Spectacular Euro 2012 stadium with 440 cameras

The European champions Spain started the Euro 2012 football championship with a prestigious match against Italy at the PGE Arena Gdansk on June 10. The newly built amber inspired stadium has capacity of 44,000 spectators and it is also the arena with the most security cameras - 440 pieces.
The European football championship is the world's third largest sporting event. This summer's tournament was hosted by Poland and Ukraine. As usual, several large stadiums were built for the tournament. One of the most spectacular is the PGE Arena in Gdansk, Poland. Gdansk is known as the world capital of amber and it is the gold shimmering stones that gave rise to the stadium's design. Its construction began in 2008 and the home team Lechia Gdansk played their first match at the PGE in August 2011. During the Championships, three group matches and the quarter-final between Germany and Greece were played here.

440 security cameras
The arena has 440 network cameras. This can be compared with 92 cameras at the Allianz Arena in Munich, where the Champions League final was played, 95 cameras at the Amsterdam Arena and 140 at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium. But it is not only the number of cameras that distinguishes the PGE Arena from many others. On the infield, eight cameras have been mounted on height-adjustable poles. The cameras are directed towards the lower grandstands. Initially, the idea was to use 16 poles, but Andrzej Mierzejewski from Instel MM, who designed the camera system, wanted to deploy as few poles as possible.
"I managed to persuade the client that we should wait for the new Bosch Autodome HD1080 cameras. Without them there would have been 16 poles, but now everyone is happy with the result", he says.

The angle was a challenge
Two poles are placed on each side of the pitch. They are complemented with ten cameras which are mounted on the inside of the roof facing into the stadium. The only part of the pitch and the stands that the cameras do not cover is the center circle.
According to Andrzej Mierzejewski, camera angles were one of the major challenges. If the cameras were placed too high, it would have been difficult to be able to identify a person.
This is when the idea of placing cameras on poles was born. The poles can be lowered to a height of just 1.5 metres with the cameras shooting straight towards the grandstands, making it easy to identify faces in the audience. Also, as the poles are so short they do not obscure the spectator's view.
Andrzej Mierzejewski also emphasizes the importance of how the cameras were placed in relation to the entrance barriers. With a 15 degrees angle of view, the cameras can identify a spectator wearing a cap, however, if the angle had been at 25 degrees, identification would not have been possible, and if the angle had been at 30 degrees, the camera would not have seen the face at all.
In addition to 20 Bosch Autodome 1080s, both Bosch Autodome IP Dinion and NWC800 cameras are being used at the stadium. The camera system at PGE is the largest IP camera system that Bosch has installed in a European stadium.

Four operators
Situated over the top of the grandstands there are several control rooms and this is where the camera operators are located. Each of the four operators works with six screens and uses the Bosch Video Management System. Every operator is responsible for a specific area of the stadium, and in addition to controlling the cameras and monitoring the entries, they are able to open and close the gates to the parking lot outside of the stadium. The PGE Arena has been in operation for about a year and no major security incidents have occurred, neither at the Euro 2012 events or at the home team, Lechia Gdansk, matches. When a spectator threw a banana at a player, it took only six minutes for the security personnel to identify the culprit.

The arena is divided into two security zones, one internal and one external. The external zone stretches from the arena to the encircling fence. It encompasses the stadium parking with 2,171 parking spaces and space for 74 buses. A total of 178 security cameras are mounted outside of the stadium and monitors the parking vicinity.

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