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Scoring One For Security

Yankee Stadium. The Rose Bowl. Wembley. Lambeau Field. Each of these stadiums has witnessed its share of athletic greats perform spectacular triumphs, or watched in horror as the home team let victory escape its grasp. For Brazilians, the largest stadium that plays host to such wondrous moments is Maracanã Stadium. The venue will again take the spotlight in June as the country hosts the FIFA World Cup. To ensure the safety of patrons and players, stadium management upgraded security to include a building management system (BMS) that could integrate cameras, access control, and fire alarms.

When FIFA (Fédération Interna­tion­ale de Football Association) awarded Brazil the 2014 World Cup in 2007, the country was told it would be required to build new stadiums or renovate existing ones to meet the security criteria of the association. President of the Brazilian Football Confederation Ricardo Teixeira proposed razing Maracanã and rebuilding a new stadium with the same name. However, his proposition was met with huge protests throughout Brazil, and the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, which is home to the stadium, rejected the idea outright.

As a compromise, the exterior of Maracanã was maintained, and construction company Odebrecht was brought in to remodel the interior of the stadium to bring it up to FIFA regulations. Odebrecht rebuilt the stands surrounding the field to bring them closer to the grass and to create seats for 73,531 spectators, because FIFA requires all ticket holders to have seats within the stadium instead of allowing standing-room-only sections. The company also added a parking area, new changing and locker rooms, press boxes, hospitality suites, and a rain cover.

While the stadium was undergoing a construction facelift, Odebrecht hired Prosegur, an international se­cu­rity integrator, in December 2011 to beef up the inner workings of the stadium. Alberto Croso, Prosegur’s corporate director for worldwide strategies, is the former head of the company’s technology division for Brazil and oversaw the Maracanã Stadium project. The first priority for the operation was developing a robust solution for a new network that was completely IP-based and could operate a CCTV system, a building management system (BMS), emergency evacuation, access control, and a fire system at the same time.

“Because we have CCTV, IP TV, all the access control, and visitors coming in with their tickets, nothing can be left to chance,” Croso says. The company decided to work with Cisco to develop a system that would allow 80 gigabytes per second to flow through the system, allowing for simultaneous transmission of the stadium’s CCTV system and the other systems in place.

This was vital as the CCTV system within Maracanã—Endura by Pelco by Schneider Electric—has more than 420 cameras. But that installation pales in comparison to the BMS that Prosegur installed. The BMS is a software system called Andover Continuum, also manufactured by Pelco by Schneider Electric. It forms the base of the technology security of Maracanã, integrating with the CCTV system, access control, intrusion detection, and fire and emergency evacuation systems. The network was established early on in the project and the additional subsystems were installed throughout 2012 and 2013 to allow Prosegur to integrate and build off the IP network.

This level of integration is the first of its kind for a World Cup stadium, as many of the systems in place at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa were standalone systems, Croso says. This type of integration was especially important for emergency situations; the BMS will automatically make sure all air conditioning units within the stadium are turned off and all turnstiles and doors are unlocked so people can evacuate quickly. This is done through the combination of the fire system, Honeywell’s NOTIFIER system; the public announcement system, Electro-Voice by Bosch; and the BMS.

In addition, the integration allows the emergency evacuation system to be integrated into the communication system within the stadium. The communication system is not only used to announce plays within the match, but also to com­municate emergency information in a crisis.

Another key part of Maracanã’s secu­rity is the access control system that restricts areas of the stadium reserved for stadium staff, FIFA personnel, and athletes. This system is from Lenel and is equipped with 165 doors that require badges—25 of which require fingerprint authentication to access rooms with higher levels of security—all of which are run over the IP system. It’s also tied into the intrusion detection system, which has 127 different sensors throughout Maracanã to alert security staff to a breach.

Prosegur also installed an access control system from SKIDATA for visitor areas. It has more than 190 turnstiles as well as handheld readers that staff members use to scan tickets. The system is also designed to operate online and offline, allowing people to enter and exit Maracanã even if the stadium loses power.

A year before each World Cup, FIFA traditionally requires the host country to hold the Confederation Cup to test its ability to handle the number of people expected to attend the event and to make sure that the facilities are up to scratch. Complying with the standard, Brazil hosted the Confederation Cup in June 2013 and, while its team took home the grand prize, Maracanã’s security still needed some work.

Approximately 70,000 people at­tended the final of the cup at Maracanã, and after operating all of its systems with a test crowd, Croso said Prosegur had to make some final updates to the security system. “We had to better calibrate the communication efforts, and the system, perhaps including an additional switch here and there to make sure that things were working perfectly,” he explains.

This included analyzing the traffic flow in the network. Prosegur improved the configuration of the policies for quality of service to enhance the performance of the wireless area network (WAN). The WAN was also expanded to administrative areas of the stadium, and some of the field loudspeaker locations for the PA system were also moved for “ideal coverage,” Croso says.

In addition to communication sys­tems changes, Prosegur also added cameras to cover some of the “sensitive areas where the original cameras did not provide ideal visualization” and relocated some of the turnstiles that ticketholders will pass through, after studying how fans entered the stadium for the Confederation Cup, Croso explains.

Prosegur also tested each of the subsystems to make sure they were functioning properly. “It was good to understand where the integration perhaps required some smoothing out,” Croso says. “We passed the test, and regardless of the requirements, we might do some additional calibration. But it was very useful to make sure that we’re ready for more games, more events, which will take place in July 2014.”