Coveted Super Bowl security job goes to San Diego firm

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Saturday, February 1, 2003

SAN DIEGO - When Super Bowl Sunday hit at the end of January, Qualcomm Stadium was equipped with a new digital video security system installed by systems integrator Electro Specialty Systems.
The contract is one of the largest ever won by the San Diego-based company. Work on the $400,000 project recently wrapped up, only two months after Electro Specialty Systems was awarded the job in November.

“We’re doing a complete video surveillance system,” said Dan Brault, president of Electro Specialty Systems. “What they had there before was a hodge-podge of different companies. There was no planning that was done with it.”

Though a large project, it’s not the first time the company has installed security in a sports complex. The company also provided the video surveillance for Cox Arena at San Diego State, a job not quite as elaborate.

The Qualcomm Stadium job kept three to four Electro Specialty Systems’ employees busy on most days. The system covers the stadium’s parking lots, seating areas, and all entry gates, in addition to inside the stadium.

The new system uses cVideo’s Marathon line digital video recording system to monitor the stadium from a central location. For cVideo, being part of such a coveted installation ranks as one of its more unique projects.

“The NFL was looking to have a more advanced system to replace their existing analog system,” said Nelson Faller, vice president of sales for cVideo. “They wanted something a little bit more comprehensive.”

Brault declined to provide specifics about the system, citing security reasons, but published reports said more than 50 cameras were installed.

Five other security companies besides Electro Specialty Systems also bid on the project, a job overseen by the San Diego Police Department in conjunction with the NFL.

“It was probably one of the biggest projects at the time since it was the contract for the Super Bowl,” said Brault. “A lot of people want to be involved with that.”

Even though the system has been used several times since its installation, including the Dec. 8, 2002 Raiders vs. Chargers game where 180 fans were arrested, two Electro Specialty System technicians will be on hand on Super Bowl Sunday to trouble shoot problems.

Brault, however, said he’ll be watching the big game from home.