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THE INTERNATIONAL PUBLICATION FOR TECHNOLOGY IN STADIA

WANDA METROPOLITANO

A closer look at how Atlético de Madrid made their new home one of the finest in Europe.

ISSUE 3

STADE DE FRANCE

NEXO upgrade the audio system at France’s impressive national stadium.

DAVE BRIERE

Solotech’s Project Manager gives us an insight into the work that goes into sporting arenas.


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3 CONTENTS

CONTENTS 4 IN DISCUSSION - TW AUDiO

IN PROGRESS 6 ANGEL STADIUM California, USA 8 SELHURST PARK London, England 10 BATUMI STADIUM Batumi, Georgia 14 IN FOCUS - Riedel Page 16

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INTERVIEW 22 DAVID BRIERE Solotech

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50 PETER KNOWLES StvdioExpert 62 NORHISHAM ISKHANDAR MOHAMAD Sales & Business Development Consultant

INSTALL 16 PLACE BELL Quebec, Canada 24 STADIO PAOLO MAZZA Ferrara, Italy 26 KONYA BÜYÜKŞEHIR STADIUM Konya, Turkey 30 WANDA METROPOLITANO Madrid, Spain 36 LEGACY STADIUM Texas, USA 38 STADE DE FRANCE Paris, France

ISSUE 3 We’ve covered some truly special stadiums and sporting venues in the first mondo*stadia of 2018 - there’s an eclectic mix of impressive upgrades and innovative new builds. Our cover story is Atlético de Madrid’s incredible new home, Wanda Metropolitano, which has seen Philips Lighting provide the latest technology. Definitely worth checking out. Over in Canada, Place Bell sports facility has pushed the boundaries, with a wide range of products delivering a monumental technical overhaul. We’ve also had a chat with Dave Briere from Solotech, who gave us a real insight into the company’s work in stadiums and sporting arenas, while our interview with Peter Knowles, Senior Consultant at StvdioExpert, introduced us to the fascinating world of broadcast technology - one to keep a close eye on. We’ll be out and about in February, with trips to Bilbao for the World Football Summit, Tokyo for the Sports Business Expo and Singapore for Stadiums & Arenas Asia Summit. We’ll see you out there!

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EDITOR: Rachael Rogerson-Thorley: r.rogerson-thorley@mondiale.co.uk ASSISTANT EDITOR: Sam Hughes: s.hughes@mondiale.co.uk EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Hannah Ryan : h.ryan@mondiale.co.uk SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER: Jamie Dixon: j.dixon@mondiale.co.uk ACCOUNT MANAGER: Laura Iles: l.iles@mondiale.co.uk PRODUCTION: Mel Robinson, Dan Seaton CEO: Justin Gawne: j.gawne@mondiale.co.uk FINANCE DIRECTOR: Amanda Giles: a.giles@mondiale.co.uk CREDIT CONTROL: ar@mondiale.co.uk GROUP CHAIRMAN: Damian Walsh

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 TW AUDiO has been developing and manufacturing loudspeakers since 2004. Gaby van der Blom, Marketing & Communications at the German company, explains its meticulous approach to stadium and sporting arena priojects.

As with any project that we undertake at TW AUDiO, before we begin a stadium or sporting venue project, we first get to know the environment in which we will be working. From our first look at the architectural plans to comprehensive site visits, our role is to determine the best possible sound reinforcement solution for the environment. Finding the right solution is key. In recent years, the system requirements for arenas and sports venues have increased immensely and technicians are looking for more flexibility and functionality. The architectural layouts of arenas have changed dramatically with dedicated spectator zones and areas that require special attention in terms of sound reinforcement. When it comes to the overall plan, we favour close collaboration with the client, down to the very last detail. Every sporting venue is unique, and the audio system installed within it should be equally so. This approach goes to the heart of TW AUDiO as a company. Our emphasis is on listening carefully to our partner, and then reacting accordingly. In the modern world of stadia and arena design, that can often mean sticking to a challenging budget, and demonstrating how our proposed solution will deliver return on investment. The time spent planning and developing the ideal configuration can be intensive, which is why it is so important to work closely with the client,

their planners and architects. Our support team and development department is prepared for precisely that challenge. The size of the project determines how many people are in a team, which is always headed by a dedicated project manager. The team is then at hand for the client during the planning phase, the installation process and, most importantly, for the phase after the project has been finished. An excellent example is the in-depth training that we offer as standard for all in-house technicians. Often, those same technicians are already involved in the creation of the sound reinforcement system during the planning and the installation phases. High quality, deepdive training is a tremendously valuable and important element of our work, ensuring that all of our partners are fully equipped to benefit from TW AUDiO’s class-leading audio performance in the long-term. That performance comprises a number of different aspects, all of which must be considered. Perhaps the first are speech intelligibility and the even distribution of sound across all of the seats in the venue, while zoning must also be taken into consideration. Other questions that must be addressed include whether the system will also need to function as a voice alarm, and what standards must be achieved or even surpassed in order to meet the legal speech intelligibility index (STI) obligations

www.mondostadia.com

in regards to reverberation time. Similarly, what is the legally specified minimum SPL for an evacuation? The building itself must also come under scrutiny. How will the unique architecture behave from an acoustic point of view? All of these answers and more combine to inform our guideline for the system’s ultimate configuration. Finally, with our plans in place, we move on site and enter a phase of simulations, checking our planned loudspeaker positions, the resulting coverage and how our plans needs to be optimised to ensure the best possible result. When the configuration is finalised, the installation process can begin, and we commence the task of overcoming the now familiar challenges of stadia architecture. Almost all stadia and arenas require superb speech intelligibility and even sound distribution to all seats, but their shape and size can make this difficult to achieve, as well as the multitude of reflective surfaces that they traditionally house, from concrete walls and separations to glass partitions. Then there are the commercial aspects. Modern sporting arenas must be multifunctional spaces – the companies who operate them rely on revenue streams from a variety of sources, ranging from sports to music concerts and more. The sound system must reflect this, catering for every event, from the loudest rock back or dance party to the crystal clear speeches of religious gatherings. Just recently, TW AUDiO has installed an extensive sound reinforcement solution within the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany’s biggest multifunctional arena, which also ranks in sixth place on the list of the Top 200 Arena Venue Worldwide Ticket Sales. The system boasts a further application as a delay line during concerts. A TW AUDiO system is also installed in the Menora Mivtachim Arena, formerly known as the Nokia Arena, Israel’s biggest indoor arena and home to the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team. A third can be found in the Turner Football Stadium, also in Israel. Furthermore, the Bizkaia Arena, Spain’s biggest multi-purpose hall has been reinforced with TW AUDiO for the Basketball World Cup. More projects are currently in the planning phase and due to be announced soon. When it comes to stadia and arena design, listening carefully counts.

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.

