THE INTERNATIONAL PUBLICATION FOR TECHNOLOGY IN STADIA
Broadcast and audio upgrades for Derby County’s forward-thinking home ground.
A closer look at Peavey’s impressive work for the 2017 event.
Powersoft’s Business Development Manager discusses the latest technology in stadiums.
Innovative install solutions. Simply your sound.
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CONTENTS 4 IN DISCUSSION - Daktronics
IN PROGRESS 6 ESTADIO ABANCA RIAZOR A Coruña, Spain 8 RAS ABU ABOUD STADIUM Doha, Qatar 10 ARENA GARIBALDI Pisa, Italy 14 IN FOCUS - Peavey Page 20
INTERVIEW 28 MARC KOCKS Powersoft
48 DANIEL POWELL Stockport County FC
INSTALL 20 PRIDE PARK Derby, England 26 GANGNEUNG ICE ARENA Gangneung, South Korea 30 FORD FIELD Detroit, USA 34 VERSLUYS ARENA Ostend, Belgium 36 VELTINS-ARENA Gelsenkirchen, Germany 40 TURNER STADIUM Be’er Sheva, Israel 44 CELTIC PARK Glasgow, Scotland
ISSUE 2 Firstly, I’d just like to say thank you to everyone in the industry who has been in touch, whether it’s by e-mail or at tradeshows, offering us such positive feedback to our first issue. We’re delighted with the response so far. I also visited FSB in Cologne - and it was fantastic to meet so many people with a passion for all things stadia. It’s an exciting, innovative industry and we feel very lucky to be involved. Now, our second issue... there are some spectacular venues covered, from the breathtaking Mercedes-Benz Stadium through to the forwardthinking Pride Park. We’ve also taken a closer look at Peavey’s work at the SEA Games, while Daktronics have discussed the use of NPP technology in stadiums. Marc Kocks also had a chat with us regarding Powersoft’s latest work and, a little closer to home, we spoke to Stockport County FC’s media man on life in the lower leagues. Have a great Christmas - see you again in 2018!
56 MERCEDES BENZ STADIUM Atlanta, USA 56 BRIDGESTONE ARENA Nashville, USA 60 BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY Tennessee, USA
IN DETAIL 19 APG Uniline Compact 47 PRESONUS WorxAudio S-XL5 62 RGBLINK X7
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Mondiale Publishing, Strawberry Studios, Watson Square, Stockport SK1 3AZ, UK Tel: +44 161 476 8340 mondo*stadia is published in September, December, March and July by Mondiale Publishing Limited, Strawberry Studios, Watson Square, Stockport, SK1 3AZ, United Kingdom. www.mondostadia.com www.mondostadia.com
4 IN DISCUSSION
IN DISCUSSION With it being increasingly used throughout stadiums, Daktronics discuss the benefits of Narrow Pixel Pitch - or NPP - technology and why it’s become a popular choice.
The sports stadia landscape is constantly looking for new and inventive ways to improve the fan experience. How can they connect with fans in new ways? How can they improve visual elements surrounding events? What is the next big thing for advertisers and sponsors? Sometimes the answer is maximising currently installed equipment and promotional spaces. Other times, the answer is to bring in something new to improve the wow factor. In 2015, the New England Patriots and Gillette Stadium turned to Daktronics, the world leader at designing and manufacturing LED video display systems, to bring a Narrow Pixel Pitch (NPP) display into their facility as a press conference backdrop. It provided a versatile background that could subtly change logos to highlight different sponsors throughout interviews while also bringing high quality images to the television cameras. This application also allows for relevant player statistics to be shown during player interviews. NPP technology brings LEDs extremely close together, generally less than 3mm apart, to create high resolution screens that can be
viewed as close as 3ft from the display face. This technology is extremely useful in areas where there is an abundance of foot traffic and people are able to walk directly up to the screen. Since this initial NPP installation, six other venues have asked Daktronics to provide similar technology to the tune of 27 displays in the past year for various applications including press conference backdrops, concourses, clubs and suites, and lobbies. At Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the newly constructed home of American football’s Atlanta Falcons and soccer’s Atlanta United FC, three NPP displays are installed in club areas to add to the premium experience in areas where the field may not be directly visible. Similar to Gillette Stadium, Mercedes-Benz Stadium also installed an NPP display in their press room for interviews. On the west coast, SAP Center and home of hockey’s San Jose Sharks installed 17 NPP displays in concourses throughout the venue. These are used to keep fans engaged in the action while away from their seats visiting concession areas and moving to and from their seats. The screens provide supplemental content to the main
displays to provide an immersive atmosphere no matter where fans are at within the venue. Adding this technology to the concourse and lobby settings provides additional versatile space in place of blank walls or static signage. The ability to rotate through content by programming a display allows additional sponsorship revenue to increase a facility’s bottom line. It also allows specific content to be created and shared for special events or content tailored to a specific time of the year including holidays. Again, still taking advantage of areas where viewers are quite close to the displays while showing a crisp, quality image. Whether using this NPP technology for welcome images in a lobby, advertising and branding in concourses, or rotational sponsorships during a press conference, it is a trend coming to stadiums this year and beyond as it enables venues to engage their fans and audiences in new and exciting ways.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily of mondo*stadia magazine.
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6 IN PROGRESS
IN PROGRESS A closer look at the upcoming stadiums and sporting arenas.
ESTADIO ABANCA RIAZOR A CORUÑA, SPAIN
It has been announced that Estadio Abanca Riazor, the famous home ground of Deportivo de La Coruña, is due to be significantly upgraded following a public competition that was launched by the city of A Coruña. The winning concept was produced by Arias Infraestructuras, a local company based in the city. Its exciting vision for the stadium see two of the most crucial areas renovated to totally transform the look of the Estadio Abanca Riazor. The stadium’s roof, which has been poorly maintained and subject to numerous damages, will be upgraded, along with new façades. The roof will be completely replaced along the north and south sides of the ground, with both ends set to have new cladding laid. Polycarbonate panels will be used to cover the roof - these panels will have a higher translucency in the south and turn milky in other parts. The façades will also have polycarbonate cladding www.mondostadia.com
in place, though these will be blue, with additional vertical blinds as a covering. Together, this will create a blue and white theme for Abanca Riazor - making it perfect as they’re Deportivo’s club colours. The auditorium is not expected to change as part of the whole renovations. However, with the seats and new screens on top of each end of the stadium being installed in 2015, there is no need to make any drastic changes. The initial time frame for the work to be completed was between 2018-2019, but with the chosen concept, it is expected to take just over eight months, with just 92 days spent on the actual site. The remainder of the time would be spend on prefabricating. All of the work on Abanca Riazor is likely to cost an estimated €7.162 million, which is a modest amount when you take into consideration the overall effect the changes are likely to have.
7 IN PROGRESS
8 IN PROGRESS
RAS ABU ABOUD STADIUM DOHA, QATAR
The seventh 2022 FIFA World Cup stadium design has been released by The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) introducing the truly unique Ras Abu Aboud Stadium. The 40,000-seat stadium, which is due to be completed in 2020, has a bold, innovative design that ties in perfectly with the legacy planning aspect of the Qatar tournament. One of the key materials that will be used at Ras Abu Aboud Stadium are shipping containers - allowing for the stadium to be quickly disassembled after the tournament and used elsewhere. The incredible designed was created by Fenwick Iribarren Architects, which has vast experience in designing stadiums, having worked on the likes of Casablanca Football Stadium, the new National Stadium in Norway and the Qatar Foundation www.mondostadia.com
Stadium - another 2022 FIFA World Cup venue. The challenge for Fenwick Iribarren Architects was to deliver a world-class atmosphere and experience for the fans, all while maintaining the legacy benefits. To do this, it broke the stadium down into conceptual building blocks, which are modified shipping containers that contain fundamental stadium elements. The modular building blocks can be assembled and disassembled for use in other locations. Ras Abu Aboud Stadiumâ€™s modular design also means that construction of the venue will require fewer materials, create less waste and reduce the carbon footprint of the building process, all while reducing the time taken to build the stadium to as little as three years. With this sustainable approach to the stadiumâ€™s construction, the venue will receive a four-
9 IN PROGRESS
star Global Sustainability Assessment System certification. Discussing his firm’s design for Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, Senior Partner and Architect at Fenwich Iribarren, Mark Fenwick, said: “We are delighted to be part of another 2022 FIFA World Cup project, and are very proud that our design for Ras Abu Aboud Stadium will go down in history as the first-ever moveable and reusable FIFA World Cup stadium. “We are confident that this innovative and sustainable concept will be an inspiration for stadium developers and architects around the world, capable of creating aesthetically pleasing venues that offer new legacy possibilities.” The Ras Abu Aboud Stadium will be located in a 450,000 sq metres waterfront site on Doha’s shore, just southeast of Doha and 1.5km from the city’s Hamad International Airport.
Secretary General at SC, H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, said: “Innovation has always been central to our plans for delivering a historic FIFA World Cup that leaves a legacy for Qatar and the world, and there is no better example of this than the design of Ras Abu Aboud Stadium. “This venue offers the perfect legacy, capable of being reassembled in a new location in its entirety or built into numerous small sports and cultural venues. All of this in a stadium that delivers the atmosphere fans expect at a World Cup and which we will build in a more sustainable way than ever before. “I’m delighted with this design and confident that Ras Abu Aboud will become a blueprint for future mega-event planners to follow.” The Ras Abu Aboud Stadium is one of eight proposed host venues for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. www.mondostadia.com
Above: The plans for Ras Abu Aboud Stadium in Doha. All pictures courtesy of Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy
10 IN PROGRESS
ARENA GARIBALDI PISA, ITALY
Arena Garibaldi, which is known simply as l’Arena, is a stadium based in Pisa, Italy, with a rich history, having hosted a variety of open-air events in the 19th Century before having the very first wooden grandstand erected in 1931. However, nowadays, the famous old stadium, which is still home to Italian Serie B side, AC Pisa 1909, has been allowed to deteriorate. Finally, though, after years of waiting, it seems that change is coming for Arena Garibaldi. The team at l’Arena invited architects to provide potential concepts for the redevelopment of the stadium. Despite interest from huge, global brands, the winning design came from Reggio Emilia’s www.mondostadia.com
Iotti+Pavarani Archtetti office. The plans, which are very effective and logical for a ground of its size, will see only the most recent addition to the current stadium’s structure - the western main grandstand (which dates back to 1982) - saved, however it’s expected that it will receive a complete overhaul. Initially, it was hoped that the redeveloped stadium would hold 16,800 seats, however it should end up with 18,000 covered seats. The biggest change by far, though, will be the removal of the athletic layout and curved ends, due to the space around the venue being so limited. In the north area of Arena Garibaldi, this will free
11 IN PROGRESS
up some 18-metres of space, which is where the majority of the 2,500 sq metres of commercial space will be created. Landscaped into the stadium, this change will allow residents and tourists to walk onto the northern plinth, reaching the level of the stadium’s inner promenade. The west stand aside, the other sides will be created from scratch, with the plan for each stand to be a single tier with a roof hanging above discretely. The design allows for the floodlight masts to be demolished, ensuring that they won’t disturb the city’s landscape anymore. Under the south stand - and, to a smaller extent, under the other stands, too - up to 400 parking spaces are to be created
for visitors to the stadium. So far, pending a detailed examination, the costs for the build of the stadium are loosely evaluated to be at around €30 million. However, what is less clear is when the plan could be introduced. The municipal stadium has to be privatised, which means that it has to be sold outright or offered on a long-term lease to a private partner. Once that part is completed - expected in Spring 2018 - getting the desired funding shouldn’t be much of a problem with Italy’s new legislation and programmes supporting stadium redevelopments.
