Blackburn Rovers FC
Stadium security is particularly important in the current climate, where ensuring only authorised personnel can access sensitive areas is a real priority.
Top flight Blackburn Rovers have enjoyed many years of playing football at the highest level and continue to impress fans, commentators and those in the football fraternity with their hard working and stylish brand of football.
Not surprisingly, like any major professional sporting venue, security and controlling access is a top priority for them. Also, for a high profile premier league football club, the safety and security of property and people is crucial.
As well as welcoming over 25,000 spectators and fans to home games, the club also employs over 250 personnel at the Ewood Park ground.
On a day to day basis, the club’s employees move throughout the stadium and surrounding offices and buildings. Due to the size and profile of the venue, controlling and monitoring access is very important. If unauthorised personnel were able to gain access, theft and damage to people or property could occur.
Dave Beresford, Deputy Safety Officer for the club was personally involved in the selection of an access control system. At the time, he undertook a detailed assessment of current systems and their capabilities.
Many systems were considered, but it was Progeny’s P4 online system that was selected. Commenting on the decision to choose Progeny, Dave said ‘The Progeny system met our requirements perfectly and it has the capacity to grow according to our needs. As well as being impressed by the system, I was very pleased with the technical guidance and assistance provided by the team’.
P4 online was chosen for several reasons, including the system’s ability to grow according to the customer’s needs. It is efficient, cost-effective and simple to use and provides real accountability through the versatile Doors Enterprise software.
P4 online also offers many great technical features. With 3 methods of connectivity – USB to a server computer, LAN/WAN making use of an existing data network, and GPRS for difficult to reach applications. The P4 access controller is designed with flexibility in mind. It can be programmed to function both standalone and from a PC. It also allows small systems to grow, from one door to 65,000 doors. P4 online uses Doors Enterprise software. The latest release, version 7.2 includes extra features such as Photo ID card printing, time sheets, simplified user interface, custom database fields and new help wizards.
Over 70 doors are controlled by the system and span all parts of the stadium. The office areas, the IT suite, the mega store, business centre and the BRIC (Blackburn Rovers Indoor Centre) are all covered.
The level of accountability offered by the reporting software is very useful for the security and safety staff. As well as the main feature of controlling access, the reporting software acts as the ’12th man’ as it provides the eyes around the premises. As each door is monitored, it is easy to identify the approximate location of all authorised personnel at any time, which proves invaluable on a day to day basis.
Commenting on the installation, Ian Bend, Progeny’s Technical Director said ‘Blackburn Rovers were looking for an efficient and effective solution to manage access throughout the stadium and surrounding premises. P4 online was the perfect solution because as well as being easy to use and affordable, it can grow with the clubs requirements and can cater for extra doors as they become necessary.’
Dave Beresford went on to say that he was delighted with the way the Progeny system works and the many benefits it provides the club. ‘The new version of the reporting software is very user friendly and allows security and safety staff, in conjunction with the CCTV, to identify and locate all authorised personnel at any point in time’.