ANGEL STADIUM CALIFORNIA, USA

Daktronics has announced a continued partnership with the Los Angeles Angels to bring 14 LED displays, totalling more than 23,000 sq ft to the venue for the 2018 season. “While putting a perennial contender on the field remains a top priority, the fan experience is very important to Angels Baseball,” said Angels Club President, John Carpino. “We believe this investment into Angel Stadium will dramatically enhance the overall experience for our loyal and dedicated fan base, and look forward to unveiling this technology at the start of the 2018 Season.” The new right field video display will be the third largest in Major League Baseball at 9,500 sq ft. It will feature 7.7 million LEDs and would take a total of 890 60-inch televisions to cover the entire display. The new display in left field will measure 5,488 sq ft. Both displays will feature www.mondostadia.com

13HD pixel layouts and 11,000 nits of brightness, the industry-leading solution for outdoor stadium technology, to bring excellent image clarity and contrast to fans in every seat. The project upgrades Daktronics technology that has been operating since its installation in 2004. With the new project, a total of 17.1 million LEDs will light up to improve the fan experience in and around the stadium. “We’re excited to continue our long-standing partnership with the Los Angeles Angels for this upcoming stadium-wide installation,” said Daktronics President and CEO, Reece Kurtenbach. “We’re proud to continue developing the best video solutions for our customers in the world of sports and beyond. Our customers have high expectations for our products and we look forward to meeting and exceeding their


7 IN PROGRESS

expectations for years to come.” These displays are capable of variable content zoning which allows them each to show one large image or to be divided into multiple windows to show any combination of live video, instant replays, up-to-the-minute statistics, graphics and animations, and sponsorship messages. Eight ribbon displays, totalling 1,168ft in length, will be installed along the seating fascia to provide additional statistics and graphics as well as providing opportunities to highlight sponsors throughout events. The largest of these will include the entire fascia length along the first and third baselines. Two auxiliary displays will provide a total of 2,500 sq ft of digital space for supplemental content to keep fans engaged. These 10 displays all feature the same 13HD pixel

layout as the main displays. A new ‘Big A Marquee’ digital billboard along the 57 freeway will welcome fans and promote upcoming events. Integrating every display within the stadium, Daktronics powerful Show Control System will be included with this installation while the new billboard will use Daktronics Venus Control content scheduling software. This industryleading system provides a combination of display control software, world-class video processing, data integration and playback hardware that forms a user-friendly production solution. This control software includes the latest in content transitions, layering and shrink-to-fit features among other effects.

www.mondostadia.com

Above: Artist’s rendering of the Daktronics LED displays at Angel Stadium.


8 IN PROGRESS

SELHURST PARK LONDON, ENGLAND

KSS Director, Nick Marshall and Crystal Palace FC Chairman, Steve Parish, have revealed the designs for the redevelopment of Selhurst Park. The Premier League club announced the plans at an event, which included special guests, Crystal Palace manager, Roy Hodgson and Club Ambassador, Mark Bright. The designs from KSS for the main stand pay homage to the club’s formative years, taking cues from the hemispherical, barrel-vaulted arch and transverse section lines of the old iconic Crystal Palace Exhibition Hall on Sydenham Hill. The five-storey centrepiece incorporates the soaring wings of the Eagle, reflecting the club’s proud history in a dramatic reimagination and redevelopment of the stadium. As well as increasing the capacity from 26,000 to 34,000, the plans also include improved facilities for disabled supporters, between 16 and 28 new private boxes, new business clubs - including one of the first tunnel clubs in Europe - 2,500 premium seats, a FIFA and UEFA compliant pitch, museum and new community facilities. www.mondostadia.com

The new construction should generate around £15m annually for the club, with construction expected to cost between £75m and £100m. So, in theory, the stand could pay for itself in five-toseven years. Steve Parish said: “We need a stadium that reflects who we are, how far we have come and where we want to go - a stadium that south London can be proud of, a home worthy of our incredible support and unique atmosphere and this great Premier League we represent. At the heart of it will be a new Crystal Palace.” Crystal Palace Development Manager and Project Lead, Guy Wickett, said: “We are delighted to be working with KSS on this prestigious project and we will be working hard with the project team and Croydon Council to submit the planning application in January 2018.” The designs for the 13,500-seat stand, according to KSS, will not only maintain the essence of the famous Selhurst Park ground, but also retain and enhance one of the best atmospheres in English football.


9 IN PROGRESS

www.mondostadia.com


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BATUMI STADIUM BATUMI, GEORGIA

The construction of Batumi Stadium, the new 20,000-seat venue that is set be the new home of FC Dinamo Batumi, has officially begun. The long-awaited groundbreaking has taken place, with a ceremony marking the occasion. Impressive crowds gathered at the site, with speeches from officials, including the Chairman of the Adjarian government, Zurab Patardze. The design of Batumi Stadium is inspired by the khorumi, a traditional war dance, utilising the motion of whirl, which is common in dances of www.mondostadia.com

the Caucasus. The outer skin of the stadium will capture that motion, producing a dynamic, eyecatching impression from the outside. The plan is for the cladding to be neutral during the day, before being illuminated at night to represent the colours of Georgia, the Adjara region or FC Dinamo Batumi. A large majority of the stadium will be created as a monolithic concrete structure - from the foundations to the upper tear of seating. The lower tier, though, will be almost entirely


11 IN PROGRESS

prefabricated, according to the information that has been released by Anagi Construction Company. The construction specialists have a 34-month contract to deliver Batumi Stadium, which, if everything goes as planned, should result in the ground being ready by the end of October 2020. The complete cost for the captivating stadium and 1,000 parking spaces adjacent is expected to remain under $39m, which is a fair price considering that it is a 20,000-seat, Category 4

stadium. Batumi Stadium will be the first stadium in the city since the destruction of an 18,000-seat ground in 2002, which was removed to make way for hotels and a business centre by the sea. Since then, local football teams have had to use other stadiums in the region. However, Batumi will now have its own stadium in a prime location that is expected to be hugely popular within the area.

www.mondostadia.com

Above: Images courtesy of Bahadir Kul Architect


SAVE THE DATE 11 APRIL

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14 IN FOCUS

IN FOCUS A closer look at sporting venue projects from Riedel Communications.

HONG KONG JOCKEY CLUB SHA TIN, HONG KONG The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), Hong Kong’s premier horse racing operator and one of its most venerable sports organisations, has chosen Riedel Communications’ Bolero wireless intercom system to streamline communications for its video productions. Bolero is seamlessly integrated with Riedel’s Artist digital matrix intercom system to provide comprehensive communications across two separate HKJC race courses and in the HKJC studio located in Sha Tin. “After just two weeks of operation, the performance of Bolero has more than met our expectations by delivering outstanding sound quality from any point on our race courses. Also, Bolero’s integration with our Artist frame is a huge plus,” said Yeung Shui Kin, Senior Broadcasting Services Manager at the Hong Kong Jockey Club. HKJC has initially purchased 12 Bolero backpacks, with plans to add more in this year, for communications links between its TV studio

in the Sha Tin district and its Happy Valley and Sha Tin race courses. The Bolero systems first went into service for international races in early December. Bolero is an expandable, DECT-based wireless intercom system in the license-free 1.9GHz frequency range. Riedel’s exclusive Advanced DECT Receiver (ADR) technology improves RF robustness by reducing sensitivity to multipath RF reflections, enabling HKJC crew members to roam seamlessly at either race course without losing audio quality. “It gives us great pleasure to provide Bolero, our groundbreaking wireless intercom, for HKJC’s race tracks at Sha Tin and Happy Valley in addition to their TV studio,” said Cameron O’Neil, Director, APAC, Riedel Communications. “We are confident that Bolero will provide not just the best-possible coverage, but also a great benefit to users through its intuitive and advanced features.”

