The Dover International Speedway’s high-banked, one-mile concrete oval racing track is known as ‘The Monster Mile’. It hosts six thrilling NASCAR races a year at the complex that covers more than 800 square acres in Kent County, Delaware. The grounds have also been home to the four-day Firefly Music Festival with 100 bands playing across six stages.
“During non-event times, our Public Safety Office uses the system around the clock to monitor activity,” said Jim Hosfelt, Director of Public Safety and Track Operations at Dover International Speedway, Inc. “We use our cameras as proactively as possible, looking for issues before they occur. I’ve always been a firm believer in having a solid video system, and our system fits our needs very well.”
The team currently covers the Speedway with IP network cameras from Axis Communications, including pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) and 360° multi-image panoramic models. They routinely use additional video feeds from smartphones and mobile devices pushed to the system via the Milestone XProtect Mobile app. All video is monitored live then archived to a set of Milestone Husky network video recorders.
“With a full view of patrons coming in and scanning tickets, we monitor the traffic flow,” said Hosfelt. “We can see a wave of people coming in real time and decide if we need to open more gates. From just a resource deployment standpoint, the video system is very beneficial to make sure everyone is moving through as efficiently and safely as possible.”
Joint Operations Teamwork Across Law Enforcement, Medical and Transportation
Ryan Kelly at installing partner Advantech, Inc., explained how a multi-monitor workstation has been set up at the Joint Operations Center where all camera feeds are constantly monitored live. On event days, the center has people from all law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, Homeland Security, the Dover Police Department, the Delaware State Police, as well as medical teams and the Delaware Division of Transportation.
“For the day-to-day routine operations, we have three full-time people. If it’s a race weekend, our combined agency numbers swell to over 800. During the music festival, this number goes over 1,200 people per day! This includes security, law enforcement, EMS, paramedics, doctors, nurses, all the partners that work the festival — and we consider them all part of our team here at the Speedway.”
The Joint Operation Center is designed to share the Milestone video feeds with the state’s Department of Transportation, other relevant agencies and partners.
“We can get access to local, surrounding DOT cameras to monitor traffic, and often the festival managers may also set up another, temporary video system. Thanks to the open platform Milestone VMS, we can bring all this together,” said Kelly. “Everyone can collaborate within our Joint Operations Center, helping to ensure we deliver an enjoyable and safe event.”
Additionally, the team reviews video post-event to evaluate performance and improve operations. They look at everything from security improvements to marketing and sales, vendor and concession stand positioning, parking and crowd control. The system is used to monitor and evaluate the infield as well, ensuring the safety of speedway workers, vendors, and drivers in their areas.
Note: Due to COVID-19 pandemic concerns, the speedway races in August (which were postponed from May) could not allow fans to attend in person, and the Firefly Music Festival had to be cancelled this year. Follow the Speedway news and updates on DoverSpeedway.com; the races were streamed live on https://www.nbcsports.com/nascar.