Partly cloudy

Winnipeg, MB

20°c Partly cloudy

Full Forecast

Local

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Bombers are watching you

New stadium equipped with high-tech cameras

Posted: 05/9/2013 7:36 AM | Comments: 0

Advertisement

  • Print
You can’t hide at Investors Group Stadium, where state-of-the-art cameras can zoom in on fans to see if they’re being naughty or nice.

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

You can’t hide at Investors Group Stadium, where state-of-the-art cameras can zoom in on fans to see if they’re being naughty or nice. Photo Store

THE turf will not be the only part of Investors Group Field that will be filmed this inaugural season from every angle and using all the latest state-of-the-art camera technology.

A total of 55 cameras — including four with technology so sophisticated it will allow security to zoom in on an item an individual fan is holding — will watch over the stands, concourse and parking lots when the new stadium unofficially opens later this month.

Kelly Keith, the head of security for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, said Wednesday the cameras will watch over all aspects of the stadium and be monitored by security and Winnipeg police from a central command centre during Bombers games, concerts and other events.

"It’s an extremely valuable tool," said Keith. "If we’ve got a problem section where people are getting rowdy or something, we can key right in on that section and that’s our evidence right there.

"Outside alcohol... people smoking... even fights or anything like that, now we’ve got the ability to have that on tape. Everything is enhanced with that."

Keith said sophisticated camera technology is a part of all new sports facilities now.

"They have it at True North, too," said Keith.

Fans at Winnipeg Jets games are on camera virtually the entire time they’re at the MTS Centre.

"We have cameras located all over MTS Centre, both on concourse and arena bowl and event level. Tough not to be seen by security," Jets spokesman Scott Brown said in an email Wednesday.

What will be a little different in the new stadium is the mind-bogglingly advanced level of zoom technology the Bombers will have at their disposal, particularly with four PTZ (pan-tiltzoom) cameras they’ve installed.

"These cameras can zero right in. If you’re sitting in any seat in the stadium, I could tell you the brand of pop you’re drinking or things like that," said Keith.

"They’re up in the far corners of the stadium, but at the end of the day, I could turn them around and point them at the parking lot and I could read your (licence) plate."

The idea of an eye in the sky watching your every move at a football game will be disconcerting to some — particularly in a city that has shown itself in the past year resistant to efforts by the Bombers to beef up their game-day security as they prepared to move into the new stadium.

But the reality — as was much in evidence during the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings — is we increasingly live in a society where our public lives are being filmed in some fashion almost all the time anyway.

From the red-light cameras throughout Winnipeg to surveillance cameras outside private homes and businesses to even the installation of 10 Winnipeg police cameras that were approved in 2011 for high-crime areas, you’d best be camera- ready the moment you step out the door.

Keith said the cameras at Investors Group Field will be recording at all times during events. He said the team will not hesitate to share with police recorded video of any illegal activity its cameras catch.

"Absolutely, yeah. One hundred per cent," said Keith. "At all games, we actually have what we call the command centre. We have the police, someone from our staff, someone from the St. John’s Ambulance staff — we’re all there all the time.

"So (the police) are right by the cameras. If something’s going down, the police have access right there."

 

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.