STADION AN DER ALTEN FÖRSTEREI BERLIN, GERMANY FC Union Berlin hired Riedel to outfit the club’s 21,000-seat stadium - the largest in Berlin - with some of its newest solutions to connect and streamline the entire broadcast backbone. To accommodate the needs of such a large venue in the digital age, FC Union Berlin would need a system that ensured seamless connectivity and integration to manage its day-to-day operations - for press conferences, controlling the stadium’s TV screens, live-action replays, and many of its other technically advanced features. The comprehensive Riedel installation used the MediorNet signal transport, processing, and routing system along with the RockNet digital

audio transport system to link six vital points of communication within the venue - house management, stadium management, the media and press centre, the press conference room, OB truck pad and the stadium PA - all within a single, integrated ecosystem. Operational simplicity is the cornerstone of any Riedel installation, and FC Union Berlin’s stadium is no exception - the entire transmission backbone is accommodated on a single fibre. Furthermore, only six technicians were required to bring the whole system online, opening communication across the massive venue and ensuring efficient operation for staff. www.mondostadia.com

In addition to providing ease-of-use, security, and reliability, a good broadcast infrastructure must also seamlessly integrate control and communications capabilities throughout a venue and simplify systems to allow for quick changes when they are called for. Riedel’s FC Union Berlin install is an excellent example of this kind of system. By combining the right infrastructure with efficient engineering, the Riedel team created a simple, elegant workflow that will meet FC Union Berlin’s demanding technical needs for years to come.


15 IN FOCUS

GROUPAMA STADIUM LYON, FRANCE France’s new Groupama Stadium - formerly known as Parc Olympique Lyonnais Stadium - is using Riedel systems to redefine the live sports and entertainment experience. Together, the Riedel MediorNet real-time media network, RockNet digital audio network, Artist digital matrix intercom system, Acrobat wireless intercom system, and Performer digital partyline system provide a decentralised fibre-based network for flexible signal transport, routing, and processing, as well as communications, throughout the innovative building - including the technical facilities for Olympique Lyonnais TV. The versatile and scalable Riedel infrastructure allows the stadium’s audio, video, data, and communications signals to be leveraged with speed and simplicity to meet the requirements of football matches and any other live event. “The deployment of the Riedel technical infrastructure reflects our decision to embed state-of-the-art technology in our brand-new stadium,” said Jean-Yves Meilland, Director of OL Images at Olympique Lyonnais Group.

“The resulting installation exceeds our needs with respect to sports events and also enables us to address all types of events with very valuable flexibility.” Home of French football club Olympique Lyonnais and a scheduled venue for UEFA Euro 2016 and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Groupama Stadium is equipped with 59,000 seats, 350 IPTV screens, and eight large VIP rooms, with Wi-Fi network access everywhere. Spectators can take advantage of mobile apps to replay highlights from live action, view play from a different angle, or even upgrade their seats or order food. Within this innovative facility, the Riedel gear allows all types of signals - video, audio, data, intercom, and sync - to be picked up anywhere in the stadium and routed and/ or processed to any output(s) elsewhere in the stadium. A total of 18 strategically located MediorNet frames are connected over optical fibre to create a decentralised router, which can be expanded as needed with mobile frames integrated into www.mondostadia.com

flight cases. Riedel’s RockNet interfaces have been allocated onto the network to expand audio resources as required. Additional frames can easily be added to the mix for larger or more complex events. Communications throughout the stadium are supported not only by the Artist and Acrobat intercom systems, but also by Riedel’s new Smartpanel multifunctional user interface, equipped with intercom apps, and Riedel’s RiFace universal gateways, which create a connection to the in-house radio communication system. “Parc Olympique Lyonnais Stadium offers an exciting example of how new technology and a flexible infrastructure can be used to create an incredibly rich experience for live event attendees,” said Franck Berger, General Manager, France and Africa at Riedel Communications. “From the seamless communications that support all areas of the facility and event production to the effortless transport of signals as needed, Riedel solutions combine to help the stadium set a new standard.” www.riedel.net


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PLACE BELL

Place Bell, a long-standing joint venture between the City of Laval, evenko and the Quebec Government, which is under the direction of La CitÊ de la culture et du sport de Laval, is a major, multifunctional cultural and sports facility in Laval, Quebec. Officially opened in September 2017, the venue is the culmination of a major development initiative to provide local residents with a complex for sport, culture and community events. Place Bell has a 10,000-seat main arena - the home of the American Hockey League’s Laval Rockets - that can transformed into performance hall - a 2,500-seat rink with Olympic-size ice for professional figure skating and speed skating, as well a 500-seat rink for local ice hockey teams. With such a wide range of events and uses, Place Bell needed a technological infrastructure that could adapt and accommodate all types, sizes and complexities. With this in mind, the decision

Laval, Canada

Above: The interior at Place Bell.

www.mondostadia.com


17 INSTALL

was made to give the venue an IP-centric infrastructure - all the audio, lighting, video and broadcasting systems run over an IP network. The decision to go with an IP network at the heart of the infrastructure is a sign of the times, according to Mike Poirier, Director of Business Development at Solotech, which handled the integration of the arena’s video systems, LED screens, lighting and intercoms: “Facilities have slowly but surely moved to a networked world; it’s a reality now. So, AV-centric switches, like those from Luminex, made a lot of sense for Place Bell.” Benjamin Wahiche, Technical Director at TKNL, which was responsible for integrating all the audio and the closed circuit video at Place Bell, was in agreement: “IP-based systems are no longer a choice - they are the way to go. If you want to deliver the flexibility that customers expect, IPbased systems are the solution.

“Place Bell is the biggest IP-based system we have ever deployed - and one of the largest Luminex networks in the world.” The IP-centric infrastructure will keep Place Bell ahead of the curve right into the future, as Luc Gelinas, Partner and Technical Services Director at project consultant, Trizart Alliance, explained: “With everything running over IP the challenge is always inter-operability with different kinds of equipment. But Luminex is able to handle all the major protocols involved in AV with ease and without requiring the end user to have a deep knowledge of programming switches.” The system at Place Bell features a large complement of Luminex GigaCore switches. The network’s backbone is a mix of ring and mesh topology of single-mode fibre with failover paths for fast recovery, a hallmark of the RLinkX functionality by Luminex. Complete filtering of all the multicast traffic generated by all the protocols is www.mondostadia.com

also featured. Hugo Larin, Director at Luminex America commented: “We have worked on various projects with Trizart and they have been a real promoter of IP infrastructure for these systems. They see real time/live AV and lighting needs of venues as independent systems with specific quality of services, traffic filtering, time awareness. This is exactly what GigaCore is all about.” The main audio system at Place Bell was integrated by TKNL, with a NEXO line array system used - one of the first NEXO systems used in a large arena in North America. The audio system contains 14 clusters, with each cluster configured using three GEO S1210 line array boxes, two S1230’s, two LS18’s and four PS15 R2’s that cover the ice rink/floor portion, and two STM M28’s that serve as monitors for the national anthem. The Q-SYS integrated and scalable platform