Left: External shot of the new design for Arena Garibaldi Right: The pitch and stands
ENTER YOUR SPORTING VENUE NOW
14 IN FOCUS
IN FOCUS A closer look at Peavey’s involvement at the SEA Games 2017.
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
2017 turned out to be a big year in Malaysia - celebrations of the country’s 60th year of independence coincided with the return to Kuala Lumpur of the biggest multi-sports event in SouthEast Asia, the SEA Games, as well as the ASEAN Para Games. First inaugurated in 1959 as the SEAP (South East Asian Peninsular) Games with just 12 sports, the biennial event celebrated its 29th edition this year with over 400 events in 38 different sports. The last time that Malaysia hosted the SEA Games was in 2001 when the country emerged as overall champions with 111 gold medals. At the time, Malaysia was justly proud of its supermodern sports infrastructure that had been built especially for the Commonwealth Games in 1998. However, standards and expectations no longer being what they were 20 years ago,
the nation embarked on a full rejuvenation and renovation process in order to bring the KL Sports City complex at Bukit Jalil up to world class modern standards. The main contractors involved were Populous, a global architecture and design firm, and MRCB, a leading Malaysian urban property and infrastructure company. The brief called for the transformation from design to completion within 18 months to provide four ‘new’ world class venues to stage major events and recreations facilities for the Malaysia community yearround. The redevelopment of Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Putra Stadium (now Axiata Arena), the National Aquatic Centre and the National Hockey Stadium focussed on providing functional excellence coupled with the expression of Malaysia culture. www.mondostadia.com
However, no sporting venue can be considered world class unless it has an audio system of the same calibre; hence renowned Malaysian systems integration company, A.F.S. Engineering, was appointed to design, specify and install all the sound reinforcement systems across all four venues. A.F.S. selected the MediaMatrix NION networked audio DSP platform from Peavey as the backbone of each system, providing routing throughout and loudspeaker DSP management where required depending on the loudspeaker systems used, as well as system control via the MediaMatrix NWare Kiosk software interface. Peavey’s Lee Freer, Application Engineer EMEA, was on site for two weeks to support A.F.S. in programming and commissioning all the systems prior to the opening ceremony and remained on hand throughout the games. He explains in
15 IN FOCUS
more detail why NION was selected for the job and how it all works: “NION was chosen largely thanks to its powerful routing capabilities and the convenience of the Kiosk control interface, which was used throughout” said Lee. “NION provided a huge amount of flexibility, coping with the very large number of required outputs, especially in the Bukit Jalil Stadium and Axiata Arena. Each venue was split into four zones, or quadrants, with a NION n6 unit in the master control room, and then one or two NIONs per quadrant to provide reliable Dante signal breakout as the L-Acoustics amplifiers used as part of the L-Acoustics Kara and Kiva II PA systems are not Dante-capable. NION enabled us to deliver a stable, redundant networked solution with lots of flexibility, plenty of headroom and fast, elegant control via the NWare Kiosk interface.”
“In the Aquatic Centre and the National Hockey Stadium (which was actually two venues; the main stadium plus a second, more open-sided pitch adjacent to the main stadium) where the PA system was comprised of RCF loudspeakers and Inter-M amplifiers, the NIONs also provided DSP processing for all system inputs and speaker processing for all outputs,” continued Lee. “Signal chains for speaker processing consisted of six-band parametric EQs, high pass filters, plus a gain and compressor limiter, which was more than adequate to allow the RCF units to be tuned accurately. The processed audio was then routed over a redundant Dante AoIP network to quadrant-based NIONs (except the Aquatic Centre which was a single NION system) and then re-routed out via Dante to numerous Inter-M Dante amplifiers to interleaved www.mondostadia.com
Left: The Aquatic Centre Right: The Opening Ceremony of the Games
16 IN FOCUS
loudspeaker circuits.” NWare Kiosk control was used across all the venues, allowing operators to adjust or mute specific areas that interfered with OB proceedings. A case in point was at the Aquatics Centre: once an event had finished, the OB cameras would focus on the competitor interview at the poolside. It was noted that the sound reinforcement system was giving too much ambient bleed to the broadcasters, so A.F.S. set up a procedure that enabled the system operators to mute specific clusters between events via the Kiosk interface so that the OB feeds were clean. “Quick, simple and efficient – everyone was happy!” A mix of NION units were deployed across the four venues depending on the type of functionality and the number of I/Os required. The Bukit Jalil National Stadium featured the flagship NION n6 8-in / 8-out Dante device
in the Master Control Room with an eight-in / 24-out NION n3 in each quadrant handling audio routing for the 52 hangs of L-Acoustics Kara and Kiva arrays. An eight-out NION nX in Q1 and Q3 were deployed to run the 64 under-balcony feeds. The Axiata Stadium benefitted from an eightin/16-out NION n6 in the master control room and an eight-in / 21-out NION nXs in Q2, Q3 and Q4 handling routing for the L-Acoustics Kara and Kiva II arrays. The Aquatics Centre was a single NION system with an eight-in / 16-out NION nX running four stacks of six and two stacks of four RCF P5228 spectator arrays and RCF P6215 and RCF 3115T poolside systems for the competition and training pools. Amplification was handled by 24 Inter-M D-6000 power amplifiers. The National Hockey Stadium had an eight-in / eight-out NION n3 in the master control room www.mondostadia.com
Above: The Bukit Jalil National Stadium
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18 IN FOCUS
with a second n3 in Q3 and an eight-in / eightout NION nX in Q1 and Q4 running a total of 96 RCF P56228 loudspeakers distributed across 24 hangs around the stadium. Power was delivered via 48 Inter-M D-6000 amplifiers. The ancillary hockey pitch utilised a scaled-down version of the same system as array hangs were not a major requirement for this more open space. A Yamaha TF5 digital mixing console presided in each venue to handle the mix from the microphones before distributing out to the various zones of the PA system via NION. “The SEA Games provides us with another great example of the flexibility of the NION networked DSP platform when it comes to managing complex events in large venues,” said Lee. “In opting for NION as the backbone, the integrator knows that he has lots of choices, and he can pick and choose the options that best suit his application. That’s exactly what A.F.S. did in this instance - not every system was the same by any means - and it all worked seamlessly and to great effect. It made my job really easy!” peavey.com
Above: The Axiata Arena Right: The National Hockey Stadium
19 IN DETAIL
APG - UNILINE COMPACT The Uniline Compact modular line array is a versatile solution for a wide range of applications, both indoor and outdoor, from sports, vocal PA, corporate, theatre to live music events. It provides high dynamic and sonic performance in a very compact, lightweight and visually discreet format. Thanks to advanced ergonomics, it’s an easy-to-use and powerful professional audio solution. The Uniline Compact range consists of three loudspeakers: the line source speakers UC206W (for wide) and UC206N (for narrow), which are completed by the bass speaker UC115B. The line array speakers incorporate a threeway acoustic design. The Low-Mid section is fitted with two 6.5-inch cone drivers loaded in compression and optimised for low frequency reproduction. Horizontal directivity control, compression, transducer phase alignment and protection are all established by the front grid acoustic horn. Completing the range, the UC115B enclosure is an optional low frequency cabinet that offers specific ergonomics for cardioids LF pattern control and rigging. APG subwoofers will allow infra bass extension. The Uniline Compact imposes itself as a precise and infallible solution to a serious question from the audio industry: how can we cover an extensive range of events and needs with one product? The Uniline Compact aims to offer unlimited possibilities of scalability to cover, with a single system, the whole field of applications of small and mid-size line array systems: from small to high power, and from short to long throw, indoors and outdoors, in fixed installation or rental applications. With its concept of versatility,
the Uniline Compact covers a very large application spectrum thanks to its acoustics and ergonomics performances. Generally speaking, we can say that the Uniline Compact can be used both indoors and outdoors for any kind of applications from hundreds to thousands of people. All configurations can be set based on these three speakers systems, according to its acoustic and mechanical modularity. Since its introduction in April 2016, the Uniline Compact has demonstrated its capacity in diverse applications such as tennis tournaments, rock concerts, and major television sets. Another particular feature is the fact that they are two line array speaker models, instead of one: UC206N and UC206W differ by their specific constant horizontal directivity, respectively 70° and 105°. The Uniline Compact outperforms conventional small two-way line array speakers with a higher, more accurate control of directivity, a wider bandwidth in lows and highs, a larger dynamic in low mids, and a higher overall SPL. In the sports sector, indoors as well as in stadiums, the performances are perfectly balanced for voice reproduction and music, for background sound and advertisement messages. Thanks to the third additional acoustic voice in the mid-levels, the system can easily reproduce the instruments’ acoustic timbres which can be found in classic, jazz and world music to name a few. APG’s reputation in modularity, added to the compact size from the Uniline Compact line array provides the industry with new levels of flexibility and versatility. www.apg.audio www.mondostadia.com
• High level of modularity and versatility for wide range of applications indoor and outdoor • High level of sonic performance: extended bandwidth down to low frequencies, dynamic and low distortion • The UC206W and UC206N can be used as real full range speaker for music application, due to its three-way bass reflex design • Two constant directivity mid-high elements to match the audience geometry and improve direct/ reverberation ratio (UC206N 70°H, UC206W 105°H) • Lightweight at 16.5 kg (a cluster of eight UC206N/W weights less than 140kg) • The mechanical system is totally captive and accessories allow all kind of rigging and ground stacking configurations
Pride Park Stadium has been the home of English football league side, Derby County Football Club, since it first opened back in 1997 to replace the club’s former home, the Baseball Ground.
