Integrated Vicon Solutions Deliver More than Security for Professional Athletic Training Facility

Vicon Lets Athletes Keep Focus on Practice

Organization: Pro Athlete Training Facility

  • Provide comprehensive access control and video surveillance for a high-profile training facility used by a national team of professional athletes.
  • Highly restrict access to the public, while making it easy for athletes and employees to move around within the building and grounds.
  • Integrate access control with parking lot and visitor management systems.
  • Adhere to league legal requirement to document players’ time spent on the field through use of security cameras.

An integrated Valerus VMS and VAX access control system secures all interior and exterior doors within the facility. Small, customized, logo-embossed proximity tags, adhered to smart phone cases, make it easy for players and staff to enter and move about the building without carrying separate access credentials. Visitors, including the media, are provided with temporary badges that provide access exclusively to the training field. Motion activated cameras record each time a player enters and exits the playing field,
providing documentation that is stored for a full year within the VMS system.
The Vicon solution provides a sense of security and peace-of-mind for players, coaching and administrative staff. Software features make it easy for the security team to investigate incidents, develop response plants and share video with police. Loss or inappropriate use of access credentials has been eliminated through easy-to-use proximity tags on cell phones.
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 authorized 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.

The VAX Game Plan
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 customized 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Fairbanks International Airport

"Since we’ve installed the system, TSA violations through unsecured doors have gone to zero. Our use of video analytics for back flow prevention is really an incredible use of technology.”

- Mike Supkis, Police and Fire Chief

Sagamore Hill, Home of Theodore Roosevelt

"Vicon gives us peace of mind that Teddy Roosevelt’s treasures will be protected and preserved for future generations.”

- Susan Sarna, Museum Curator and Director of Security

Museum of London

"The networkability of the Vicon system has put us in total control of what we want to do.”

- Steven Cox, Head of Security

Dow Jones

"Dow Jones was impressed with the product and the quality, but the key for them was Vicon’s history of international support. No one else could match it.”

- Jim Tapp, Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Loyola University

"Among the 15 different IP camera models, our committee felt the IQeye was the best camera for the cost, but it also had the best image quality overall.”

- Frank Dale, Manager of Electronic Security

Valerus’ Coverage Zones
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.

Special 360° cameras are mounted high on each of the exterior corners of the building. Valerus 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 are 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 has 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.

Extra Points
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.