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from QSC played a leading role in the audio setup, too. Three Core units were used for the Place Bell project - two Core 500i processors for system management and one Core 250i for the main sound system. The use of these QSC processors facilitates system integration thanks to pre-programmed functionalities within the Q-SYS system. What’s more, the Q-SYS Core processors offer unprecedented scalability to accommodate future expansions of the system. To manage the various individual zones, 12 QSC network touch screen controllers have been installed at various strategic locations throughout the facility, and will be used primarily for source, volume, and public address management. In all, 14 QSC CXD4.3Q amplifiers integrate perfectly with the Q-SYS system and allow control and monitoring of the facility’s speakers by zone. In total, the Trizart team selected more than 150 loudspeakers, a mix of QSC Acoustic Coverage and AcousticDesign surface-mount, ceiling-mount and pendant-mount loudspeakers. Due to the large number of loudspeakers, the distribution by zone greatly facilitates management and control of the system. The audio system also comprises of 41 Luminex GIgaCore 16Xt PoE ruggedised AV

switches with front displays all equipped with RPSU redundant power supplies each supporting two GigaCore 16Xt main PSU and PoE PSU. Two GigaCore 26i PoE AV network switches complement the system, too. “The secondary audio system has speakers in the concourse, hallways and in the dressing rooms - all on the same network, all communicating with each other and all supported on a Luminex backbone,” said Benjamin. “The large number of Luminexswitches gives us hardware redundancy; we have two rings of switches on a redundant base.” “If you have done audio all your life, moving to a networked environment is a different world. You want a simple user interface, and Luminex makes it very comfortable and easy for the end user without requiring any special training. Luminexproducts are engineered to fill the need of AV networks and accept every product we deal with,” he added. Place Bell’s IP TV network, or closed circuit TV network, was also integrated by TKNL. It broadcasts advertising, cable TV feed and promotional content within the facility. The network is comprised of 23 Luminex GigaCore 26i PoE AV Network switches www.mondostadia.com


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each with a 3GB aggregated link that provides increased bandwidth and redundancy to three main core switches. The system was designed to support up to 24 video sources, including cable TV feeds, local SDI feeds and a Navori player for digital signage and dynamic content, on a complete AMX SVSI system. There are hundreds of destination points, with 24 SVSI 2000 series encoders used to go to more than 180 destinations. For in-room control, there are 50 Crestron touch panels used also. “It took approximately six months for the com-

pletion of the main PA, secondary PA, and all of the IP TV network,” explained Stephane Laurin, Business Development Manager at TKNL. “We determined that the NEXO system was the best solution for this venue. One of the key criteria in this project was intelligibility that is part of NEXO’s technical prowess. “Like all arenas, we had to deal with concrete that causes reverb. So, we needed to install a large number of NEXO speakers in order to cover every section. This type of environment requires highly directive speakers solely focussed on

www.mondostadia.com


20 INSTALL

TECHNICAL INFORMATION INSTALLER: Solotech, TKNL CONSULTANT: Trizart BRANDS: Luminex, NEXO, QSC, AMX, ETC, Chainzone, Ross, AJA, Grass Valley, Riedel WEBSITE: solotech.com / www.tknl.com / trizartalliance.com / www.luminex.be / www.nexo-sa.com / www.qsc.com / www.amx.com / www.etcconnect.com / www.chainzone.com / www rossvideo.com / www.aja. com / www.grassvalley.com / www.riedel.net

the listening experience for everyone attending events in the arena.” The uniformity of the sound, no matter where visitors are seated in the amphitheatre, is very impressive. The install provides a seamless sound right across the arena - exactly what is needed for a venue of that size. Luminex feature heavily in the lighting system at Place Bell, with Solotech using a Luminex GigaCore 14R PoE ruggedised AV switch and a GigaCore 26i PoE AV Network switch. An ETC ION 1000 console is networked with ETC Net 3 and sACN protocols to sensors, relays and Luminex DMX nodes. GigaCore products also support all the LED panels that were put in place by Solotech. They include the Chainzone Imposa trivision (three-sided) scoreboard on the public plaza; the main arena’s four-sided Imposa scoreboard with a power ring below it; and Imposa LED panels over each exit and the team entry doors. As well as the lighting, Solotech also integrated the full HD-compliant control room, which is www.mondostadia.com

used for the broadband capture and distribution of events at Place Bell. The control room features seven cameras, a Grass Valley Korona production switcher, AJA audio and video processor and Ross sync, test and reference generator running on a network consisting of four Luminex GigaCore 26i switches and two GigaCore 16Xt. Elsewhere, the complex communications system for the production crew and officials in the penalty box uses a Riedel Tango AES67 intercom system and Smart Panel. Since opening, the whole range of technology installed at Place Bell has been put through its paces. The Laval Rockets’ hockey season is underway, while a number of shows - including a performance by Cirque du Soleil that opened the arena - have taken place. The technology has performed well, with the range of systems all delivering exactly what was expected - reliability and high quality. With everything in place, Place Bell is sure to be an important arena for years to come.


22 INTERVIEW

DAVE BRIERE Project Leader, Integration Division, Solotech Firstly, tell us a bit more about your background - where did the interest come from? Since I was a kid, I was interested in live show events, broadcast events, and all that they involve, including sound and lighting. I felt I was watching a fantastic secret magic trick and wanted to be part of it and make the magic happen. Tell us a bit more about your background in the industry? I started as a lighting stage technician in 1995 in Quebec City. I was working on live events, exhibits, corporate events, television shows and theatre. In 2002, I joined Cirque du Soleil and worked on touring shows and projects all around the world for 12 years. Then, finally, I joined Solotech in Montreal as a project manager for the integration division.

Division. As such, my duties are to coordinate all aspects of any given project including purchasing, delivery, design drawing, technical installation, and programming in order to meet our customers’ requests and expectations. To do this, we work closely with our customers and make sure that we understand their expectations perfectly. What is it that attracts you to working on stadiums and sporting arenas? When you start as an audiovisual integration project leader, you usually start with small to medium-sized projects. Past a certain point, you begin looking for bigger challenges and projects. Since stadiums and sporting arenas are usually pretty big buildings, they automatically bring what you are looking for.

When and why did you join the team at Solotech? I joined Solotech in 2013. While I worked with Cirque du Soleil, I regularly contacted Solotech for all my project technical needs. Born out of the Montreal Olympics in 1976, Solotech has evolved from providing equipment rentals and sales to becoming the premier end-to-end provider of entertainment technology services. I wanted to be a part of its evolution.

Tell us how a project starts for you and your team at Solotech? At Solotech, project leaders take part in discussions from the first meeting with the customer. We would then review the needs and designs in order to validate every technical aspect of the mandate. Once the contract is signed, we then put all necessary resources in place before delivery (drafting, programming, procurement), during and after delivery (integrators, programmers). After the sign off with the customer, we transfer all details to our service department.

