FedExField in Andover, Md. plays host to the Washington Redskins, college football games, soccer and a variety of other events through the course of a typical year. Because of the huge influx of seasonal, contract and temporary employees, stadium operators wanted a better way to identify staff and control their access to the facility.
During the off season when no event is planned there are around 50 employees in the stadium during the day, but during an event this number skyrockets to as many as 10,000 employees, says Chris Bloyer, vice president of operations for FedExField.
In the past employees would walk through a checkpoint but with thousands of other employees entering the stadium it was possible that individuals could sneak in without a badge or use the badge of another employee, Bloyer says. Executives needed to ensure that only authorized employees were granted access to the facility.
Because of the stadium’s close proximity to the nation’s capitol, we decided to deploy a smart card and biometric system to identify employees and contractors entering the facility, Bloyer says. The MobileAssure Access Control from Telos Identity Management Solutions was selected.
Employees undergo a background check before being hired, Bloyer says. Executives were looking for a system that would collect that information along with other employment data. The Telos system integrates with human resource management, scheduling and payroll systems. “We were looking for a system to compile all the checklists and create a credential that would tie the person who was vetted to the credential with a photo and biometric,” he says.
The Telos system also enables stadium officials to designate specific times and entrances where the credential is valid, says Mike Ortt, program manager for Telos ID. If an employee shows up at the wrong entrance or at the incorrect time they can be denied entry. Otherwise, the employees swipes the credential, places a fingerprint on the scanner and is granted access, he says.
The system was used for the 2009 NFL season and a couple of other events with about 3,000 employees, Bloyer says. Since it was successful in this limited trial, stadium operators are rolling it out to all employees and have now enrolled 10,000 individuals.
“We were concerned about push back from employees because of the more rigid processes,” Bloyer says. But it has worked well, he notes, and employees have embraced the system.