Located in the city of Derby, Pride Park has a total capacity of 33,597, making it the 16th largest football ground in England and the 20th largest stadium in the UK. The stadium’s size and facilities have seen it play host to a number of full international matches, England under-21 games and the Women’s FA Cup Final in 2009. In line with Derby County’s ambitious plans to totally renovate the stadium’s technology and provide its fans with a high-level experience, the club also spent a lot of time improving its
Above: Pride Park Stadium, which has become one of the most technologically-advanced grounds in the UK
broadcast facilities. The club made the decision to opt out of the EFL’s digital streaming service, iFollow, and, instead, partner with StreamAMG, Europe’s premier online video specialist to provide its own platform for the 2017/18 season and beyond. On RamsTV, Derby County provide live streaming of its first team league fixtures for those based outside the UK, including a full live show on match days. There is also the option for a live replay of first team matches the day after for UK residents. In addition, there is live streaming of Under-23 matches with match commentary both inside and outside of the UK, as well as audio commentary of every first team match for all supporters worldwide. “The EFL’s Digital iFollow product is a great step
forward from the previous Player HD service and should be commended for that,” explained Derby County’s Chairman, Mel Morris, on the club’s website. “However, we opted out of the agreement because we wanted to go much further and much faster in offering a streaming service that provided a capability beyond what the EFL project could deliver, given its relatively modest budget dictated by the need to support clubs in all three leagues. “The RamsTV platform is growing rapidly and it an exciting project which we believe will offer an excellent and vastly improved service to our supporters across the world.” To be able to provide this level of coverage, the club needed full broadcast-grade equipment www.mondostadia.com
at Pride Park. The overall project spans the production gallery, OB areas, cameras throughout the stadium and studio spaces. The club turned to StvdioExpert to help the club decide on the specification and infrastructure needed to achieve their goals. However, what began as an upgrade has since grown into a redesign and rebuild of Derby County’s RamsTV platform, with Peter Knowles of StvdioExpert understanding the club’s vision for the future and translating it into a manageable, affordable project, with incredible potential. Blackmagic Design’s equipment was seen as the ideal choice for Pride Park, with plenty of its products used to deliver RamsTV. Peter takes up the story: “The core of the system at RAMsTV studio is a Blackmagic Design 40x40 Smart
Videohub, however the growth of the project has been exponential - and the subsequent increase in requirements mean that we will shortly be adding a 20x20 Smart Videohub to look after the growing quantity of distribution feeds. “The studio has just had a revamp with a new glass window offering great views, so three Blackmagic Design Studio Cameras, with remote zoom, focus of their Lumix lense and LANC control on the pan bars, are used to fully take advantage. “For location recording, we, again, use Blackmagic Design Studio Cameras, teamed up with an AKA Broadcast BMD PPU, which is an extremely powerful solution that could be taken in hand luggage.” Blackmagic Design’s SmartView are used as the studio monitors, as well as the gallery monitors. A range of equipment is used at Pride Park to provide high-quality match footage this includes two URSA Mini Pro cameras, with URSA Studio Viewfinders from Blackmagic Design. These are teamed up with the Canon T4 18-80 and a Canon T4 70-200 with zoom and focus demand, which produce an incredible quality. An URSA Mini Pro with Teradek Bolt is also used as the radio camera.
Although Pride Park’s status as one of the leading stadiums in England is still very much intact, in recent years, the performance of its audio system has led the club to make the decision to make a significant upgrade on that, too. The original audio system was almost 10 years old, so Stuart Fisher, Derby County’s Chief Technical Officer, approached leading audio and audiovisual consultancy, RH Consulting, to assist them. Working closely with the club, RH Consulting designed a system that would be perfect for Pride Park. As a result of a tender process, which involved five leading loudspeaker brands, d&b audiotechnik won the order. “We were asked to provide a system that would be capable of fully tantalising the senses,” explained Steve Jones of d&b audiotechnik’s Education and Application Support. “The club is very ambitious about what it can achieve and is keen to think outside the box in every area. “In terms of the new sound system, it quickly became clear that the club wanted a system not only to deliver announcements and background music effectively, they were also looking for that more subjective feeling of, ‘this is a great sound www.mondostadia.com
system that will engage people and make them want to have a party’.” With the performance brief and project budget in place, the use of a line array solution was ruled out at an early stage of the design process - the cost being proportional to the multiple elements needed to achieve the desired vertical coverage. So, Steve’s proposal reverted to the point source cabinet from d&b audiotechnik’s V-Series, the Vi7P.
Electroacoustic modelling proved that only three cabinets per cluster were required to meet the PAVA specification and allowed for the inclusion of a d&b audiotechnik Vi-SUB subwoofer to extend the performance to low frequencies. There were plenty of advantages of a point source solution for Pride Park; it takes up less space and still exceeds the intelligibility and SPL requirements stipulated by the regulating bodies. Minimising the weight and aesthetic intrusion
were of vital importance to the project, which is why the Vi7P loudspeakers from d&b audiotechnik ticked every box. In addition, RH Consulting ensured that the system complied to all the required national and European standards, liaising with the local council to provide all the licensing and safety documentation - which was so comprehensive that it all approved without any changes being required. Pride Park is also one of the first UK venues to
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comply with FIFA’s sound requirements for international stadiums. These include a stipulation that the system will provide maximum continuous sound levels of not less than 100dB(A) and peak sound levels of at least 105dB(A), with deviations in overall direct sound levels across the spectator seating not surpassing +/-3.5dB(A). “I spent a lot of time after the first match chatting to fans and everyone I spoke to remarked upon the improved audibility and clarity of the speech,” added Steve. “It’s evident that the system has set the venue up very nicely for the long term future, both in terms of its core football commitments and potential entertainment events.” Stuart agreed, too: “We are extremely happy with the d&b solution, as well as the support they have
provided during the project - and continue to provide now. It gives us the best acoustic solution in our league and arguably in the UK, too, having achieved superb voice measurements. The quality of the system is simply outstanding.“ With the audio and broadcast technology given such incredible upgrades, Pride Park is setting its stall out as one of the most exciting, forward thinking stadiums in the UK, if not Europe. This is further highlighted by the club submitting plans to further expand the ground. The plans include a two-storey development on the East Stand, which would house independent restaurants and bars, taking up part of the existing concourse and an area currently used a car park. If the stadium is anything to go by, Derby County are a club very much on the rise…
TECHNICAL INFORMATION INSTALLER: StvdioExpert, RH Consulting BRANDS: Blackmagic Design, d&b audiotechnik WEBSITE: www.stvdioexpert.co.uk / www.rhconsulting. eu / www.blackmagicdesign.com / www.dbaudio.com www.mondostadia.com
Above: The RAMsTV studio, which has put Derby County at the forefront of content delivery
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Located in the city of Gangneung on the east coast of South Korea, Gangneung Ice Arena is an indoor venue that will play host to the world figure and short track speed skating events in 2018, as well as being a permanent legacy facility for local recreational use. It was also used for the Special Olympics World Winter Games in 2013.
GANGNEUNG ICE ARENA Gangneung, South Korea
The Gangneung Ice Arena has a seating capacity of 12,000 and houses two 60-metres by 30-metres ice rinks, for competition and training respectively. With four floors above ground and two underground, the state-of-the-art arena has been designed using an environmentally-friendly ice cooling system. The sound system for the Gangneung Ice
Above: The interior of Gangneung Ice Arena.
Arena was designed and supplied by Inter-M Corporation, assisted by Desco Co. Ltd. on the installation. The Inter-M design was accurately calculated for the required intelligibility, sound levels and coverage and was based around Community R SERIES loudspeakers. Inter-M has firmly established an infrastructure that fits to sound equipment industry which requires reliability and agility. For the main competition rink, Inter-M used 40 R2-694Z high power, full-range, three-way loudspeakers to achieve the required sound levels and coverage. These are supplemented by four R2SUBDF subwoofers, which add low frequency extension and impact for wide bandwidth, high quality music. The system is controlled from a Midas PRO2/IP console, with Symetrix Edge
DSP. Lab.gruppen C 28:4 amplifiers power the Community loudspeakers. The training rink uses a less powerful but similar system, to give skaters consistency of audio quality for training and competition. In the training rink, Desco used 14 R.25-94Z and eight R.5-94Z. The training system also uses a Midas PRO2/IP console, Symetrix Edge DSP and Lab. gruppen C 28:4 amplifiers. Inter-Mâ€™s selection of loudspeakers for this world-class venue was based on the need for high quality speech and music, power and accurate coverage. Additionally, whilst Gangneung Ice Arena is an indoor venue, ice rinks present challenging climatic conditions and this additionally made the all-weather R SERIES their ideal choice. www.mondostadia.com
TECHNICAL INFORMATION DESIGNER: Inter-M Corporation INSTALLER: Desco Co. Ltd BRANDS: Community, Midas, Symetrix, Lab.gruppen WEBSITE: www.inter-m.com / www.communitypro.com / www.musictri.be / www.symetrix.co www.inter-m.com
MARC KOCKS Business Development Manager, Fixed Install, Powersoft Firstly, tell us a bit of background about how you first got into the audio industry? I started nearly 30 years ago as an apprentice for a company that specialised in installing boardroom systems and installing all the systems in the Dutch court houses. From there, I went to another company for a couple of years to do system designing, which was followed by working for Ampco Audio Products in The Netherlands in a junior sales role. This more or less played in to the managing director position at Ampco Flashlight Group, which consisted of TM Audio, Lightco and Pixel Source, which is a video-related company. During my Ampco Flashlight days I was managing the sales companies. One of my tasks was to design the system and project manage. I was involved in a lot of projects outside of The Netherlands too, ranging from theme parks to cruise ships, theatres, stadiums and many more. You’ve been working for Italian manufacturer, Powersoft for almost two years now, what first drew you to the company? Powersoft is a company that has existed for many years and I have worked with the brand before in my previous employment. At that time, the company was predominantly well-known in the live sound and rental markets, and the products were only used occasionally for fixed installations. However, with the introduction of the Ottocanali amplifiers about four years ago and the Quattrocanali range this year, Powersoft now offers a complete line of products for fixed installation. My task at Powersoft is to develop the fixed install market, meaning that I am looking at vertical markets and how a product can be placed within them. When looking at the vertical markets I need to build up a network, collect market information that might lead to new fixed install dedicated products we can integrate into existing products, or add to our product road map in the years ahead. Another part of my job is to develop training programmes for system integrators, consultants and end users. As a result of this we will be conducting dedicated fixed install training in 2018. This programme will be offering AVIXA CTS RU points. Powersoft has always struck me very innovative company and provides great support too. I had first hand experience of that maybe eight years ago.
