Located in the Meadowlands and part of the MetLife Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey, MetLife Stadium is home to the New York Football Giants and the New York Jets. The $1.6 billion stadium was financed and built by a joint venture between the two teams, who operate it through the New Meadowlands Stadium Company. The stadium opened in April 2010 and boasts a seating capacity of 82,500, making it one of the NFL®’s largest stadiums. On February 2, 2014, MetLife Stadium played host to Super Bowl® XLVIII.
MetLife Stadium wanted to replace 26 IP cameras located at the perimeter gates of the stadium and also to deploy 180° panoramic view cameras in place of the 27 pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras that covered the exterior perimeter. Given the large crowds they attract, each football game, concert, or other event has its share of unique challenges, including monitoring fan conduct, crowd management situations, and dealing with medical emergencies. MetLife Stadium’s main goal in upgrading its surveillance system was to ensure a safe, secure environment that would contribute to a memorable guest experience. Incident prevention and monitoring were additional key goals of the project. MetLife Stadium staff members are challenged with trying to determine what happened after an incident occurred. There are often various versions and accounts from those involved and from independent witnesses. Clear recorded video is needed to reveal what actually happened. Prior to the new camera system being installed, MetLife Stadium used four PTZ cameras to monitor the seating bowl area and these cameras were only used reactively when an incident came to the attention of the stadium’s Command Center. With the new camera system, every seat in the seating bowl is monitored at all times. Being able to have their Command Center personnel go back in time and review everyone’s actions is an extremely valuable investigative tool for stadium security personnel and for public safety agencies. Among the stadium security management team’s other goals, are to identify and examine objects left behind, monitor security-screening procedures, investigate slip-and-fall incidents, observe staff performance, and provide surveillance for counterterrorism efforts.
Because MetLife Stadium was designed to be a network-controlled building, IP cameras were part of the original design. When it came time to install cameras to cover the seating bowl, IP was the only platform considered, according to Daniel DeLorenzi, Director of Security for MetLife Stadium.
“To run an analog system would have been cost-prohibitive due to cabling and the cables would be single-purpose. If upgrades were necessary, the project would have to be completed all over again,” DeLorenzi said.