What is your role and what does that consist of? Each year, Solotech assists over 100 clients with integration projects of all sizes and levels of complexity. We have therefore developed a strong, leading-edge team to deliver high quality installations and great postdelivery service packages. As part of this team, I am a Project Leader with Solotech’s Integration

What are the main things that you have to take into consideration when working on a stadium or sporting venue? The most important thing to keep in mind, after making sure to meet customers’ expectations, is to make sure that the end user will have a perfect technical experience. No matter the size of the venue, Solotech makes sure to design and build

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23 INTERVIEW

Left: Dave Briere Right: Place Bell in Laval, one of Solotech’s latest projects

custom audiovisual systems to pump up the atmosphere and deliver highly intelligible announcements during the events. When it comes to the Place Bell, for example, one of the challenges was to ensure a perfect visual experience for the audience with the large LED screen installed. We are very pleased with the results. Are there any difficulties that you experience on a regular basis for stadium and sporting arena installations - if so, what are they? Well, everything that happens in a day could be considered a difficulty, or not. As a project leader, you need to keep an open mind, think positive and look for quick solutions. Solotech is a large company with many employees, including many on the road. Making sure to pass on relevant information to all of them can sometimes be very challenging. Which stadium and sporting arena projects have you been working on recently? Solotech is an employer of choice to realise arena and stadium-related integration projects. Indeed, over time, Solotech has added dozens of clients, such as the Videotron Centre, the Toronto Raptors, the Montreal Olympic Stadium, the Sochi 2015 Winter Olympic Games, and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games to its portfolio. Featured products and solutions installed included audio, LED screens and lighting, scoreboards, broadcast cabling networks, rigging, video, control booths to name but a few. I was also involved in our most recent project with the Place Bell in Laval, a city next to Montreal. This arena is home to an American Hockey League team. The site also offers an Olympic-sized skating rink as well as a public

skating rink for local needs. Solotech was involved with lighting, sound and video distribution on this project. What would you say has been your favourite project to date? Because smaller and bigger projects bring their own different challenges, it is very hard to pinpoint a favourite project. I have to admit, though, that when I walk into a place that an end user enters for the first time, the feeling that I get is hard to describe. Place Bell brought me that feeling. Do you have any projects coming up in the near future? All projects are interesting because all customers have their own expectations. At Solotech, project leaders work on several projects at any time. For us, all customers are important and their projects are all interesting to deliver. What do you believe to be the next big thing in terms of technology when it comes to stadiums? Since technology is developing around networking, we try to use and integrate network compatible equipment. But technology is changing so fast that almost anything you can think of is possible. There is always someone who will make it possible. Just be open minded, always think forward, and stay tuned with new products and solutions at all times.

www.solotech.com / www.solotech.com/can/casestudy/place-bell

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STADIO PAOLO MAZZA Ferrara, Italy Located in the Ferrara area of Italy, Stadio Paolo Mazza - named after the club’s chairman Paolo Mazza from 1946-1977 - was opened in 1928 and initially held a capacity of just 4,000 seats. Over the years, it has undergone many renovations, taking the seating capacity up and down - today, it accommodates 8,500 spectators. It is the home ground of Società Polisportiva Ars et Labor (SPAL), who won promotion to Serie B in 2016. The following year, they were promoted to Serie A, after a 49-year absence from the top league. In line with this promotion, new floodlights were installed at the stadium courtesy of AAA-LUX. A total of 200 luminaires have been fitted on four masts, which produces HD quality illumination. Light produced from luminaires, fitted on a mast, bridge a much longer distance compared to light produced by a luminaire fitted underneath the

stadium canopy. As few companies have the knowledge and quality luminaires to have this achieved, most manufacturers prefer installing underneath the canopy. This is less demanding on the quality of the luminaires. Due to the promotion to the higher leagues and matches being televised, the lighting had to be improved. The solution provided by AALUX was the AAA-LUX WS-STAD luminaires, a LED luminaire developed specifically for use in stadium environments. The intensity and ability of directing the light-beam makes this luminaire very suitable for venues that require the best possible LED illumination of the highest standard. With this upgrade, the home ground of SPAL is now compliant with EUFA regulations Level A. With SPAL seemingly back at the top of its game, the stadium is equipped and ready to take on what challenges are thrown at them.

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TECHNICAL INFORMATION BRANDS: AAA-LUX WEBSITE: aaa-lux-lighting.com


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KONYA BÜYÜKŞEHIR STADIUM Konya, Turkey

Konya Büyükşehir Stadium, home to football team Konyaspor, is a multipurpose venue situated in Konya, Turkey. When Konya was under consideration as one of the host cities for future European Championships, construction of a brand new UEFA-compliant stadium was proposed. While original plans set a capacity of around 33,000 seats, this was later upgraded to 42,276 seats - divided over two tiers, with an additional 50 VIP boxes - and the new facility, based in Selçuklu, provides the club Konyaspor KR with a state-of-the-art stadium for home matches. Asimetrik, the Turkish-based distributor and audiovisual system integrators, was awarded the contract to provide a network-based professional grandstand PA system, as well as a broadcast infrastructure system, not only compatible with UEFA requirements but also FIFA and IAFF. In addition, Asimetrik was responsible for designing and supplying a PA/VA emergency evacuation www.mondostadia.com

system, C.I.S. infrastructure; alongside a full conference and visual presentation tools for conference, press and meeting rooms. All design, supply, installation and commissioning were undertaken by Asimetrik, which turned to RCF’s Acustica H Series as its primary sound source. Right from the start, Asimetrik worked in collaboration with main contractor, Saridaglar Construction Company, and engineers from the Konya Municipality to ensure the best seamless acoustic design and installation outcome. The project was led by Project Manager, Burak Bayrak, who designed a number of unique solutions, using EASE simulations. To visualise the optimum distribution of sound to the seating areas, Burak utilised the predictive software to set correct splay angles of the RCF loudspeakers and predict the performance with absolute precision. Turker Baran, Asimetrik’s Acoustical Design Engineer, and Burak knew that the RCF solution was a proven model, having been inspired by the installation at Juventus Stadium in Torino. “The


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H Series is a perfect fit for this stadium - in terms of both power and dispersion,” said Burak. “RCF’s technical project team partnered us to design the system for Konya. RCF is a unique and wellestablished brand with a very strong history, and as a partner for 14 years we are delighted to be their distributor.” RCF Acustica H1315 WP loudspeakers were used for the network-based professional grandstand address system. Asimetrik specified 96 cabinets in total. The RCF Acustica H1315 WPs are three-way full range loudspeakers that incorporated a 15-inch LF transducer, a 10-inch cone MF transducer and 1.4-inch exit titanium compression driver. These are mounted in double clusters across 48 rigging points, with a 12-metre distance between each cluster. But installing the loudspeakers on the catwalks had been something of a challenge: “We worked in coordination with the roof design officials to ensure safe installation and weight distribution, and we installed the clusters beneath the