There was an issue with the equipment, which was actually not Powersoft’s fault but down to the application. Powersoft was quick in replacing those products and sending support and really helped us out with the project and so that attitude also drew me to Powersoft. What makes Powersoft amplifiers applicable for a stadium installation? The touring range of products, which are our flagship platform X Series, the K Series and M Series products are fitted with XLRs and speaker connectors, and are mostly used in a live environment, in terms of power rating and features they have onboard. The install line products like the Ottocanali , the Quattrocanali and Duecanali are products equipped with Phoenix connectors, which make them easier to install. They also offer features which are perfectly suited to use in a fixed install environment, like they’re able to power 70V/100V high impedance loudspeakers or low impedance loudspeakers to be set per channel. They are also equipped with GPIs and GPOs for monitoring and remote control. The emphasis is really for the products to have the most efficiency and they have a very dense power ratio too. They’re available in lower output power ratings as well, so can be used in small and medium installations easily. Audio quality is very important, so this is something we emphasis in all of our products and I think the way we are using Class-D amplification and the DSP management is a very good tool to reach this audio quality demand. But, with fixed installation, there are some other aspects to consider - which are quite important - such as product efficient. Powersoft call it Green Audio Power - it’s efficient and works in every kind of environment. Furthermore, third party control is becoming more and more important too and is now an important design criteria to put into a fixed install product. We offer a full range of remote control plug-ins for almost any external control product. Are there specific models that are particularly well suited or is there any kind of built-in function that assists sporting venue projects? For the install line products we have specific models available - the Quattrocanali, the Ottocanali and the Duecanali - effectively eight, four and two channel product. Those three product lines offer a complete range and use the same DSP platform and use the same means of digital audio
transport, in this case Dante. So the products can be perfectly mixed and matched for installs. We also offer very good remote control in our software, Armonìa, which allows the user or the system integrator to create presets for the system and allows for signal processing in a system that is unmatched. If you look at other amplifier based DSP products, we are able to offer more functionality in terms of being able to monitor the system. Then we’ve got all kinds of systems available to work with Armonìa, so it can work with third party controlled systems, for example a Creston system or maybe another DSP system, but you’re also able to use it with Operator View, our own user interface. Tell us more about the Powersoft amplifier technology and why it is so adaptable for a sporting installation? I think there are a number of reasons why our amplifiers are very good at being adapted to sporting installations. First of all it’s Class-D amplifier technology. The Class-D amplifier is very dense and allows us to have a very dense power pack of amplifiers, which actually saves a lot of rack space. The efficiency of our amplifiers is unmatched, especially if you compare it to our competition thanks to a very low current draw and thermal dissipation. There are a very large number of large speaker pre-sets available in the system, allowing for combinations of different manufacturers, which helps the integrity of the system and the service ability of the system. We have all kinds of monitoring and safety features onboard too - a system integrator can remotely monitor the system and see if the system health is okay. What is the most prestigious stadium to date that features Powersoft products and why? First has to be Parc Olympique Lyonnais, now known as Groupama Stadium, that was commissioned and delivered last year. It comprises a very dense package of amplifiers, just 18 Ottocanali amplifiers, powering 144 independent, configurable loudspeakers. The ease of integration and the power capabilities of the product resulted in a huge saving in both installation costs and operation costs. Another one is Iduna Park Stadium, Dortmund, Germany, where Ottocanali and X Series products are used. Actually this system is used for PA and VA
purposes. But it was a renovation project only so the loudspeakers remained unchanged. The former amplifiers needed to be replaced, and by changing them the system integrator found out that they had full remote control and full remote monitoring available on the system as well. A huge advantage for the owner is that the mains power required was limited by almost 40% compared to the original solution. Are there any difficulties that you experience on a regular basis for stadium installations - if so, what are they? The ability to work with lots of different loudspeaker systems and still being able to use one amplifier platform, in this case, Powersoft is very important in our pre-set library. The extensive monitoring, like Live Impedance monitoring, and redundant system set up offered on our DSP enabled product allows for full integration in a PAVA system. The graphical user interface we provide saves costs in setting up the system. And then the extensive third party control we are offering also helps to integrate with other kind of systems like fire detection systems or maybe another DSP system. Can you predict any future trends for amplifier solutions in stadiums? I think that one of the most important aspects will be the ability to integrate the products or the systems in to the existing Ethernet structure in a stadium. Meaning that we have to have systems and products available that can sit on an Ethernet structure and can be used in the stadium’s general Ethernet backbone. It’s something that we see as a trend, it’s happening now and will be increasing more and more. The second trend is decentralised DSP, so the DSP is essentially split across the amplifiers so they are better equipped to protect the loudspeakers and monitor the system. By using a decentralised DSP solution we are also limiting the amount of network traffic and reducing the channel count of on the network. The other most important trend that I foresee will be more important in the next years is the combination of a PA and a VA system. I think we’ll see this a lot more in the not too distant future. www.powersoft-audio.com
FORD FIELD Detroit, USA
Above: The 65,000-seat stadium has recently received an audiovisual and lighting upgrade.
Originally built in 2002, the Ford Field stadium - home to NFL’s Detroit Lions - is now equipped with a Meyer Sound LEO line array solution, making it the first NFL stadium to be installed with the product series. A $100-million off-season renovation recently took place at the 65,000-seat stadium and the new audio system provides high speech intelligibility with uniform coverage throughout the seating bowl, while also delivering the broadband power and dynamic range required to energise fans in the stands and players on the field. “I think our fans will be blown away by the sound this season,” said Todd Argust, Vice President of Operations for the Detroit Lions. “There is no place in the venue where you won’t be able to clearly hear all the play announcements and calls by the officials - which unfortunately was not the www.mondostadia.com
case with our old system. It also will be a valuable tool for getting our fans pumped up at critical points in the game, so ultimately it will help the Lions perform at their best here at Ford Field.” Berkeley-based Meyer Sound obviously played a vital role in this project, but the company was assisted by Dallas-based consulting firm of Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams (WJHW) - worldwide leader in audiovisual design for sports facilities. Principal, Josh Beaudoin said: “I basically served as the owner’s representative, helping with product decisions, monitoring construction, keeping everything on schedule, and ensuring overall value. In regard to audio systems, I helped the Lions evaluate quality, USA sourcing, ability to meet the accelerated schedule, and the relationship they were looking for over the life of the system. Meyer Sound checked more of these boxes than any other
supplier.” System integrator Parsons Technologies - a division of Parson Electric - from Minneapolis, also worked alongside Meyer Sound and WJHW, Josh continued: “Over the years, Parsons Technologies has proven to be a very good partner for many other professional sports teams, and we are always pleased to work with them. We can be confident the job will be done right the first time.” The trio worked hand-inhand to deliver the LEO system, which possesses the wide dynamic range required to deliver clean, uncompressed and undistorted sound even during bursts of peak ambient crowd noise. Due to the voice characteristics, the audio also remains clear and natural; and intelligibility is high without sounding excessively loud. Furthermore, the extended dynamic range enables greater flexibility in programming music and effects for
climactic moments as sound doesn’t have to be heavily compressed to prevent system overload. After the consideration and planning phase, the team settled on the optimum configuration for the NFL stadium. The main bowl system comprises a distributed ring of eight LEO family line arrays, with a total of exactly 100 LEO-M and LYON-M self-powered, full-range loudspeakers covering the majority of seating areas. Supplementing the main arrays are scoreboard delay arrays and corner fill arrays with an additional total of 36 LEOPARD compact linear loudspeakers. Bass power is provided via 24 1100-LFC low-frequency control units, deployed as cardioid arrays to provide directional control and maintain tight response both in the bowl and - when a special preset is selected - also on the playing field. A separately addressable system of 18 LEOPARD loudspeakers blankets the playing www.mondostadia.com
field with high-level sound. The entire system is controlled by eleven Galileo GALAXY networked processors and monitored via Meyer Sound’s RMS networked monitoring system. Outside the main seating bowl of the stadium, in the acoustically problematic atriums at gates A and G, audio is delivered by Meyer Sound CAL column array loudspeakers with advanced beam steering technology. Bass is supplied by two 500-HP subwoofers. The CAL systems provide exceptional intelligibility in these challenging areas. “Having a system made in America was important symbolically,” continued Todd.” But it was even more important logistically. Because of our accelerated construction schedule, we needed a vendor that could respond quickly and have the system ready on time with zero performance compromises. We found that with Meyer Sound.”
TECHNICAL INFORMATION INSTALLER: WJHW, Parsons Technologies BRANDS: Meyer Sound, Daktronics, Musco Lighting WEBSITE: www.wjhw.com / parsonscorp.com / www. meyersound.com / www.daktronics.com / www.musco.com
Detroit Lions President, Rod Wood, said of the overhaul: “We really needed to get the sound quality up to where the fans could clearly hear the calls from the field and enjoy the music during breaks. In that respect, I think we’ve gone from near the bottom of the NFL right to the top.” Alongside the audio installation, new LED video displays were added courtesy of Daktronics. The 21-display system features more than 26,000 sq ft of displays with more than 28.1 million LEDs. “We were thrilled to continue our partnership with the Detroit Lions by providing new LED technology at Ford Field,” said Daktronics CEO, Reece Kurtenbach. “It’s a testament to our products, engineering and services when our current customers stay with Daktronics to complete their vision for venue upgrades. The new displays throughout the stadium are sure to enhance the experience for Lions fans, as well as help create an incredible home field advantage for the team.” In each end zone, the main video displays are more than twice the size of the previous displays and large enough to show a life-sized Spirit of Detroit monument six times. Each main display measures 39.5ft high by 152ft wide and feature a 13HD pixel layout. These screens offer wideangle visibility for a great view from any seat in the stadium. Flanking the main displays are four additional displays that measure 13ft high by 59ft wide and feature the same 13HD pixel layout. These displays can be used individually or coordinated with the main displays for one continuous 270ft presentation to show live video, instant replays, statistics, graphics and animations, and sponsorship messages. Measuring 36.5ft high by 62.5ft in circumference, two super column displays - unique to Ford Field -featuring 6mm line spacing provides additional graphics and statistics for fans. “The Daktronics product line is a staple in the sports and entertainment venue industry featuring the best in technology for large-scale video displays,” said Detroit Lions Senior Vice
President of Business Development, Kelly Kozole. “Furthermore, their knowledge and ingenuity were vital in helping us identify how we could maximise the Ford Field visual experience within our stadium structure. Our new video boards will undoubtedly elevate our game day and event presentation to another level.” Completed the Daktronics line-up are: three large ribbon displays mounted along the fascia of Gate A; four ribbon displays installed along the seating fascia totalling more than 5,000ft in length; and four displays, two in each end zone, mounted to the back of the main displays to further engage fans throughout the stadium and highlight sponsors during events. A state-of-the-art LED lighting system from Musco Lighting makes up the final part of this project. The brief for this element was to reduce energy consumption, improve light quality and enhance the fan experience. A total of 312 Musco luminaires have been installed at the stadium. Each one has customised optic control that directs light precisely onto the playing surface. The system also features integrated DMX special effects and instant on/off capabilities and dimming controls that allow for the light output to be adjusted when full power of the system is not required. Todd said of the lighting: ““The new LED lighting at Ford Field not only improves the guest experience in terms of clearer sightlines, but allows for greater lighting flexibility for all stadium events. Additionally, the new system uses a third of the energy in comparison to the previous lighting.” With the some of the best sightlines of any football stadiums in the USA and the incorporation of the old Hudson’s warehouse within the complex, Ford Field has plenty going for it. It also boasts a seven-storey atrium, and at the end is a glass wall, which provides a picturesque view of the Detroit skyline. And, with a new audiovisual package to match, the stadium is all set for seasons to come.
