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Seattle Mariners upgrade Safeco Field security with Milestone Systems

Seattle Mariners upgrade Safeco Field security with Milestone Systems
In 2013, the Pacific Northwest’s only Major League Baseball stadium and home of the Seattle Mariners, Safeco Field, upgraded its video security system to better monitor, protect and secure the 2,000,000+ fans who attend games each season, as well as the facility and physical assets within the property.

Their first surveillance system, installed during the stadium’s inaugural season in 1999, relied heavily on coaxial cabling. Trying to scale out the analog system would have required significant rewiring at a cost-prohibitive expense, so the security team chose to upgrade to an IP network surveillance system that would increase operational efficiency and be easy to monitor by the full-time security staff.

Milestone Systems' XProtect IP video management software (VMS) has since been deployed throughout Safeco Field for its ease of integration and ability to efficiently network current and future camera installations. Milestone Mobile is deployed with its video push technology for the security manager and director of security to have access on the go.

All of the stadium’s 222 cameras are now connected and controlled via the IP network for high-quality, efficient digital video viewing live and recorded, in playback, and used for forensic analysis. Older analog cameras are digitized through Axis and Sony video encoders. The Mariners continue to upgrade their network of cameras to provide additional coverage throughout the ballpark.

Integrated systems are more efficient
Whether hosting a Major League Baseball game or other event, protecting the safety of the occupants of the venue and mitigating liability litigation are key requirements in the Safeco Field security team’s role. Incidents at the ballpark that are criminal in nature which are captured on the surveillance network can be exported as needed for investigation and prosecution.

The Milestone solution is open architecture so it can be integrated with additional security features in the stadium, and management is considering connecting with access control, burglar alarms and panic buttons, among others. The options are endless with the Milestone open platform technology.

Centerplate, the Mariners hospitality partner at Safeco Field, also upgraded and integrated their analog camera solution into Safeco Field’s Milestone solution. This integration saved Centerplate money by merging their video system into the stadium’s security network which gives Safeco Field security full visibility into secured areas where they had no access before. With cameras in the stock locations, outside kitchens and cash handling areas, the stadium security and concessions teams are able to work together to tie all cameras into one efficient Milestone-managed system.

A Solution with an Eye to the Future
“The stadium had been getting by with a more or less obsolete DVR system that could not provide fast review of incidents as they were happening. Bringing in a new version of a DVR solution would not have provided the extensive coverage Milestone offers,” said Bob Kusche, IPVS Security Solution Advisor at Milestone Platinum Partner Differential Networks. “With the Milestone software, the network load was perfectly acceptable to their IT department, and we now have the capability to increase the security features in the ballpark as we further expand coverage.”

The ability to install flexible, scalable Milestone software on standard servers versus a less capable series of NVRs was the biggest up-front advantage for the Mariners security team. Features such as mapping and sharing access to cameras with multiple users has helped the Mariners deploy increased security measures.

Christopher Markham, Service Account Manager at Differential Networks, said: “Additional cameras and the expense of cabling and installation that used to cost up to thousands of dollars are now not nearly as prohibitive. We can now be smarter with the types of cameras we install thanks to Milestone’s support of multiple brands and models.”

“Before Milestone, looking for one or two people in a crowd of 47,000 was like finding a needle in a haystack,” said Christopher Ellis, Director of Safety & Security, Seattle Mariners. “Today, rather than searching laboriously through game footage of the crowd, we can find and export our video in minutes and find that ‘needle’ efficiently, keeping the ballpark’s guests and assets safe. I’m very happy with Milestone and look forward to successful seasons, on and off the field!”

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