Football has for many years suffered from a minority who’s anti-social behaviour has cast a shadow on the ‘beautiful’ game. These individuals rely on the anonymity afforded by being in a large crowd. Even with the introduction of CCTV, these individuals can be hard to positively identify.
But times and technology are changing and the ability to hide in the crowd is now becoming a thing of the past. This is due to Canadian company Avigilon’s, High Definition CCTV cameras and their lossless compression technology.
In Germany the SGL arena needed a surveillance system that allowed them to have a complete overview of their stadium to ensure spectator safety, meet regulatory requirements and also reduce their liability costs. FC Augsburg football club play their home games at the SGL Arena, their stadium holds over 30,000 spectators and regularly ‘sells out’ often with ‘lively’ football supporters.
“To ensure a complete overview of the situation in the stands, we needed a surveillance system that is reliable, easy to use, and delivers highly-detailed images,” said Edgar Schweininger, security manager at SGL Arena. “With the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system in place, we can identify problems early and take appropriate action before situations get out of hand.”
Security personnel manage the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system using Avigilon Control Centre Enterprise Network Video Management Software (NVMS) with High-Definition Stream Management (HDSM) technology. The Arena installed Avigilon 16 MP JPEG2000 high-definition Pro cameras to monitor stands, entrances, and exits, and other common areas. Avigilon high-definition IP cameras are monitored live during games in the stadium’s state-of-the-art control room. The Arena stores up to 30 days of continuous surveillance footage on an Avigilon network video recorder.
Since deploying the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system, stadium managers have not only seen a big improvement in their ability to identify and resolve incidents, they are also able to conduct their investigations in half the time than it took using their old analogue-based system. “Because of its ease-of-use, sophisticated frame-by-frame search and playback functionality, and advanced operability, the Avigilon Control Center software has had a dramatic impact on our overall investigative success,” noted Schweininger, who has also been able to share surveillance footage with local law enforcement for criminal investigation. “The police have used our high-definition surveillance footage in their own investigations and have found it very easy to use.”
While image quality was a key selling feature for live monitoring, SGL Arena managers were also impressed with Avigilon’s high-quality recording and storage capabilities. Leveraging Avigilon’s High-Definition Stream Management (HDSM) technology, which efficiently compresses and preserves image quality while intelligently managing high-definition image transmission, stadium managers have 24×7 access to indisputable evidence whenever needed. “The Avigilon solution lets us record and store extremely high-quality footage for future reference,” said Schweininger. “We know that the evidence is there.”
A lot can go wrong at football stadiums – from operational issues to medical emergencies, vandalism, theft, and fan disturbances. At stake is the loss of significant revenue or, even worse, human lives. By delivering superior image clarity, advanced search capabilities, and system reliability, the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system has enabled the SGL Arena to meet its top security goal: ensure the safety of its players and fans. “With Avigilon, we can address unruly and destructive behaviour directly and reduce associated liability costs,” concluded Schweininger. “Spectators know that we have installed a state-of-the-art surveillance system that can identify them with unmatched accuracy, which has not only boosted the overall sense of security, but has also improved spectator behaviour in the stands.”
Avigilon solutions are highly scalable and the same benefits can be achieved in a number of other environments where it is important to be able to accurately identify individuals and other specific details.