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VERSLUYS ARENA Ostend, Belgium Located in Ostend, Belgium, Versluys Arena is a multi-use stadium that boasts a capacity of 8,432, has four large halls and three breakout rooms, a cafe and two new halls that can serve up to 1,100 diners. Typically, the time to build a football stadium would take a couple of years, minimum, yet Versluys pulled out all of the stops and completed the arena in just five months. The luxury of time didn’t exist, as the home ground of KV Ostend was quickly outgrowing its capacity. Tickets to game nights were sold out for almost every home match and a premise next-door was needed to serve dinner for business guests. Club owner, Marc Coucke, decided that the stadium needed to be converted into a place where the team could grow and attract better players. Aside from creating a stadium with a larger capacity, the architect was also commissioned with making the largest bar, restaurant or club that the coastal city of Ostend had to offer. It had to be a modern, state-of-
the-art and multi-functional football stadium in which there is also room for seminars and corporate parties. Regarding the support for the audio installation, the technical expertise of installation company AVME was utilised for this project. AVME selected an AUDAC solution. At the heart of this system are the M2 multimedia digital audio mixers that are connected through a fibreglass network. Up to eight high quality stereo channels can be sent to the four M2’s that control 21 zones in the sports complex. The stadium is fitted with the FX Series of power loudspeakers from AUDAC. These can deliver a clear reproduction of music and speech for the thousands of screaming football fans. The smaller areas and hallways are equipped with weatherproof WX802_O wall speakers that can operate outdoors and deliver a deep bass for their size. Even though the M2 has sufficient processor power, the technicians from AVME decided to take the advantage of the WaveDynamics www.mondostadia.com
technology that is built in the SMA and SMQ power amplifiers. This technology can deliver advanced audio processing directly from the amplifiers to the loudspeakers. Because of the immensity of this football stadium a large quantity of CS Series quick fit ceiling speaker were used for the indoor areas and the café, CLUB31 received a combination of VEXO8 and PX12 high-power loudspeakers and BASO15 bass reflex cabinets that will accommodate the atmosphere after the game.
TECHNICAL INFORMATION INSTALLER: AVME BRANDS: AUDAC WEBSITE: www.audac.eu
Based in Gelsenkirchen, North RhineWestphalia, VELTINS-Arena is the home ground of Bundesliga side, FC Schalke 04. Officially opening in 2001, the stadium was seen as one of the most state-of-the-art venues in Europe, due to its design, facilities and technology used.
VELTINS-ARENA Gelsenkirchen, Germany
The ground has a total capacity of 62,271 (standing and seated) for league matches and an international capacity of 54,740 (seated only). It hosted the 2004 Champions League Final and five matches at the 2006 World Cup, highlighting its position as one of the go-to stadiums in Europe. One of the most eye-catching features of VELTINS-Arena is the Teflon-coated fibreglass
Above: VELTINS-Arena with the pitch retracted
canvas retractable roof, which spans the entire stadium. The centre of the roof can be opened into two halves, allowing for a choice between an open or covered stadium, depending on the weather or event. As well as the roof, the pitch is also retractable, delivering the ability to slide the playing field outside the stadium in just six to eight hours. Not only that, but the stadium also includes Germany’s longest beer pipeline, which can serve 52,000 litres of beer to the various kiosks and catering areas every match day - so, all angles are covered. However, although the forward-thinking architecture and design has held up well since 2001, a decision was made to upgrade some
of the technology within the stadium - further improving the experience for fans. The team at VELTINS-Arena wanted to upgrade their audio system - and it was Salzbrenner Media which was tasked with delivering a solution that followed UEFA and FIFA rules and evacuation regulations, as well as being suitable for concerts. With this in mind, Salzbrenner Media opted for a d&b audiotechnik system, which is installed in nine control centres throughout the building; eight of which are on the gratings above the seats and pitch, with the main control centre stationed in the stadium announcer room. The main audio system comprises of 168 d&b audiotechnik Vi8 loudspeakers and 28 Vi-SUB www.mondostadia.com
subwoofers. It’s anchored in 14 different positions around the stadium, with each section - 12 Vi8 and two Vi-SUB - housed in a customised mount system that was created by Metallbau Schubert, the metal workshop on Salzbrenner Media’s grounds in Buttenheim. Each mount system was installed into the roof at VELTINS-Arena by Stage Systems. The audio system for the upper tiers includes 40 d&b audiotechnik Vi7P loudspeakers, while the system for the pitch uses 16 Vi7P loudspeakers, which are mounted in pairs. To power the audio system, there are 74 d&b audiotechnik D30 amplifiers used, while the audio network consists of two QSC Q-Sys Core 1100, 28 QSC Q-Sys I/O Frame Network
Interface and 29 HP network switches. The end result has seen Salzbrenner Media deliver an audio system that is perfect for VELTINS-Arena, offering an exceptional quality of sound throughout the stadium - whether it be for match days or live concerts. It wasnâ€™t just the audio system that was recently upgraded, though, with the stadiumâ€™s impressive, centrally-suspended LED cube also revamped, making it not only the first of its kind within football stadia, but also the largest in Europe. To help make this a reality, the main objective was to significantly improve the LED technology that was previously installed. Budget, technical parameters and the marketing content that
would be on the video cube all had to be taken into consideration. Following the analysis process, the solution was to improve the image resolution by 100% - from the previous 25mm to 10mm. As well as that, the image display area would have to be doubled from 34.7 sq metres to 76.3 sq metres per each side of the cube. However, these changes also had to consider that the weight load on the stadium roof should not be increased, so as not to severely restrict the use of the ground in other areas. The challenge was to not add to the weight of construction, despite the LED screen increasing by approximately 30%. That also needed to
TECHNICAL INFORMATION INSTALLERS: Salzbrenner Media, LEDCON BRANDS: d&b audiotechnik, QSC, LEDCON WEBSITE: www.salzbrenner.com / www.dbaudio.com / www.qsc.com / www.ledcon.de www.mondostadia.com
be completed within a time frame of around four months - that included the design, construction, structural analysis and testing, material procurement, manufacturing and on-site assembly - so, it was a difficult task. The structure was created using 11 tonnes of aluminium, making the total weight, with the LED displays, 30 tonnes. Using the same hanging points as the old construction, the LED cube is held up by eight steel ropes. For the actual LED displays, LEDCON UPix modules are used, with the company starting preparations and prearrangements around 18 months before installation. The total screensize - 305.28 sq metres (76.32 square metres each side) - consists of 216 LEDCON UPix modules with a pixel pitch of 10mm, giving a native resolution of 1060 x 720 pixels. The UPix LED displays are easy to maintain through its rear, horizontal service doors and reliable under the harshest of conditions, as well
as being thin and lightweight. The construction time for the LED cube at VELTINS-Arena was around four weeks, with the production of the UPix modules completed in advance to make for a clear timetable in terms of construction and installation. The cube is now installed in a height of 23 metres above the field and is giving a visual experience to all the spectators and fans that have yet to be matched. The final result is nothing short of spectacular, with the LED cube dominating right in the centre of the stadium, above the pitch. It is easy to see why many other stadiums have tried to implement something similar when it is so effective. The LED cube, along with the enhanced audio setup, has firmly put the VELTINS-Arena back on top for experience and facilities when it comes to football stadiums in Europe. We’re sure we’ll be seeing the ground play host to some of the biggest matches and events from now on. www.mondostadia.com
Above: The largest video cube in Europe Left: Loudspeakers with the stadium’s roof open Right: d&b audiotechnik loudspeakers in place
Designed by one of Israel’s most well-known architects, Goldschmidt, Arditty and Ben Nayim (GAB Architects), Turner Stadium was a long time in the making. However, with it being only the second stadium in the country to have stands on all sides and a roof covering all fans, the venue has quickly made its mark. At a cost of $63m, the new site is in the northern outskirts of Be’er Sheva - which is quite a distance from the old central Vasermil Stadium - but it means a larger capacity of just over 16,000 and more facilities to offer fans.
