More than 100 Canon cameras support the safety of Ogasayama Sports Park ECOPA. More than 100 Canon cameras support the safety of Ogasayama Sports Park ECOPA.

Canon’s network cameras are helping to create pleasant and safe places for everyone

More than 100 Canon cameras support the safety of Ogasayama Sports Park ECOPA.

The Ogasayama Sports Park in Shizuoka Prefecture, about 200 kilometers southwest of Tokyo, attracts about 1.3 million visitors a year. It covers a large area of 269 ha and includes a stadium, an arena, and a playground, as well as walking paths. It is also used by local residents as a place to promote health. Canon's network cameras contribute to the park reputation as an open, safe, and welcoming park for all kinds of people.

June 15, 2023

A multi-purpose sports park that also hosts international sports events

Under the concept of "Health, sports and nature," the Ogasayama Sports Park (ECOPA), was built to offer everyone a place of respite. It includes the Ecopa Stadium, which can accommodate 50,000 people, Ecopa Arena, which can accommodate 10,000 people for indoor sports and exhibitions, a multipurpose playground, playing fields and walking paths. ECOPA hosts a variety of events, such as international soccer and rugby tournaments, music events and community activities.

ECOPA is one of the largest sports parks in central Japan with 1.3 million annual visitors. The park focuses on creating an environment in which everyone can relax in comfort and with peace of mind. This desire led to the introduction of Canon's cameras and its video management software XProtect to renovate the park's network camera system ahead of a 2019 international sporting event to be held there.

ECOPA Stadium

ECOPA Stadium

Keeping a watchful eye on the vast grounds that can't be patrolled on foot

All operations and administration of ECOPA, which is owned by Shizuoka Prefecture, is outsourced to ECOPA House. The company manages 12 parking lots, with a total capacity of more than 3,000 passenger cars and 150 large buses.

"With only a staff of about 20, we have to operate and manage this 269 ha site. Before we introduced the network camera system, we spent a lot of time each day patrolling the vast grounds, including walking paths, gates and parking lots," explain Tetsuo Oba, and Shinji Fujioka.

Prior to ECPOA, the two men had managed properties of all sizes and locations, including commercial and office buildings, but found this job particularly challenging.

Tetsuo Ohba (right); Shinji Fujioka (left) ECOPA House, Shizuoka Prefecture Football Association Group

Tetsuo Ohba (right); Shinji Fujioka (left)
ECOPA House, Shizuoka Prefecture Football Association Group

They continued, "when an event is held, we have to guide visitors’ cars because the parking lot entrances and exits tend to be crowded, but in the past we had to actually be there in person to understand the situation, which required a lot of manpower."

ECOPA had certain administrative issues, including the size of the site and parking lot congestions caused by the event.

Real time video monitoring to streamline operations

To address these issues, cameras were installed in spots where cars and people crowded together, such as near gates leading to expressways and wide national roads, main parking lots near the stadium, and at pedestrian gates leading from train stations. The front windows and dome covers of these cameras are coated with Canon's proprietary hydrophilic coating technology*, which allows rainwater to form a thin layer of water rather than droplets, while at the same time wash away dirt. This enables them to continue providing clear images even when installed outdoors. As a result, the burden of patrolling was greatly reduced and the way staff work changed.

"We are now able to check the condition of the facility, suspicious figures, and parking congestion through cameras, and identify areas that need patrolling without having to walk around this enormous park. Time spent patrolling has been greatly reduced," Mr. Ohba and Mr. Fujioka explain, noting the effectiveness of the new system.

Cameras monitoring a road leading to ECOPA

Cameras monitoring a road leading to ECOPA

Cameras are cycled through while monitoring the park and real-time information is shared with guards stationed throughout the park. This contributes to greater convenience for visitors by allowing ECOPA House staff to guide them to less occupied parking lots and adjust the number of crowd control staff in a timely manner.

Supporting efforts to provide safety and security with intuitive and easy system control

High-performance cameras are installed throughout the park including the stadium, which accommodates huge events. They can pan 360 degrees and zoom up to 30x, each covering a larger area inside the stadium for more detailed monitoring.

"What impressed me most about the system was that anyone can operate it."

The newly introduced network cameras were intuitive to operate. There is no need to memorize or practice operation beforehand, including adjusting the camera orientation, zoom and focus operations. Brightness is automatically adjusted according to the weather, and changing the viewing angle and switching angles are now much easier.

Network cameras installed in the stadium

Network cameras installed in the stadium

In addition to using the network cameras to manage ECOPA, discussions are underway to further utilize the system to provide services for visitors.

At sports events or concerts, shops and restrooms are often crowded during short breaks or intermissions. People also tend to congregate in such places as merchandize stands or photo spots. ECOPA management thought they should do something.

"Guests would have a more comfortable experience, if, in the future, we provided them with availability information generated by imagery analysis for various facilities."

The ability to view the same footage from multiple locations inside the park

In the past, different video management systems were used for the stadium and arenas. Each camera image could only be seen in a specific room in the same facility where it was installed.

In the new system, more than 100 cameras are centrally managed by the same video management software. In addition to the central monitoring room, multiple security offices can now check the same footage.

"For example, when the stadium and arena are both hosting events, the new system allows us to control the operation of the two facilities and grasp the overall situation of the park, which we feel has made event operation much smoother."

At such times, when the scope of their monitoring widens due to the opening of extra parking lots, the new system is especially useful.

Viewing camera footage from the central monitoring room

Viewing camera footage from the central monitoring room

In addition to the central monitoring room, the same video camera images can also be shared with the park’s administrative office. Inside the administrative office, there are staff members in charge of maintaining and managing the safety and security of the park, as well as sales representatives who coordinate with event organizers. Now, monitors are installed on each of the sales representatives’ desks to allow them to utilize the images from the system in new and different ways than before, such as understanding the traffic patterns of incoming guests and assisting the event organizers.

Creating a safer, more pleasant park

Mr. Ohba and Mr. Fujioka refer their job of managing and operating ECOPA as a never-ending pursuit of providing visitors with a safer and more pleasant time inside the park.

“To maintain ECOPA’s long-lasting value as a park, we will continue to maintain the facilities, and enhance user convenience, while exploring the benefits of introducing the latest technologies.”

Canon will continue striving to quickly provide solutions that contributes to their goal of “Creating a comfortable and safe space for every visitor” through the power of cutting-edge technologies.

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