catwalk,” continued Burak. The stadium exceeds the minimally required SPL set out by UEFA. Burak stressed: “Our standard is based on the UEFA 2020 criteria for this stadium. Konya Torku Arena has an STI value of 0.8 - which is an excellent speech transmission index value.” After installation, a NTI Audio XL2 hand analyser (IEC 61672-1 Electroacoustics), a NTI audio Minirator MR-Pro tone generator, a NTI Audio MA220 Type 1 measurement microphone and Norsonic Type 1251 sound calibrator products were used for measurements and calibration. The solution Asimetrik designed also included RCF loudspeakers for the main sound system, meeting rooms, and press room. Every audio product was carefully selected as being best fit for purpose, and for ease-of-use in multipurpose situations. Finally, to meet the UEFA specified media requirement, hybrid fibre cables, HD signal transmission cables, and digital audio cables were www.mondostadia.com

used along with an industry standard network audio infrastructure to control, process and distribute the sound. This also allowed Asimetrik to connect the main bowl system and PA/VA together, and have the stadium covered on a single site-wide network. “Designing a system which is fully compliant with UEFA standards was very complex, but the RCF products were exactly what we needed to make it work,” concluded Burak. “The RCF H1315 sound quality is superb and the system is extremely compact as well. A number of matches have already been played and we have had very positive feedback.” “Uniting audiences with stimulating and high quality sound is a careful process especially at stadiums that are designed to be compliant with UEFA standards,” emphasised Gorkem Celikbilek, VP of Asimetrik. “The process incorporated a combination of experience and an obsessive attention to detail. We truly understand of the importance of sound quality. Our highly


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experienced team expertly analysed the properties of each space and we are extremely happy with the results.” The façade is lit using MADRIX products, which was installed by local company, Hera Lighting. The façade is made up of the Sword Series, which consists of four models such as 30-50-100150cm long LED tubes, loaded with RGB LEDs at a 100mm pixel pitch. By day, the facade is dominated by triangular, pentagonal, and hexagonal shapes that are often used in Seljuk structures. Metal gutters pass through the façade - these are used to define the geometric forms, to drain the roof water, and to install the linear LED lighting system. The exterior turns into a large-scale LED media façade and, against the dark, it brings out the asymmetrical design even more prominently.

“Choosing the right products was paramount. A total of 3,578 metres of specially-produced RGB strip from the Hera Sword Series was installed, in order to provide fixtures that could offer its reliable operation in high and low temperatures, DMX support, IP67 conformity, durable materials, lumen output, handling, and pixel mapping,” explained Martin Fritzsche, Marketing Manager at MADRIX. “A total of 628 X-CV3 constant-voltage LED drivers, as well as 18 DS-4 fully-isolated splitters, made sure that power and data are reliably provided over the entire façade. Four MADRIX LUNA 8 Art-Net controllers receive the data from the MADRIX lighting control software. Besides the standard animations, various shows are also programmed with the individual colours of invited guest teams.”

TECHNICAL INFORMATION INSTALLER: Hera Lighting BRANDS: RCF, MADRIX WEBSITE: www.rcf.it / www.madrix.com / www.heralighting. com / www.asimetrik.com.tr www.mondostadia.com


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GIS - LP1000 The new model series LP was developed for the entertainment industry and adapted to its needs. Incremental and absolute encoder for distance measurement, load sensor, external limit switch, carrying handles and further accessories can be added without difficulty to the standard version D8. The second independent DC-spring-loaded brake for the D8-plus-model can be mounted on the existing shaft. The self-contained, helical-cut, three-stage gear with permanent fat lubrication ensures a considerably quieter operation. The powerful built-on motor with high reserve capacity guarantees excellent synchronism in-group rides. The LP1000 lifts in 1 fall model the considerable weight of 1,600kg instead of previous 1,000kg by using the same service life and switching frequency as the previous model. Depending on the application either the lifting capacity is increased by up to 60% or the customer benefits from an up to four times life cycle of the chain hoist with the previous lifting capacity of 1,000kg. The whole chain thread is equipped with a static security factor of at least eight (in FEM

2m / ISO M5). This clearly reduces the wear of the components and extends their life cycle. In comparison with a conventional round steel chain the case-hardened and manganese phosphated profile steel chain offers an increased lifting capacity of 15% with the same nominal diameter. During development particular attention was given to the modularity and to the low maintenance effort with good accessibility of the wear parts. All shaft-hub connections are designed in a self-centering polygon version. Thus, disassembly and assembly during maintenance work is carried out faster and without special tools, which reduces service costs. The protection type IP65 is newly included in the standard version and guarantees dust tightness and protection from jet water. The series LP is available in versions BGV D8, D8 Plus, C1 or in country-specific or customised variants. All versions of the new generation have one thing in common: they are robust and long-lasting, which is why product warranty was extended to three years. www.gis-ag.ch www.mondostadia.com


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WANDA METROPOLITANO Madrid, Spain Above: Wanda Metropolitano, the home of La Liga side, AtlĂŠtico de Madrid. www.mondostadia.com

Making a move to a new stadium can be a long, emotional affair, with history often weighing heavy when it comes to making the decision to start all over again - and it was certainly no different for AtlĂŠtico de Madrid. The La Liga giants, who have enjoyed considerable success over the last few years - both domestically and in Europe - left the iconic Vicente Calderon after over 50 years to set up home at


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the new Wanda Metropolitano stadium. The 68,000-seat stadium, based in the San Blas-Canillejas district of Madrid, has given a new lease of life to the Community of Madrid - or La Peineta - stadium, which was originally opened in 1994 as part of Madrid’s unsuccessful bid to host the 1997 World Athletics Championships The stadium, which had an approximate capacity of 19,000, held minor sports and cultural events

for a decade until its closure in 2004. In 2011, AtlĂŠtico de Madrid revealed plans for the new stadium, before eventually playing their first game at Wanda Metropolitano in September 2017. Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos designed the original La Peineta stadium back in 1990 and were again commissioned to significantly extend and revamp the venue, with the aim being to turn it into one of the best football stadiums in Europe. www.mondostadia.com

When it came to the new design, Cruz y Ortiz proposed a double design objective; it wanted to maintain the well-known, recognisable image, all while forming a harmonious combination between the extension and old design. This needed to be achieved while creating a stadium that would become synonymous with AtlĂŠtico de Madrid as a club. Once Wanda Metropolitano had been redesigned


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and built, the club had to ensure that the technology going into the venue was of the highest standard - especially with the aim being to make it one of Europe’s five-star stadiums. One of the main aspects to consider was the lighting throughout the stadium, which led to Atlético de Madrid signing a four-season agreement with Philips Lighting for the company to be its official lighting partner. As part of the agreement, Wanda Metropolitano was the first stadium in the world to benefit from Philips ArenaExperience multi-purpose LED stadia lighting system, which encompasses the LED lighting for the pitch, stadium façade and hospitality areas. The lighting is designed specifically for the stadium, bringing it to life for visitors from the approach right up to when they enter. “The Wanda Metropolitano Stadium is not only a unique construction, and pioneer of new stadium standards, but also unique from the perspective of the lighting installed,” explained Joaquin Larrosa, Sales Director at Philips Lighting Iberia. “The new Atlético de Madrid stadium is the first 100% LED construction of its kind, holding immersive potential for elevating

fan experiences and utilising upcoming innovations.” The roof of Wanda Metropolitano is equipped with Philips Color Kinetics architectural lighting, which has the ability to display more than 16 million colours. It is used in conjunction with VayaFlood LED lighting, creating spectacular light shows on the stadium facade. The dynamic lighting system on the roof can be operated independently, too. “The connected lighting solution with its million colours on the canopy, enabled by Philips Color Kinetics already enhances the beauty and arches of the architecture and when you get inside, the experience is even more immersive,” added Joaquin. The new Philips ArenaVision lighting system, with 336 Philips ArenaVision LED floodlights, is used to illuminate the pitch. The system meets all the latest La Liga, UEFA and FIFA broadcast standards, ensuring maximum quality for television transmission. Not only that, but the LED floodlights can also be synchronised in light shows before and after the match. “On the pitch, we installed arena experience lighting compliant with the highest broadcasting standards, allowing Atlético de Madrid to host events like the UEFA www.mondostadia.com


