Security is important for any construction project, but the stakes are higher when the tenants are a team of professional athletes, the parking lot is filled with sports cars and luxury vehicles, the property includes a multi-million-dollar turf field, and a professional training facility where exercises held there must be guarded as corporate secrets. To meet these challenges, Vicon recently completed work with a professional national sports team to install an end-to-end, tightly integrated video management and access control solution that relies exclusively on Vicon software, hardware and cameras. Due to sensitive security demands the team remains anonymous in this piece.

The professional team’s Security Director says that he needed a system that would capture footage of everything going on, inside and around the perimeter of the facility, and make sure that access was limited to only authorised personnel. At the same time, the technology needed to make it easy for players and employees to get through security. “It doesn’t do anyone any good if a system is so difficult to use that people just prop the doors open. We had to blend those two things together,” he says.

VAX access controllers

Twenty-six doors, including both exterior exits and interior doors throughout the building, have been secured with VAX access control door controllers. Employee’s permissions are based on their jobs. Administrators can’t enter the locker rooms or training areas and players can’t enter the marketing offices.

Many of the players come to the facility wearing athletic apparel and prefer not to carry around a wallet and key card, so Vicon created customised proximity tags embossed with the team’s logo, designed for players and employees to stick on the back of their cell phone cases. This turned out to be a popular solution, as the players always carry their cell phones with them and the tags are attractive and support the team’s branding.

VAX door panels The panic buttons are wired to open inputs on the nearest VAX door panels

In the world of professional sports, athletes must sometimes be protected from overly aggressive fans. This particular training facility is equipped with panic buttons at several spots within the building that allow anyone who notices a problem to immediately instigate a lock down. The panic buttons are wired to open inputs on the nearest VAX door panels, eliminating the need for long electrical runs back to the server room.

The player’s practice field is accessible through an external gate that’s used by the media, and VAX provides the ability to control visitors who enter there. As needed, members of the press are given temporary credentials that can unlock the gate only for a designated time period before expiring.

Parking lot video surveillance The players’ parking lot also leverages the VAX system

The players’ parking lot also leverages the VAX system. The transmitters that players use to open the parking lot gate from their cars are integrated with VAX, providing a record of each time the gate is activated, and by whom. In addition, a 12MP camera captures very high-resolution video of the vehicle entering and exiting, along with the person driving it, and that video is linked to the respective access control event. “Very expensive cars are left in the lot for extended periods, when the team is traveling, and this makes sure that absolutely nobody gets into that parking lot who shouldn’t be there – not even the office staff,” says the Security Director.

The facility’s surveillance system includes close to 50 cameras, inside and outside the building, connected to Vicon’s Video Management System, Valerus. They range from 2MP to 12MP, depending on their use, and all are from Vicon. Any doorway equipped with a VAX controller has a dedicated camera mapped to it, so that video verification can be made of anyone entering a restricted area.

Valerus VMS and 360-degree network cameras Special 360° cameras are mounted high on each of the exterior corners of the building

Special 360° cameras are mounted high on each of the exterior corners of the building. Valerus VMS software dewarps their fisheye image and breaks it into four separate views from each camera. Those four cameras provide the security team with 16 different camera views from around the building’s perimeter, providing a very cost-effective way to cover such an expansive area. The same type of cameras is used within the team’s equipment room, where warehouse style racking is filled with valuable inventory.

The system is managed by the team’s head of security and head of IT. Valerus’ thin-client web-browser interface provides monitoring access to support staff, including the team’s receptionist. The system’s video search capabilities have made it easy for them to conduct investigations. Video has helped to identify vehicles that were improperly driving on the turf field, document a theft on the property, and trouble-shoot when the parking lot gate had mechanical problems.

Motion activated cameras Special motion-activated 2MP cameras are positioned at every door that provides access between the players’ area and the field

One of the more unusual uses for the system is not related to security at all. The team’s professional athletic league requires team management to retain a full year’s documentation of the time each player spends on the practice field. To do this, special motion-activated 2MP cameras are positioned at every door that provides access between the players’ area and the field. Anyone walking from the field to the building triggers the motion sensor and is recorded in high-definition video. That way, if a player initiates a legal battle saying he practiced too long, there is clear documentation of exactly when he was on and off the field.

Vicon’s Valerus delivers powerful, end-to-end security solutions that are easy to manage. Its work with this professional sports team also highlights its ability to deliver convenience to employees and operational efficiencies to management.

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