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How AI-powered Solutions can be Used
for Safer Sports Venues

How AI-powered Solutions can be Used for Safer Sports Venues

The global sports industry is currently staggering due to the COVID-19 induced recession. Large sporting events were out of the question during the depths of the pandemic, but things are soon going to normalize as more and more people get vaccinated, and fans weary from months of isolation show pent-up enthusiasm for attending sports events.

This brings a series of challenges for sports event managers. Stadium security has never been easy, but post-COVID requirements are going to make it even more complex. Along with ensuring that people have secured access to the right areas and monitoring the perimeter, stadiums also have to comply with COVID-19 regulations.

These tasks can only be carried out using smart video surveillance. AI-based solutions can turn the existing CCTVs and stationery cameras into surveillance machines that analyze data streamed from CCTV and other cameras, and report incidents in real-time. Let’s go through AI-powered solutions that can be used to bolster stadium security.

COVID-19 Compliance Measures

Sooner or later, government authorities are going to contemplate reopening plans. And when that happens, there’s going to be a caveat — effective implementation of COVID-19 compliance measures. Given the size of a stadium, relying solely on the security team would be expensive and inefficient. A better alternative is to deploy the right technologies and plan a comprehensive physical security strategy.

Since stadiums and arenas have thousands of individuals coming in, there needs to be a solution that works really fast and without any compromise on accuracy. This is where non-invasive AI-based thermal scanning solutions can be of great use. They are extremely useful in detecting individuals with elevated skin temperature and reporting them so that they can be isolated.

Currently, Scylla is used for thermal screening at Oman Airports, Daimler factories, and several other locations. Check out our dedicated case studies to learn more.

Preventing Fights

Sports events have always had some sort of tension brewing between those supporting rival teams, which often leads to hooliganism and brawls. It is bound to happen when you have a crowd of 50,000 or more watching a live game. When unnoticed, these can blow out of proportion and cause serious damage.

Almost all stadiums these days have a large number of CCTV cameras, but these are seldom effective. Discrepancies occur largely due to manual monitoring by a small security team, who are expected to watch and inspect live streams from hundreds of cameras simultaneously. Such a tedious routine often ends up with human errors and, as a result, fails in preventing physical threats.

Event organizers can prevent such mishaps by deploying a powerful AI-based video surveillance system at the stadium. Analyzing the data collected through existing camera infrastructure, real-time behavior recognition and anomaly detection solutions can identify dangerous behavioral patterns, detect suspects, and report threats to authorities before they escalate.

Perimeter Intrusion Detection

Undeniably, sports stadiums and arenas present a potential target for terrorists due to the heavy footfall and often the high-profile nature of events. The 2015 attack at the Stade de France, a stadium in Paris, highlighted the need for a swift emergency response, coordination with law enforcement agencies and crisis management mechanisms for effective stadium security.

To tackle this issue, AI video analytics technologies can provide real time restless monitoring and report intrusion in less than a second. Furthermore, AI-powered physical security solutions can be used in conjunction with access control systems to automatically lock certain areas when a threat is detected.

Safer Sports Stadium

Weapon Detection

Unlike airports or campuses of an educational institute, sports stadiums do not perform a background check on those who enter their premises. Anyone who buys a ticket can gain entry into the stadium. Despite all the checks performed using metal detectors and other tools, there have been mass shooting incidents in the past.

These deficiencies can be overcome through the deployment of gun detection technologies along with the existing security infrastructure to detect and isolate threats. For example, Scylla’s gun detection system not only detects a wide variety of weapons, including knives, once they are visible in the video stream but also keeps track of those who were spotted carrying them, in real time. Moreover, it can work with access control systems to help with isolating the threat and minimizing potential damage.

Parking Area Safety

Parking areas are prone to irregularities, especially when they are meant for impatient fans eager to dash off to the bleachers and watch their favorite game. The only way to overcome parking issues at sports events is by implementing smart parking solutions. These allow parking managers to analyze real-time parking occupancy and take up the necessary measures. Doing this manually can be overwhelming because thousands of vehicles arrive and leave around the same time.

Despite these complexities, event managers have to keep the parking area managed with enough room for emergency vehicles such as ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars. This is essential to comply with Homeland Security’s safety rules that require certain parking spots to be reserved for emergency vehicles. Unfortunately, these spots are sometimes occupied by private vehicles, and finding their owners from lengthy CCTV footage can take hours. You can easily eliminate such inefficiencies by using AI-based smart parking solutions that will spot the violation and report immediately.

Utilizing such technologies as Scylla Object Detection System can also help keep track of emergency vehicles when they enter the parking area to make sure that there’s no violation.

Looking for Missing Persons and BOLO people

As in the case of all crowded places, it’s quite common for people to go missing at sports venues and events. Finding them can be difficult, and announcements in between the game may not yield desired results.

Traditionally, in such situations, the security personnel would run through video records manually to find clues about the missing persons or try to spot them in live footage from numerous CCTV cameras. But in large areas such as sports venues with hundreds of cameras, these measures are either ineffective or take hours. Therefore, it is important to use AI video analytics to scale and speed up the search process. Present-day AI-powered technologies like Scylla take only a few seconds to detect the missing person from thousands on the video feed and even trace their movement inside the stadium across the connected cameras. It’s just required to upload a few photos of the person of interest, and the appearance based person search will be initiated.

Law enforcement agencies have their internal protocols and one of the most effective and commonly used is the BOLO people alert protocol. The be on the lookout (BOLO) alerts are issued by the police to locate fugitives, lawbreakers, and other people of interest such as missing persons.

Back in the day, police circulated images of BOLO people or shared their descriptions, and a manual search was conducted. That is no longer necessary because AI video analytics tools like Scylla can scan lengthy video streams and detect the person of interest based on facial biometrics.

Final Takeaway

As the world emerges from the pandemic, sports event organizers will once again welcome spectators to gather in large crowds. This raises a number of security concerns like the threat of intrusion, violence, vandalism, compliance with COVID-19 guidelines, parking area safety issues and more.

To tackle all these, sports venues security should combine manned guarding with access control systems, efficient surveillance infrastructure and AI video analytics tools to protect sports facilities in a more effective and proactive way. With this in mind, Scylla developed AI-powered next-gen solutions that can help avoid human factor errors and provide new tools to boost security and operational effectiveness.

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