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Champions League Final in 2019. Moreover, thanks to the ability of the system to create customised light shows and individual control, the lighting can be tweaked to the exact needs of any type of event, which makes it possible to host various new types of event at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium - making it a more attractive venue and enabling the creation of new revenue streams,” said Joaquin. Along with the roof, façade and pitch lighting,

Philips provided Atlético de Madrid’s Premium Neptuno and VIP hospitality areas with efficient, high-quality LED lighting, which delivers energy savings of more than 60%, when compared to the old stadium. “Philips Lighting is a worldwide leader in terms of technology. Thanks to their expertise and experience, all fans entering the Wanda Metropolitano stadium can enjoy the best lighting experience enabled by the latest illumination technology.

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This very well supports our fan first approach.” added Enrique Cerezo, President of Atlético de Madrid. The work that has gone into creating Wanda Metropolitano has been incredible, starting with Cruz y Ortiz’s redevelopment of its original design to create a visually stunning stadium that is up there with the best in Europe. The installation of high-end technology has significantly enhanced Wanda Metropolitano, too,


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with some of the most innovative, cutting-edge products contributing towards the stadium being awarded huge events, such as the 2019 UEFA Champions League final. There has to be praise reserved for Atlético de Madrid, too - the club has done all it can to carry the history of the Vicente Calderon to Wanda Metropolitano. Plus, the name Metropolitano, which was the club’s very first stadium, is a nice

touch. Wanda Metropolitano looks likely to be one of the leading stadia in Europe for the foreseeable future. The biggest sporting events will soon become synonymous with Atlético de Madrid’s stadium an iconic landmark on the Madrid skyline.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION ARCHITECT: Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos CONSTRUCTOR: FCC Construcción BRANDS: Philips Lighting WEBSITE: www.cruzyortiz.com / www.lighting.philips. co.uk

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THE NEW REFERENCE POINT

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LEGACY STADIUM

The Legacy Stadium, is Katy Independent School’s pride and joy, serving more than 77,000 students from the suburban Houston district’s high schools. The 12,000-seat, majorleague calibre sports venue is host to football and lacrosse games, as well as marching band competitions, concerts and community events. It is an integral part of Katy’s community and with a price tag of more than $70 million, the stadium is more comparable with university-level venues than other high school level venues.

Texas, USA

HKS Architects invited designers, Idibri, to the project after collaborating with them on a number of other stadiums. HKS provided Legacy Stadium’s sleek, contemporary design, and AV systems integrator Covenant Communications installed its high-coverage, distributed audio system. Idibri’s Senior Consultant, Ryan Knox, made the decision to increase the focus on sound and took on, what is the stadiums biggest challenge to date - he chose Fulcrum Acoustic loudspeakers to assist his project. “To keep the sound within the bowl, I designed a distributed system with 18 weatherised Fulcrum GX1295-WR loudspeakers pole mounted at the top of the seating areas and half a dozen more

Above: The exterior of Legacy Stadium. Images: Covenant Communications www.mondostadia.com


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mounted through portals in the canopy above the seating on one side of the field,” explained Ryan. “Nine Fulcrum AH96-WR coaxial horns were also pole mounted above the stands, with six more integrated in the press box canopy. The AH96s’ low frequency extension to below 80Hz helped to simplify the system’s design by eliminating the need for separate subwoofers.” Additional supporting products included QSC CXD4.3Q-NA network amplifiers, QSC Q-SYS core 110f audio-processing, JBL ceiling and monitor loudspeakers and Yamaha QL1 32-channel digital mixer. Ryan explained that the decision behind QSC’s Q-SYS proving the network for the audio and CDX Series 4,000W networked amplifiers, was because of the amplifiers’ and network’s simpler interface. Bringing sound to under-balcony, fascia and backof-houses areas was over 100 JBL MTC Series and Control Series speakers, in addition another 20 JBL AWC Series loudspeakers filled in beneath the overhang of a field house that hosts some premium seating at the opposite end of the field from the video scoreboard. The positioning of the loudspeakers meant it delayed the installation of the QSC processor as it was situated relative to

the pole-mounted loudspeakers. Ryan and his team had several hurdles to overcome, the main challenge was keeping the sound from overlapping with the existing 9,800seat Rhodes Stadium next door on the school’s sports campus, precise directional control was essential to overcome this. In addition, a factor that was out of their hands - the weather. It was crucial to combat the Texas heat and extreme weather conditions, durable weather-resistant loudspeakers were required in this case. Ryan specified Fulcrum Acoustic’s extremely durable, weather-resistant WR Series loudspeakers to withstand Texas’ challenging environment. In an early test, Fulcrum’s WR speakers weathered its first storm when all Legacy Stadium’s high school football games were postponed due to Hurricane Harvey. Daktronics, which had worked for the school prior to the Legacy Stadium project, was asked back to install a 1,500 sq ft, 13mm pitch scoreboard - the display’s resolution falls just short of HD, but, at its scale, the difference is visually negligible. Daktronics assisted with the design of the main videoboard structure to make sure all trades were on the same page, so the structure could adequately accommodate its equipment needs. www.mondostadia.com

TECHNICAL INFORMATION ARCHITECT: HKS Architects DESIGNER: Idibri INSTALLER: Covenant Communications BRANDS: Fulcrum Acoustic, JBL, Yamaha, QSC, Daktronics WEBSITE: www.idibri.com / www.hksinc.com / www.covenant-lds.com / www.fulcrum-acoustic.com/ www.yamahaproaudio.com / www.qsc.com / www.daktronics. com


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The Stade de France in Paris this year celebrates its 20th anniversary, instantly recognisable on the international sporting scene for its distinctive elliptical lines. Built as the principal venue for the 1998 World Cup, hosted and won by France, the 80,000+ capacity stadium has enjoyed a lifelong relationship with local audio equipment manufacturer, NEXO, with nearly 300 of its high-output loudspeakers affixed to its immense floating roof.

STADE DE FRANCE Paris, France

One of the remarkable aspects of the stadium’s design is the cushion of air that allows the lower stands to slide out in approximately 72 hours, depending on the different configurations needed, allowing the stadium to be reconfigured to house a running track for track and field

Above: Stade de France during the overlap period, with two NEXO systems in place

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events, or to be used for prestigious concerts and spectacles. With all its different uses, this huge structure was designed to be a stadium for the third millennium, and, after 14 years of successful service from its NEXO Alpha sound system, the Stade de France turned again to NEXO to come up with an equally forward-looking audio design. Installation of the new fixed sound system began in September 2010, and the Stade de France project team, led by Stanilas Degardin, worked with French event production company and installation specialist Melpomen and the NEXO engineering team. A short planned period of overlap with the old Alpha system produced the rather unusual sight of 700 NEXO loudspeakers in situ.