TURNER STADIUM Be’er Sheva, Israel
Local distributor and installer, Protouch was brought onboard early in the process, having
Above: The MADRIX software controls the LED screens on the stadium’s façade
been selected for its knowledge and experience in complex projects, as well as its reputation for taking on difficult tasks and making them a success. The Turner Stadium installation required a new audio system, LED screen inside the venue, as well as an LED façade for the exterior, and the Protouch team has expertise in all areas. Lighting Designer for the project, Netanel Klein discussed his vision with Protouch’s Director of Development and Planning Department, Shalomi Ben-Abet and together they accomplished a precise plan for the stadium. Looking at the exterior to begin with, a decorative red wave across the façade was the design of choice. The aim was to emphasise the unique
structure of the building, and make the wave a jewel that sparkled at night. In order to ensure the red wave was the only lighting detail that could be seen as night though, it had to be created using a flexible LED screen. The main challenge was concealing the electrical infrastructure on the façade, which was achieved using a customised cover that was fixed to the LED pixels. When it came to content for the LED screen, this posed another challenge. There were three distinct functions for the screen: from sunset until 2am when the displays needed to produce soft content with faded transitions; during the football games when the content was required to be bolder and brighter; and finally for special www.mondostadia.com
events, with content varying dependent on the occasion. MADRIX software was chosen for the pixel control. It has allowed Protouch to create a spectacular and colourful canvas, which stands in stark contrast to the plain surrounding landscape. The structure and its outer wave-like design are definitely a fascinating sight in the heart of the desert. Protouch also specified the audio system for Turner Stadium, selecting a TW AUDiO PA. Protouch’s Kfir Avni was appointed to head the project. “The aim of the audio installation was to achieve a consistent SPL of 105dB with top quality intelligibility. With a 3D EASE simulation
we determined the required coverage and max SPL concluding that the T24N was the right product to fulfill the requirements. Apart from the high SPL another contributing factor was the weight of the loudspeaker with a mere 33kg,” he explained. The 32 TW AUDiO T24N 90º version have been equally distributed on 16 points throughout the stadium. In order to shorten the cable routes one amplifier rack has been installed above each of the four tribunes. The T24Ns are powered by Lab.gruppen amplifiers of the PLM+ Series. The PLMs offer numerous redundant signal inputs for operational safety and to avoid any failure during operation. An optical double fibre ring distributes the signals through the Dante
network to the four amplifier racks. “After the installation and the final measurements we had reached a SPL of 107dB with a perfect constant coverage. These 32 T24N are enough to provide excellent performance for nearly 17,000 visitors. Our customer is very happy with the final result and the decision of having chosen TW AUDiO components for the installation,” continued Kfir Avni. Shmulik Mazuz CEO of Protouch had the final word: “The TW loudspeakers were selected thanks to their high-quality sound, intelligibility and high SPL. It is a system that can overpower the audience’s volume, especially when a goal had just been scored. Another advantage is the loudspeakers relatively lightweight.”
TECHNICAL INFORMATION INSTALLERS: Protouch BRANDS: MADRIX, TW AUDiO WEBSITE: www.protouch.co.il / www.madrix.com / www.twaudio.de
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Celtic Park has been the home of Celtic Football Club since 1892 and has since become one of the most famous stadiums in Europe. With a capacity of over 60,000, Parkhead or Paradise - as the clubâ€™s fans affectionately know it - is the largest football stadium in Scotland and the sixth-largest football stadium in the UK.
As well as being the home ground of Celtic FC, Celtic Park also regularly plays host to large concerts and was used for the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The atmosphere at Celtic Park is well known for being of the best in Europe, so it was only natural for the stadium itself to match in terms of technology and facilities. With this in mind, the decision was made to upgrade the audio system
Above: Celtic Park - also known as Parkhead by fans
throughout. To begin the process of improving the stadium experience, Celtic FC enlisted the help of PEL Services Limited, an electronics engineering firm based in Northolt, London. It was tasked with the design and installation of the public address and emergency sound systems. “Celtic Park is an awesome stadium, and one of the loudest places I’ve ever been for a match,” noted Vic Swain, Engineering Director for PEL. “The club wanted a state-of-the-art emergency notification system, and wanted to integrate that with an audio system that would provide clear sound for every seat in the house. It’s a challenging project, but the combined solution of Bosch and Electro-Voice works perfectly.” There was already an existing public address
infrastructure in place, as well as a strong, stadium-wide IT network, so PEL advised the selection of Bosch Praesideo digital Public Address and Emergency Sound System with Electro-Voice pro audio loudspeakers to improve coverage, clarity and fidelity within the main bowl area of the stadium. As both systems can be interfaced to the Dante networking standard, both the Bosch Praesideo system and all Electro-Voice loudspeakers are monitored and controlled remotely via ElectroVoice N8000 NetMax digital matrix controllers. For the first phase of the audio upgrade, the Bosch Praesideo public address and emergency sound system serving the internal areas of Celtic Park, including the concourses, restrooms, offices and turnstiles. The open architecture and high www.mondostadia.com
level of redundancy in these areas makes the scalable Bosch Praesideo system a reliable choice as it offers complete communications flexibility, all while exceeding safety standards. The stadium system is based on dual Praesideo network controllers with an audio expander interface and six strategically placed call stations. The 100V audio system utilises legacy installed loudspeakers, all of which were tested and upgraded with Bosch line supervision sets. This enables Praesideo to check all speakers for proper line operation. Power for the system comes from 22 Bosch amplifiers, with onboard DSP modules. For the Electro-Voice loudspeakers in the main bowl, PEL sought the advice of Acoustics Plus, an independent acoustic consultant based in
Croydon, on the deployment. Research included recording SPL levels throughout a game, documenting the sonic requirements and using computer modelling to map optimal locations and dispersion patterns for full coverage. Aimed down from beneath the roof, the system uses a mix of frontloaded EVF-1152D and hornloaded EVH-1152D, both full-range, weatherised loudspeakers from the EV-Innovation family. “Celtic always wants to do the very best for their fans - in addition to meeting the evacuation system legal standard for Speech Transmission Index,” said Vic. “They also wanted it to sound just as good when the place is really rocking during a big match. These EV speakers accomplish that with ease, even in problem areas. “We had structural engineers and riggers working closely with the acoustic consultant to make final adjustments. A lot of preparation, but on the
day the speakers were hung and aimed, it was extremely quick and accurate.” As part of the process, Electro-Voice CPS Series power amplifiers, two N8000 NetMax DSP matrix units, and a redundant fibre ring were installed as infrastructure support for the full stadium system. To date, the new loudspeakers are in place above the north stands and adjacent corner areas. Future phases will complete the installation above the south stands, adjacent corner areas, and west and east stands behind the goals. “The integration of Bosch Praesideo in the back of house with Electro-Voice loudspeakers aiming at the area above the seats, all working together in a centrally controlled network, represents a real commitment to the safety and comfort of the fans,” added Vic. “It’s great to help a legendary organisation like Celtic F.C. to achieve their goals.” www.mondostadia.com
TECHNICAL INFORMATION INSTALLER: PEL Services Limited BRANDS: Bosch, Electro-Voice WEBSITE: www. pel.co.uk / www.boschsecurity.com / www. electrovoice.com
47 IN DETAIL
PRESONUS WORXAUDIO S-XL5 For larger stadiums and athletic complexes, the ultra-powerful S-XL5 is in a class of its own. Extremely weather-resistant, the S-XL5 delivers an impressive 160˚ horizontal by 40˚ vertical dispersion pattern in the most demanding environments, such as football and soccer fields, baseball stadiums, and amusement parks. The wide dispersion reduces the quantity of enclosures needed to provide consistent coverage and minimise comb filtering and related audible anomalies. The result is performance and durability that are unparalleled, with output up to 147dB SPL. Using 10 eight-inch, 800W cone drivers and five 1.4-inch
• Specifically designed to withstand temperature extremes and moisture • Fibreglass seal coating and polyurea inside and out, with UV exterior outdoor protection
compression drivers in a tuned, curved enclosure, the S-X5 provides a symmetrical coverage pattern, ensuring the sound has minimal distortion and smooth, extended low frequency response. It is available as a passive system. The shaped enclosure uses Baltic birch cross-laminated wood finished with a fiberglass polyurea coating (inside and out), UV exterior outdoor protection, and a fiberglass seal coating inside and out. The stainless steel fasteners will maintain their appearance, while a stainless steel, perforated grille, backed with a vinyl mesh, completes each system. commercial.presonus.com www.mondostadia.com
• Five 1.4-inch exit-diameter compression drivers with threeinch voice coils • 10 eight-inch LF transducers with two-inch voice coils • 2,000W LF, 750W HF power handling • 147dB SPL max @ 1W / one-metre • 55Hz to 18kHz response (-3dB) • 160˚ horizontal by 40˚ vertical directivity • Perforated, powder-coated, stainless steel grille with high transmission ratio • 16ft, multi-conductor, Aquaseal water block cables with gland nuts; each module is wired separately, requiring 10 power inputs • Internal bracket w/threaded 0.375-inch flying points (x17)
Right: Daniel Powell Far Right: The setup at Edgeley Park, Stockport County’s home ground Images courtesy of Mike Petch
DANIEL POWELL Camera Operator / Media at Stockport County F.C How did you first get into the industry? I started filming football games when I was at Salford University about seven years ago. I used to finish my uni lecture at MediaCityUK in Salford, then carry the massive Panasonic P2 cameras all the way up to Ashton United, a small club in Tameside. I’d film the game at the back of the stand, return the gear first thing in the morning and then burn the footage onto a DVD for the manager. The only thing I got from doing that was experience behind the camera and to get my name spreading through non-league football. By the end of my last year at uni, I’d filmed for a number of teams - and that’s when I then invested in my own equipment. When and why did you join Stockport County? It was the 2013/14 season. I’d managed to get a paid job filming for Nantwich Town in Cheshire. They played a home friendly against Stockport County and I released my own highlights of the game. The next day, the club contacted me to see if I was interested in filming the games for Stockport County that season… I nearly bit their hand off. I’ve been a County fan since I was a kid - I’d had a season ticket for 10 years before I started filming football games - so, the opportunity to work for a club of that size was a great step for me. What does your role consist of? I work for the club’s media team, mainly focusing on the video aspect. So, filming all the games, recording interviews, creating highlight packages, which we sell sponsorship on and promoting our social media platforms; Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
What attracts you to working in the broadcasting industry? I think what attracts me the most is my love for football. I’d happily watch or film any football game. The atmosphere and passion that you get from any football ground in the country makes it an exciting job to do. I know a few Camera Operators that aren’t football fans, which I find a bit weird. Another aspect of the industry that I like is how the tech side can advance every season and, as a club, you’ve got to stay ahead. I used to use tape back at University, but now you can literally stream HD footage to anyone. What is your current setup in terms of equipment? My current setup at the moment is a Panasonic AG-AC 90 camera. I record the raw footage onto a SD card - that’s what I use to edit game footage. I also hook up a HDMI cable to my Macbook Pro, thanks to the Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Mini Recorder. It allows my laptop to capture the footage from the camera; it’s really easy to use as well. One of the main reasons I do this is to make a smaller file size of the game, which I can quickly send to the club’s analysis coach and the league. Other equipment I use is the Zoom H5 - I normally hook the radio commentary into the Zoom through the use of a XLR splitter. I like to include match commentary on the highlights; so with the graphics, commentary and high-quality footage, it’s just like watching Match of the Day. Run us through a typical match day at Stockport County... For a home game, I normally get all my camera gear and audio set up ready an hour before the game. After the game, we’ll get the manager down into the media room for an interview, followed by a few player interviews. Depending on the result, I like to post a goal an hour or two after the game.
