One of the most crucial aspects of the Soccer World Cup in South Africa was guaranteeing the safety and security of thousands of visitors. The Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg as well as the Coca-Cola Park Stadium fundamentally modernised their respective video surveillance systems for the event. They both now rely on a consistent IP solution supplied by Dallmeier. The most important stadium throughout the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa was the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg. This is where the opening and closing soccer matches were staged. Steeped in history, the stadium was built in 1987 as the country’s first national stadium. Apart from unforgettable soccer matches the stadium has also been used for many other large-scale events such as in 1990, when Nelson Mandela held his first mass rally there after his release from prison. The stadium accommodates approximately 95,000 spectators and there are ninety-nine VIP lounges and 6,000 business seats. Besides its size, Soccer City impresses with its extraordinary architecture. Its façade is reminiscent of a calabash, a traditional African clay pot. The Coca-Cola Park Stadium in Johannesburg, which was originally built in 1928 under the name Ellis Park as a rugby stadium, has also expanded its seating capacities. Now, a total of 70,000 enthusiastic fans can be seated at the stadium. The necessary reconstruction works were already completed so the stadium could be used during the FIFA Confederation Cup in 2009.

“Besides providing for increased safety and security for the visitors the new IP video systems also offer the stadiums a clear financial benefit”

The additional numbers of cheering fans also increases the risk for potentially dangerous situations. Uncontrolled crowds, a tight squeeze, or physical fights between different fan groups are among the scenarios most feared by security staff. In order to prevent any such escalations, a sophisticated video security system by Dallmeier and local system integrator Engineered Systems Solutions, provides for the necessary overview. Jose de Oliveira, Manager at Engineered Systems Solutions, explains: “We rely on Dallmeier products because the technology is highly reliable and, yet, at the same time, easy to use for the security operator.” “Besides providing for increased safety and security for the visitors the new IP video systems also offer the stadiums a clear financial benefit. Considering the numerous international fans it’s an advantage that the system can help to rebut potential foreign legal claims in case anything should happen”, says Frank Oetjen, who is the responsible sales manager at Dallmeier.

Detailed images

When it came to choosing the cameras, it was decided to go with Dallmeier network cameras. The system now includes both fixed dome and Domera high-speed PTZ cameras. The IP cameras are equipped with the tried and trusted Cam_inPIX technology, which allows for the recording of clear, high-contrast images, even under the most difficult lighting conditions. Those include frequent changes between shadows and lights as they occur in sports stadiums. Individual persons’ faces can also be clearly identified at great distances. The camera images are recorded on Dallmeier DMS 240 IPS recorders. These video network systems of the “In Memory of Leonardo” series, with up to 24 IP-based video channels, support MPEG-4, MJPEG, and H.264 compression. The integrated PentaplexPlus functionality far exceeds the usual five Pentaplex standards. The DMS 240 IPS allows simultaneous recording, streaming, backup, live display and playback at the recorder or via a network. Additionally, remote network access for configuration and transcoding via a network is also possible. Every channel can record at a frame rate of up to 25 fps. The Linux operating system on Flash memory guarantees highest reliability and three high-performance fans, provide optimal ventilation. In the case of a hard disk failure the Easy-Change functionality of the exchangeable hard disks located at the front of the device ensures for highest possible maintenance and friendliness.

SeMSy management system

The respective systems are controlled using the high-performance Security Management System. SeMSy enables the easy control and administration of different streams of data and offers live display and recording of video/audio data at any point within a networked system. Operating procedures and complex controls can be stored so that the security personnel at both the Soccer City and Coca-Cola Park Stadiums can operate their systems conveniently and intuitively. The graphic user interface, into which site plans of the stadiums were integrated, gives every user a quick overview of the cameras and dedicated monitors via a comprehensive graphic display. The systems are complemented by several VMC-1 “Eagle” video management centres. With its three components (joystick, Jog-Shuttle, and keyboard with monitor) it combines, neatly arranged, all the functionalities that one can expect from a modern video management system. Riaan Kruger, Regional Representative of Dallmeier Southern Africa, explains: “Despite the fact that the installation is highly complex, the operation of the system remains highly convenient and intuitive for the security personnel.”

Exterior surveillance and train station

Aside from the stadiums themselves the outdoor areas are also monitored by high-resolution Dallmeier IP cameras. Depending on the area of application, the system uses high-speed PTZ dome cameras, box cameras or vandal-resistant dome cameras. The latter also provide for the necessary security around critical areas. Therefore the complete surroundings of the stadiums, including streets and access roads, are reliably monitored. The combination of surveillance systems across various locations consequently enhances the security throughout each of the precincts. The security concept is rounded off by incorporating the two train stations which are close to the stadiums into the surveillance system. The Nasrec train station alone, which is just a short walk from the Soccer City Stadium, is monitored by over 100 network cameras, and the same applies to the New Doornfontein Station at the Coca-Cola Park Stadium. In the course of the modernisation works, the train stations were also completely rebuilt. Now, the new and well-lit train stations correspond to all the latest requirements, including security precautions. “The stadiums currently have no plan for any further expansion works, but you never know what the future brings”, says Jose de Oliveira. In any case, the video systems could easily keep up with any construction developments as its open architecture makes it flexible and scalable for the future.

“Despite the fact that the installation is highly complex, the operation of the system remains highly convenient and intuitive for the security personnel”