As the spiritual home of the Olympic Games, Greece has a well-cemented connection with the spectacle of sports events and a great appreciation for the excitement of public stadia. With a population of over 10 million people, modern Greece continues to enjoy live sporting events but also has to deal with the modern dilemmas of safety and security whilst minimizingqueuing and maximising the viewing experience for spectators at these popular and busy events.
Overseeing the majority of Greece’s public stadia is the General Secretariat for Sport, a government department that ensures the safety and smooth running of the facilities across the country.
By their very nature, Greece’s nationally administered stadia (like most publicly accessible buildings) house a mixture of publically-accessible areas along with restricted zones that are designed only to be used by authorized individuals due to concerns over security and safety. The challenge is to maintain reliable access control whilst ensuring that staff (such as administrators, security personnel and event competitors) can easily move between these areas and the general public areas.
To maintain the highest levels of security and safety, whilst using the latest and most efficient access control technology, the Greek General Secretariat for Sport, assessed that its stadia needed a modern and highly reliable solution for access control and put it to tender with the aim of finding an excellent but cost-effective solution. The winning bid needed to offer a full electronic surveillance system, to help protect athletes and spectators and act as a preventative measure against violence and disruption at 22 stadiums that are used for sports events and other activities throughout Greece the largest such project ever to be established in the country with a budget of over €4m.
The tender was won by leading system integrator and value-added solution and service provider Space Hellas, which specified access control systems from expert manufacturer TDSi because of the reliability, ease of use, stringent security protocols and superb value for money these systems offer.
Space Hellas’ installation of TDSi systems was based upon two levels, over a total of 60 users, firstly at two controlcenters and then at the 22 stadia across the country. Solutions employed at the two Control Centers include two installations of TDSi’s EXgarde PRO Access Management PC software application, which both remotely administer 128 doors in total across the 22 stadia sites. The Control Centers themselves are guarded using the TDSi Excel4 4 reader controller. Each of these controllers control three readers/doors each. A total six eXprox VR readers (three at each site) are also deployed. These readers are ideal for locations that may be prone to vandalism or attack and offer robust, high quality access control through contactless technology.
At the next level, each of the 22 Stadia use a TDSi MICROgarde MGII Controller (with integral 2A Power Supply Units). The MGII is a two-door access control unit that provides reliable access control for up to 400 doors, with upgrade modules for TCP/IP to offer even greater flexibility. Supplied with its own power supply unit for added security, as well as Windows-based software, MICROgarde MGII delivers a highly effective solution with central control and event reporting back to the Control Centers. Also installed across the network of stadia are 44 eXprox VR readers and 100 TDSi Proximity cards (which use the industry standard EM proximity chip which provide a cost effective solution for projects). As well as protecting staff and competitor areas of each stadium, TDSi’s access control systems also guard access to computer rooms and training facilities.
Space Hellas’ installation of TDSi access control systems now ensures the full security and ease of use for users across the two control rooms and 22 stadia including the crucial computer rooms at each site. Overall Space Hellas has provided an integrated electronic sport facilities surveillance system employing the latest in digital technology and along with TDSi’s access control systems also comprises of high-resolution cameras, high-quality digital recording systems and the latest generation of cabling and network infrastructure. At the same time, Space Hellas has provided the necessary technical infrastructure for the formation of a Stadium Control Centre and a Police Control Centre for each stadium. In addition, the company has ensured uninterruptible and smooth operation of the system by offering high standard technical support services, as well as training services for the system users to ensure each facility can make the most of the Greek government’s investment.