Fans love tweeting and sharing the videos, so it’s a no-brainer for us to do so. What are the main things you have to take into consideration when filming at an away ground? Don’t forget to bring your gear… trust me, it happens! You often work at lower league grounds, are there any difficulties you experience on a regular basis - and what are they? Vantage point. You want to film the game dead centre of the half way line, with a nice distance and height as well. The amount of times away teams have tried to make me film near a corner flag or behind a pole is laughable. I always end up having to blag my way into the director’s box just to get a decent view. I’ve filmed on top of stands, burger vans and a hill with sheep… So, I literally will film anywhere for a decent view. It’s not a problem in the Football League, but anything lower than Conference football, it can get quite messy. Other difficulties would be power and shelter. I’ve filmed a game once where it rained and snowed with heavy winds - I was out in the open, on top of some scaffolding - I’ve never been so cold in my life. The chairman came to congratulate me after the game, as I think any sane person would have stopped filming and climbed down.
Our aim would be to continue to improve the club’s media and keep it ahead of the game, so, when County get back into the Football League, they are ready in terms of media. One thing I would like to see is streaming football games behind a pay wall, so fans from other countries can watch. It’s a bit difficult at the moment, but we’ve got all the equipment and software ready to do so. We had a trial test during a pre-season game and we had over 6,000 people watching on YouTube at one point, which is quite promising. I believe some clubs in the Football League do stream the game online behind a pay wall, so surely it’s a matter of time before teams lower down in the football pyramid start offering a similar service. Do you have a career highlight so far? I’ve had a lot of viral videos while I’ve been at County, but the best one would be the ‘Body Slam’ video - essentially, it was some serious foul play on the pitch. We had over 20 million views worldwide. I had ESPN, CNN and other TV channels scrambling to get the rights for the video. Icing on the cake was when they showed it on Match of the Day 2 - I never thought I’d see Stockport County on Match of the Day!
Edgeley Park aside, which stadium has been your favourite to film in? Tough one, a lot of grounds I’ve filmed at aren’t the best. But, I’ll say Crewe Alexandra, Wrexham, Halifax, Cheltenham and Kidderminster. Proper Football League grounds, with the correct filming facilities all set up.
What do you believe to be the next big thing in terms of technology when it comes to filming in stadiums? For filming in stadiums, the only way you can improve the viewing experience at the moment would be to include some new camera angles. Imagine ‘Referee Cam’, we could see a first person view of what the referee or linesman sees - I think that could a interesting development.
What are the future plans for the media department at Stockport County?
Opened in August 2017, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia is certainly an architectural feat, with the eight-panel retractable roof - resembling a pinwheel - that opens to create the illusion of birdâ€™s wings extending.
The stadium, which replaced the adjacent Georgia Dome, has a total capacity of 71,000, though this can be increased to 75,000 for special events. Home to the NFL team, Atlanta Falcons - who opened the stadium on 26th August 2017 in a pre-season game against Arizona Cardinals - and Atlanta United FC of the MLS, the stadium is owned by the state of Georgia and operated by the AMB Group. With such an incredible design in place, it was of
Above: The impressive Mercedes-Benz Stadium
vital importance that the technology installed in Mercedes-Benz Stadium was the highest quality - particularly when you consider the plans that were in place. The audio system, for example, had to deliver a incredible sound to every fan within the stadium. To help make this a reality, the team at Mercedes-Benz Stadium enlisted the help of Danley Sound Labs, which was more than happy to add its hometown football team to its list of sporting stadia and arenas using its technology. “The Falcons headquarters is five minutes from my house, and I’ve been a lifelong fan,” said Danley President and CEO, Mike Hedden. “We have had a relationship with the Falcons for several years so when the new stadium was first being discussed we gave them an outdoor demo
at a community event that blew them away in terms of volume, clarity, and musicality. “We were later asked by the Falcons to come up with a design for the new stadium that, when compared to the other proposals they received, provided substantially better coverage, bandwidth, and intelligibility. Further added value is it costs significantly less, weighs half as much and uses a fraction of the amplifiers, signal processing and cabling. It’s all up-side.” With the task in their hands, the team at Danley came up with a solution, which utilised a huge Danley Jericho Horn and BC-218 subwoofer sound reinforcement system. The plans were approved and Danley went ahead, providing eight hangs to ring the backside of the LED screen, which fire towards the stands. www.mondostadia.com
Each individual hang consists of a Danley J1-94 Jericho Horn loudspeaker on top, a J2-96 Jericho Horn loudspeaker on the bottom and two BC-218 subwoofers coupled together to provide 20dB of forward directivity down to 50Hz. In addition to that, there are four Danley XD-62 loudspeakers in place to provide fill and two J3-64 Jericho Horn loudspeakers for pre-game coverage of the field. The power for the Danley audio system comes from Crown MacroTech HD amplifiers. According to Mike, the Danley system achieve close to a 0-7 Speech Transmission Index for Public Address value, which is impressive considering that 1.0 is considered almost unachievably perfect and 0.5 being the baseline in the stadium’s bid specifications.
As well as the audio system, the LED video display had to be designed and installed to an incredible standard - particularly as the plans made it clear that this was to be a ground-breaking engineering innovation. Daktronics were drafted in to manufacture and install the largest LED video display - a never-been-done-before 360º halo display that sits above the field as part of Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s unique retractable roof structure. Daktronics was also tasked with manufacturing a large, first-of-its-kind mega column LED display in the stadium, which stretches 101ft from the first concourse to the roof. Overall, Daktronics will install more than 82,500 sq ft of video displays at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. “Daktronics is in a league of their own,”
said Rich McKay, President of AMB Sports and Entertainment. “We selected to work with them because of their dependability known throughout the industry as well as the creativity they bring in crafting something that has never been done.” The spectacular halo display measures 58 ft high by 1,075ft in circumference - large enough for a helicopter to fly through - for a total of 61,900 sq ft of display space. It will be more than five storeys high and almost three times larger than the previous largest display in professional football. “We’re proud to provide Mercedes-Benz Stadium with this unique, visionary halo display,” said Daktronics CEO, Reece Kurtenbach. “The project is a test of engineering and architecture coordination that showcases our company’s depth and capabilities.
TECHNICAL INFORMATION BRANDS: Danley, Daktronics, Crown WEBSITE: www.danleysoundlabs.com / www.daktronics.com / www. crownaudio.com www.mondostadia.com
“Increasingly, there is a desire to move beyond common rectangle shapes and Daktronics has been at the forefront of the creative use of LEDs. We are equipped to be a valuable partner with our customers for complete solutions, no matter what their aspirations may be for their venue, their display systems and overall experience for their fans.” The mega column is a four-sided display that covers a building support structure with usable video space to entertain fans. Coming in at a total of 6,700 sq ft - approximately 101ft high by 71ft around - the mega column has more square footage than the main video displays at 19 professional football venues and 24 major league venues for baseball, highlighting just how impressive it really is. The displays at the stadium will provide all of the modern LED video capabilities using 15HD pixel layouts to provide full HD video and instant replays. They can also use variable content zoning for multiple windows to show any combination of video, statistics, graphics and
animations, sponsor messages and other game information. In addition to the halo and mega column displays, Daktronics will install 12 other LED displays throughout Mercedes-Benz Stadium, including fascia and auxiliary displays. Three displays will feature Ultra-High Definition (UHD) LED technology with pixels spaced 2.5mm apart to bring fans into the action with up close live video and replays in two club areas at the stadium. Field-level perimeter displays are also included as part of the project to surround the pitch during Atlanta United FC events. With the audio and LED video installs providing the best sound and visual displays available, it’s fair to say that the technology is well and truly matching the incredible architectural and design plans. It’s no surprise that the Super Bowl LIII will be held at the Atlanta venue in 2019, along with a whole host of other sporting events and concerts. With the experience that the stadium delivers, don’t be surprised to see a lot more of MercedesBenz Stadium in the future. www.mondostadia.com
Above: Daktronics’ Feather Wall display, with the Halo display in the background Left: Danley loudspeakers in position Right: A range of Daktronics LED displays
Linking People Together
LQ Seriesâ„˘ 4.0 IP Comms for Everyone IP-based communications is not a new concept, but for traditional partyline intercom users, crossing over to the IP domain is still an aspiration. With LQ Series IP Interfaces, linking diďŹ€erent intercom instances together over IP is now achievable. LQ Series of IP interfaces enable industrystandard brands of analogue and digital partyline systems to seamlessly connect with other communications systems, including 4-wire audio, mobile apps over WiFi, and two-way radios, over standard IP networks. Thanks to IP connectivity within LQ, IP truly can be for everyone!
BRIDGESTONE ARENA Nashville, USA Before the mid-‘90s, the NHL didn’t exist in Nashville, however with the planned building of the Nashville Arena already underway, that situation was soon rectified. After the official opening of the sporting venue and the formalities of appointing a home team were done and dusted, the Nashville Predators set out to play their first season in 1998/1999. The arena has remained the home of the ice hockey team ever since, meaning it is approaching the 20th anniversary. Known today as Bridgestone Arena - which has been its name since 2010 - the venue has recently undergone an audiovisual make-over to enhance the fan experience. By coincidence, since the new technology has been installed, the Predators have won all their consecutive NHL home games during the playoffs - something that hasn’t been done for more than 20 years in NHL history. It must be a good omen. “AV is an integral part of that experience,” noted the arena’s Senior Director of Technical Operations, Ben Bosse. “More than integral, it is an essential item.” Music and video are a big part of the ‘total game experience’, it relates both pre-game and postgame productions and incites the crowd during in-game breaks in the action. After the arena management made the announcement of the upgrade, Nashville-based sports stadium consultant, Durrell Sports was brought on-board. “Bridgestone has always been a home town favourite to our company,” said Durrell Sports Principal, John Horrell. “We have been connected to them, as being their main sound consultant, lessor of audio equipment, provider of media services and supplied audio technicians for the past 12 years. Watching the success of the building - rated in the top five most used stadiums in the country 10 years running - and the success of the Predators team have been exciting to say the least.” John had been involved with the PA selection last time an installation took place, 12 years ago, so he was well aware it was time for an upgrade. He
began to explore different solutions and came across a new release from Italian manufacturer, RCF. “Most companies build line arrays for the live performance touring industry. With the size of the arena, we wanted tour quality sound in an installation friendly solution, plus the cost versus capability ratio of the RCF system made the choice even easier.” The product up for consideration was the large format HDL50A line array system and after a demo, John was confident in his decision. The next stage was to demo the system for real in the stadium. Luckily, John managed to secure a demo period for the system that would cover the playoffs, so the team and it fans, as well as the arena executives essentially got a trial run. With the results of the playoffs and the feedback from the management team, the decision to go ahead was a no brainer. Within six days of the final decision, the old sound system was taken down and the new RCF system was put up. “Immediately, I was so impressed, the RCF system gave us a much more dynamic sound with low frequency that had never been part of the Predator fan experience,” said John. In addition to supplying the HDL50-A line array solution, RCF also sent out specialist engineers to assist with the tuning of the system. This was another favouring factor when choosing the Italian company. “We were able to tune the system and the impact was nothing short of spectacular,” said John. “Fans were energised, motivated and Bridgestone became a very effective tool to aid the players and intimidate their opponents.” Ben was in agreement with praise for the new system, he said: “The sound system has aided in propelling the fan support to a new height. Crowd noise has escalated to 107dB. The fan excitement has turned into ecstasy and the media has been reporting that is what helped to propel the hockey team to the home ice success.” Concluding on the new audio installation, John added: “I am proud that we were able to make the impact desired for Bridgestone. This is what www.mondostadia.com
Left: The centrehung LED displays were supplied by LSi Industries.
