Getting a Kick out of Security
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Feb 12, 2018
You’ll get a real kick out of this security story. It is all about a secure perimeter and access control that is stored in the cloud and a man devoted to those around him. It also combines security solutions at a school campus, student housing and several regulation-size soccer fields.
It is about one man’s modern business empire, his love for soccer and the state of Utah. He is Dell Loy Hansen. Hansen is the owner of the Major League Soccer franchise in Salt Lake City, Real Salt Lake, but it is his dream of bringing European-style soccer to the Beehive State that weaves security into this story.
Building a Dream
Hansen’s goal was to build a world-class soccer team that includes a youth program to enhance his MLS franchise. To do this, Hansen would have to invest millions of dollars to construct an indoor soccer practice facility, a second outdoor stadium for his minor league clubs and all that goes with it.
He did just that. Hansen whipped out his checkbook ($75 million) and soon enough a first-class campus was well on its way to being built. In order to fuel his desire for a youth league, Hansen had to build a home away from home for his high school age teams. He didn’t skimp either on construction or the type of security that would find its way into the dormitory, the charter school where the soccer players gain an education, the indoor and outdoor practice facilities, offices, and locker and training areas.
Hansen is as big as life itself. When he comes into the room, there is an air of business about him, but an equal part of caring for the many people on his staff who are taking care of business on his behalf. He is dependent upon his executive staff to keep him up to date on the soccer campus, though he already knows what he wants, where it is supposed to be and that everything is in its proper place.
“I have a passion for the state of Utah and the people of Utah, and this [soccer] is one of the ways I enjoy giving back,” Hansen said. “Our soccer academy caters to male youth, ages 15 to 18, who are the best of the best in Utah and surrounding states that want to play soccer. As you can see, this is a multi-use facility, and I wanted to ensure that our security is an extremely robust solution, not only for the teams but for the fans that will attend our games, but also extend to the charter school that is part of the campus.
“Our challenge in terms of security was to make this sporting venue the safest it could possibly be. We wanted to make sure the security integrator, Alphacorp Security, was the best and that they would use the best technology and solutions to ensure a secure campus.”
What started as one team and five coaches has expanded to seven teams with as many as 24 coaches.
Hansen wanted an integrator with knowledge of today’s technology platforms that will reach into the future and an integrator that would service all the security at the RSL Academy High School in the Jordan Utah School District campus. Alphacorp installed most of the security solutions, including the ProdataKey cloud-based access control platform. Avigilon cameras, VMS and analytics also are installed at the school, and surrounding campus facilities.
Entry at the school is exactly as it should be. A person coming to the school can enter the first doors but will have to wait in the vestibule until they can be certified for entry. The Butterfly MX cloud-based telephone entry system that is integrated with pdk io platform. People entering the vestibule can place a video call to school management, who can choose to authorize entry via a one-time credential. If you’re not in the system, you will not gain access to the school unless staff allows entry. The same access control solution is placed at every outside entrance to the campus, as well as in strategic locations at inside entries. The ProdataKey solution plays a key role in managing the biometrics for facility-wide access.
It is a team effort in selecting the security systems used, said Carlos Acevedo, director of facility operations at Real Salt Lake. The Real Salt Lake team and Acevedo clearly love the biometrics platform in place at the school because it allows permission to open the doors only to those entered in the system. That goes for students, staff and contract construction workers.
“This is the highest security at the best value on the market,” Acevedo said. “Before we placed our security system in the facility, we looked at every possible threat and what solution would be best for our needs. We believe that we have fulfilled that goal.”
ProdataKey is no stranger to Hansen, who owns nearly three dozen other businesses and who has deployed the solution in every other instance. Hansen said he believes the company is the future of door security, and, in fact, had the system installed at his nine-story Fairborn Station multi-tenant high rise because of the interoperability.
Evan Tree, CEO of ProdataKey, said the access control component is an agnostic system with anytime management from any device that employs a variety of communications options, such as network, PoE and/or wimac wireless. ProdataKey also has certified its system with ASSA ABLOY (Aperio) locksets for more seamless integration opportunities.
“What we are finding is that end users in North America are asking for a cloud-based product,” Tree said. “Our pdk io platform allows users to securely scale services as well as applications through partner integrations, or custom integrations based on their personal needs via our open application programmers interface (API).”
Alphacorp and ProdataKey have worked with Hansen and his other businesses on other occasions, but this security installation was challenging because of the day-to-day construction changes at the facility but never a compromise in the quality equipment and solutions being installed. The various solutions installed by Alphacorp, considered to be the best-known and respected integrator in Utah and the surrounding region, to the table. Kris Painter, the director of new programs and markets, and Scott Curtis, a project manager, were very excited to be part of the RSL campus project.
“We have multiple buildings and locations onsite here, and our challenge was to bring them all to one cloud,” Painter said. “The ProdataKey Cloud Node is the brains of the security operation, and the goal was to have the door controllers and biometric readers all communicate over the network. It worked; in fact, it worked very well, so we were excited to get this security installation. It doesn’t hurt to have a public view working with a major league soccer team at their training facility, and working at this charter school with the latest technology is just a bonus for us.”
There are numerous benefits to implementing this network. First of all, if there is a power failure, the communications system to the door controllers will remain open. The system is encrypted at chip level, protecting each individual device. The ProdataKey Cloud Node serves as the gateway to the access control system, which is a wall or rack mounted for ultimate flexibility. Chances are you will never see it, as it is typically placed above ceiling tiles on the secure side of the door or in a nearby security closet. The system is perfect for integrators, who have an interest in recurring monthly revenue from the platform and step into the world of cloud management.
Because all of the Hansen projects are considered top-class, he doesn’t skimp on the details. He has security strategically placed all over the campus, including the indoor soccer practice facility that is the largest freestanding steel building in North America. The indoor grass surface was flown in from the Netherlands, but made in the United States, at a cost of $1.6 million, plus protection to the five regulation-size outdoor practice fields. Hansen has built an outdoor game stadium for the minor league team, the Salt Lake Monarchs, and will deploy CEIA metal detectors at the entrances there. He is also planning his security team, with the help of the Prodata- Key platform for check in, to conduct sweeps through the stadium randomly, further enhancing fan security.
To his credit, Hansen is an operator, not a speculator. He says one of his strengths is operating and improving operations continuously. His goal is not to move things up in value, then sell, but to just keep operating it and operating it well. Hansen is very direct and says what he feels, but you can bet his
decisions are based on the best information possible. Hansen is efficient, and that’s how he runs his businesses. He sees efficiency in the security of all his properties and companies. He has opted for security systems that will work well today and will work well into the future. Protecting Real Salt Lake is important, but protecting the fans, whom he adores and cares about, allows his team to be embedded in the community.
Security is vital to Hansen, who welcomes his diverse fan base; be it the drum-thumping Latinos at one end of the field to the season ticket holders that stand the entire game. It is a melting pot of soccer fans, and Hansen wants to take care of his family. He gets a kick out of that.