THE MAGAZINE

Scoring One For Security

By Megan Gates

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.

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