Durrell, as a company, strives to provide. Innovation that makes something special to the fans and the players. Anyone can pick out speakers - Durrell picks out excitement that sets records.” Bridgestone Arena doesn’t only try to enhance the fan experience via audio, though, the venue uses video, too. Looking for a way to create a more visually interactive experience for guests making their way through the crowd, the Bridgestone Arena management team turned to PixelFLEX, which was able to provide a turnkey solution that included all software and hardware systems. PixelFLEX installed two FLEXLite 6.9mm LED video displays inside the concourse area. The first display located at the SoBro Nissan entrance measures 16ft wide and 9ft wide, while the second display hangs above the escalators at the Broadway entrance measuring 9.5ft wide and 6.5ft wide, feeding 95% of the venues upper bowl foot traffic to their seats. As well as the concourse area, PixelFLEX also supplied the world’s first convex curved FLEXUltra 2mm LED video wall for the VIP Lexus Lounge to cover all stages of the game, including a live panoramic view of the ice. The private 450-members club is located on the Performers Level, Lexus Lounge is an exclusive club that provides an unparalleled experience of luxury, relaxation and excitement with unprecedented access to players and other VIPs. Video displays inside the main area were supplied by LSI Industries and include the centrehung and the advertising screens between the seating tiers. The centrehung is made up of three elements: a SMARTVISION Video Display with a 16.5mm pitch and measuring 7.8ft by 10.39ft; a SMARTVISION Ring Display, again with a 16.5mm pitch and measuring
20ft circumference; and a second SMARTVISION Ring Display with a 30ft circumference. The lighting in the main arena has also been upgraded recently. With maintenance becoming more troublesome as the lights were starting to require frequent replacement due to shifting colour temperatures and decreased lumen output, and the growing concerns over energy costs, the decision to replace the fixtures was made. The equipment had become tired and wasn’t able to keep up with the more demanding schedule, indicative of the arena today. A total of 120 Ephesus Arena Pro 600 fixtures were installed to replace 247 metal halide lights. These unique fixtures provide colour temperature tuning adjustments at the push of a button with no decrease in light on the surface. A warmer colour temperature was programmed for basketball and a cooler one for hockey. Additional settings were created for events such as concerts and maintenance. Prism colour fixtures were also installed to create unique fan experience effects while more prisms were installed around the building’s exterior to provide uplighting. All of the Ephesus fixtures incorporate DMX control to enable dynamic fan experience effects as well as increased operational flexibility. “The combination of the improved lighting and fan entertainment elements coupled with the environmental benefits and lower operating costs made this solution an easy choice to add to our upgrades to the Bridgestone Arena. We are especially excited about showcasing the new system during NHL All-Star Weekend, when the eyes of the hockey world are upon Nashville,” said Tim Friedenberger, Vice President of Facilities Operations for Bridgestone Arena.
TECHNICAL INFORMATION INSTALLER: Durrell Sports BRANDS: RCF, PixelFLEX, Ephesus Lighting, LSI Industries WEBSITE: durrellsports.com / www.rcf.it / pixelflexled.com / ephesuslighting.com / www.lsi-industries.com www.mondostadia.com
Sports Business Expo TOKYO Gateway to the Japan & Asian Sports Business Market 2018 Venue : Makuhari Messe, Japan Dates : Feb. 21 [ Wed ] - 23 [ Fri ],
Organised by : Reed Exhibitions Japan Ltd. Concurrent show : 5th Live Entertainment Expo TOKYO
〝Stadium & Arena Zone〞 to be launched ! Seating, Flooring, Display, Digital Signage, Apps, POS
... and more
Organiser: Reed Exhibitions Japan Ltd. Sports Business Expo TOKYO Show Management TEL : +81-3-3349-8507 FAX : +81-3-3344-2400 A division of Reed Business Registered in England, Number 678540
BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Colossus TV is the record-breaking addition to Bristol Motor Speedway, featuring four massive screen faces of digiLED Toura6 LED technology - its now the world’s largest outdoor centrehung video display. Boasting an 87% greater resolution than HD, the screen is cumulatively more than 8K in width. In addition to the four-sided display, Colossus has a circular ticker hung beneath. Suspended 60 metres above the Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) track, the screens are flown on steel cables – with a similar gauge to that used on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge – from a quartet of bespoke towers located outside the 165,000-capacity venue. Each of the four sides of the gargantuan structure has a huge digiLED Toura 6mm LED screen measuring 19.2 metres wide by 9 metres high - that’s nearly the height of a three-storey house. In total, the full system hosts almost 20 million pixels.
Above: Mid-game at Bristol Motor Speedway Images © GoVision www.mondostadia.com
The digiLED Toura was designed to meet the specification requirements of the clients, GoVision, Panasonic and BMS. The 6mm pitch meant that the pixels are grouped tighter than any other large-scale, permanent outdoor display. The result: a glimmering visual experience capable of offering 281 trillion different colours, is 23 times brighter and 25% sharper than the typical home HD TV. The display hangs from a halo-shaped truss and features an additional circular LED display beneath the screens measuring over six metres in height. Between the screens and the LED ring, that’s more than 10,500 sq ft of high-resolution, active viewing area. “Normally, high-resolution LED screens and quick assembly don’t go hand in hand. However, with Toura, we produced a lightweight, ergonomic, technician-friendly, large format panel which would give stage hands or crews the ability to construct large areas of screen in a relatively short period of time,” said Graham
Burgess, digiLED CEO. The ticker ring suspended below the gondola required an additional 144 panels (two high by 72 around the circumference), resulting in 1,132 panels flying in the air. Precision was critical for the project. The structure and rigging process meant digiLED had to refine the accuracy of the Toura frame. With a pixel pitch of 6mm, it is essential that two panels mounted side by-side have a tolerance of less than 1mm where the panels butt up. Usually this is completed with small panels, but using a large format panel needed far greater precision. “Our solution was to go to a UK fabrication company known for making Formula One parts, including those used by McLaren,” explained Tom Mudd, digiLED Technical Director. “They helped us produce a golden sample corner block for the digiLED Toura6, an amazing piece of precision engineering. The corner block is a precision component that ensures that as two panels are placed together the pixel spacing is www.mondostadia.com
perfect.” “Combine all the energy and excitement of Bristol with the ultimate theatre system, and you’ve got Colossus,” explained Jerry Caldwell, BMS Executive Vice-President. “The size, resolution and sound of this display will draw our guests into every bit of action on the track and in the infield.” “I’ve been doing this for a long time and have been involved in some innovative and exciting projects. What we managed to achieve at Bristol took the use of LED screens to a different level, the thrill of seeing something on the scale of Colossus TV come together was truly awe inspiring,” Graham concluded.
TECHNICAL INFORMATION BRANDS: digiLED WEBSITE: www.digiLED.com
62 IN DETAIL
RGBLINK - X7 RGBlink has steadily been building a name for video processing equipment, with a loyal following in large parts of the LED videowall display market across both installation and events. The X7 builds on its earlier products, with capability for even larger applications. Video displays are increasingly large in size, and with finer pixel pitches, displays are even greater in resolution. Video displays have moved beyond the rectangle of a single screen to multi-display and multi resolution. The conventional approach of a considering each display individually now longer seems relevant, rather multiple displays need to be considered as complete systems. Enter the RGBlink X7 which takes the concept of ‘system in a box’ much further, empowering users with a deep feature set built-in directly in a multi-signal video scaler to provide a high level of freedom and capability. X7 is part of what RGBlink cals its ‘universal video processor’ range. Product solutions designed for modern multi-source, multi-display and multi-layer dynamic environments. X7 supports up to an impressive 32 signal inputs and outputs - more than 64 megapixels of video output.
The product is fully modular, allowing X7 to be really tailored to particular applications with signal options ranging across the gamut from old school composite and VGA to the latest 4K@60 and 12G-SDI. The modules can be mixed-andmatched in virtually in combination. Each output can be independently configured for resolution, allowing X7 to bring together, synchronise and scale input video of any resolution or foramt for display on one or multiple output displays, or indeed across the multiple outputs. Robust and clean in design, X7 features an onboard display for status, and while devoid of buttons, configuration is achieved the comprehensive RGBlink XPOSE software for Windows and macOS. Outputs are arranged across a virtual canvas upon which input sources are then layered over, positioned and scaled as needed. This very natural and visual configuration drag-ndrop style not only allows easy configuration, but enables greater possibilities than would otherwise be possible with conventional dataentry based solutions. www.mondostadia.com
Multiple layouts can be saved as presets with all presets saved directly on X7 for immediate recall from the XPOSE desktop software, XPOSE mobile (for iOS and Android), the RGBlink T-ONE control console or third party integration via the RGBlink OpenAPI. X7 is built on the RGBlink third generation video processing and scaling engine. All processing is done in hardware - there is no computer or OS overhead. This means very fast, extremely low latency video processing across the product, often critical for applications that require syntonisation with other media. Whether for videowall applications, presentation operations or video routing, X7 is a fully featured multi-source, multi-display, multi-window video processor with a high level of flexibility and performance that is being demanded for modern video display applications, and the openness and extensibility of X7 provides the freedom to create large seamlessly creative display solutions like never before.
THE NEW SOUND OF
FORD FIELD MEYER SOUND PROVIDES HIGH INTELLIGIBILITY WITH WIDE DYNAMIC RANGE & CLEAR, NATURAL SOUND AT ALL SEATS
LEARN HOW MEYER SOUND IMPROVES STADIUM SOUND AT MEYERSOUND.COM/FORDFIELD