program, Rogers Centre was up and running on the Avigilon HD Surveillance System in no time. In fact, the team was immediately able to leverage Avigilon Control Center’s advanced management features to view detailed footage of live events and play back recorded video to identify the nature and cause of incidents. “Ease of navigation and superb image quality were key features for us, since we rely on the system to confirm facts about situations and deploy resources accordingly to more effectively manage the incident, whether it’s a medical issue, fan disturbance, or service complaint,” stated Coutinho, who estimates that between 12 and 20 incidents per event require some kind of investigation. “With reliable information in hand, we can respond appropriately to incidents to enhance spectator safety, improve security management practices, and reduce costs.”
Gaining operational efficiencies
Rogers Centre has also been able to achieve significant operational efficiencies. “Sometimes our guests complain about the service in the stands,” said Coutinho. “With the Avigilon HD Surveillance System, we can pinpoint the exact location and time of the complaint and follow-up with the concessionaire or spectators as necessary.” With this information, Rogers Centre can assess existing service levels and find new ways to provide better customer service moving forward.
In the event of liability issues, Coutinho archives footage of potentially problematic situations so the venue has irrefutable evidence for risk mitigation purposes. “Previously, we simply had no information to turn to,” he explained. “At the end of the day, we now have a tool that allows us to make strategic decisions based on the facts – it’s just one simple call up to our command post and we can quickly resolve a situation.”
“Overall, I have been very pleased with our decision to work with the Avigilon team, who has provided strong support in terms of camera placement, training, and technical assistance to help us achieve optimal performance,” said Coutinho. “In the past, I have had a hard time finding a surveillance solution that could meet all my needs, but Avigilon has surpassed my expectations in many ways.”
HD in Stadiums Worldwide
Entertainment venues and sports arenas worldwide are embracing technology to gain efficiencies and enhance the spectator experience – and advanced surveillance solutions are no exception. As an important Toronto landmark and a large, multi-purpose venue, Rogers Centre is always investing in the most innovative and reliable solutions available to improve operations. “Stadium managers from around the world have come to Rogers Centre to see first-hand Avigilon’s performance and advanced features,” concluded Coutinho. “I expect that the Avigilon HD Surveillance System will be embraced by many of these venues because of its merits from both a safety and operational perspective.”
Challenge: Deploy a reliable, flexible, and high-quality surveillance system to create a safe, comfortable, and entertaining spectator experience.
Solution: Using Avigilon Control Center Enterprise network video management software (NVMS) with HD Stream Management, Rogers Centre monitors every seat of the 50,000 capacity area and the building’s perimeter live during events from its command post. Nineteen Avigilon HD Professional 16MP cameras cover the entire seating bowl while a mix of Avigilon HD 1MP, 2MP, 5MP, 11MP, and 16MP cameras monitor the building’s perimeter. Three Avigilon HD Network Video Recorders (NVR) store surveillance footage.
Benefits: Rogers Centre leveraged its existing fibre network to reduce installation and management costs and Avigilon’s use of JPEG2000 compression technology to reduce bandwidth requirements. Achieving complete coverage with fewer cameras and less staff than would be required to operate a traditional analog-based PTZ solution, Rogers Centre further reduced costs. Avigilon’s reliability, superior image clarity, and advanced management features facilitate investigations for quick and efficient resolution, dramatically improving the customer experience. The Avigilon HD Surveillance System also captures operational information used to make strategic customer service decisions and to deal with risk mitigation issues