A new 13-zone audio system was installed, featuring nearly 300 NEXO GEO S12 loudspeaker cabinets and nearly 30 RS18’s, the first time NEXO delivered these powerful sub-bass units into a sports stadium install. The GEO S12 design was, at that time, one of NEXO’s popular live music line array designs. It was customised especially for the Stade de France installation, resulting in the creation of the now-standard S12-ST cabinet, so successful in large-format sporting environments. “We modified the GEO S12 with a +3dB treble boost to provide the output necessary for a loudspeaker that is installed so far above its listeners: 45-metres above, in the case of the Stade de France,” explained Paul Massiani, NEXO’s Stadium Sound Manager. www.mondostadia.com

Put together with NEXO’s GEOSoft programme and EASE, Melpomen’s design provides high levels of management: control of the directivity of the loudspeaker output, which keeps the sound within regulation limits and within the stadium itself, and control of the operation of the system, which allows any signal to be sent to any zone from pitch to car-parks from a single control room. The NEXO sound system is split to cover the upper and lower parts of the stadium. A total of 40 clusters of NEXO cabinets are flown from the roof for the stands. Seven GEO S12-ST modules are directed at the upper levels, while a separate array of six S12’s faces directly down towards the lower levels. Another 32 cabinets of S12 are used for fill at ground level. RS18’s are flown, 27


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in total. “We can change any loudspeaker in any cabinet in 30 minutes, although the NEXO NXAMPs provide excellent protection,” continued Paul. One of the additional benefits of the Melpomen/NEXO design is that visiting production companies, bringing in high-profile concert artists and theatrical spectaculars, can opt to tie into the stadium’s system to cover the upper levels of seating. A high level of diagnostic control is provided by 32 NXAMPs, NEXO’s proprietary amplified controller, tucked away in nine amp rooms in the stadium roof. These provide full diagnostic information to the control room, warning of a problem in a rack even if functionality is not actually affected. An additional eight NXAMPs are used to control a separate PA system for the stadium plaza, the open areas surrounding the stadium, which is equipped with NEXO GEO S8 compact line array modules. The Stade de France system runs on a

full EtherSound network. Such is the level of system control that any input can be sent to any output at the Stade; publicity announcements for the car parks, or a message to a specific area of the grandstand. The connectivity is via fibre optic cable, which runs from the 11 Yamaha SB168-ES stageboxes; 10km have been installed in a ring architecture, which has itself saved a huge amount of cabling for the installation team. Since the construction of France’s national stadium, NEXO has gone on to become one of the world’s pre-eminent suppliers of stadium and arena sound systems, recognised for loudspeaker products which can throw audio over large distances without loss of intelligibility or power. Its success is based on tight dispersion patterns of the loudspeakers, which deliver sound precisely where it is aimed, and proprietary modelling software such as the NS-1 package, which accurately predicts the SPL (volume) which will arrive at every seat in the house.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION INSTALLERS: Melpomen BRANDS: NEXO, Yamaha WEBSITE: www.melpomen.net / www.nexo-sa.com / www.yamahaproaudio.com

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FBT - VENTIS FBT VENTIS has rapidly become the trusted choice of professionals for whom high-end performance and staunch reliability are crucial. Comprising B&C compression drivers plus FBT’s own custom, long excursion woofers, the original VENTIS line-up included the 15-inch 115A, the 12-inch 112A and 10-inch 110A - all two-way, bass reflex designs housed in 15mm birch plywood, equally suited to permanent installation or portable use. The new additions to the range are engineered to the same high standards, with Class-D amplification for LF and Class H/ AB for HF, plus onboard digital signal processing with presets for every occasion; 15mm scratch resistant birch plywood enclosures and internal bracing; switch mode power supplies as standard, and easy to use, comprehensive control panels for quick and intuitive in-the-field operation. Bringing new possibilities for VENTIS users, the 108A includes a 200mm (eight-inch) woofer and 50mm (two-inch) voice coil, driven by 700W + 200W bi-amplification to deliver an

impressive 131dB SPL from a supremely portable cabinet. With a frequency response of 65Hz to 20kHz, and broad coverage courtesy of the 80°(H) x 50°(V) Constant Directivity Rotatable Horn, the VENTIS 108A is just as comfortable mounted on the wall with the optional bracket, or used with a standard pole-mount. The passive version, the VENTIS 108, delivers 250W into eight ohms for 126dB SPL, and features a built-in passive crossover with soft-trip protection for the LF and HF, plus speakon NL-4 In and Link Out connectors, and four M5 rigging points for installation. Meanwhile, the 112MA and 115MA bring floor monitoring to VENTIS. Rated at 700W + 200W, the bi-amplified 112MA delivers 132dB SPL in a bass reflex design, using a 320mm (12-inch) coaxial custom woofer with a 64mm (2.5-inch) voice coil, 25mm (one-inch) B&C throat and 44mm (1.7-inch) voice coil. The enclosure has a frequency response of 55Hz to 20kHz with 90° conical dispersion, while onboard DSP offers six www.mondostadia.com

factory presents for a broad range of scenarios. For flexibility in use, the monitor offers a 35mm (1.38-inch) stand socket, two integrated carrying handles and an optional wall mount bracket. Alternatively, the passive 112M is rated at 400W into eight ohms delivering 129dB SPL, with a built-in passive crossover and speakon NL-4 In and Link Out connectors. Finally, the 115MA is again rated at 700W + 200W, delivering 132dB SPL via a 380mm (15-inch) coaxial custom woofer with a 64mm (2.5-inch) voice coil, and a 25mm (one-inch) B&C throat with a 44mm (1.7-inch) voice coil. The larger monitor’s frequency response is 50Hz to 20kHz with 90° conical dispersion, and six factory presets are again available via onboard DSP. As with the smaller version, a 35mm (1.38inch) stand socket and two integrated carrying handles are included alongside an optional wall mount bracket. The passive version, the VENTIS 115M, is rated at 400W for 130dB SPL. www.fbt.it


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WINDSOR PARK

Originally opened in 1905, The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland and home to Linfield F.C., has undergone a renovation, following £31m of funding from the Northern Ireland Executive. The redevelopment included demolition and rebuild of the South and Railway (East) stands, and the subsequent demolition of the West stand, as well as a complete renovation of the North stands by building contractors, O’Hare & McGovern. Now that the work is complete, the stadium can host 18,434 supporters, all of whom are seated undercover - a welcome feature for fans given the unpredictable British weather! Vital to the upgrade was a fully integrated PA and voice alarm system that was EN54 compliant, with an impressive STI value, but, at the same time, incorporated a dynamic full range entertainment

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Above: The recent redevelopment of the stadium has increased the capacity to 18,434. www.mondostadia.com


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sound system to enhance the match day experience - both for Linfield F.C., and Northern Ireland’s national team, who also play their games at the stadium. It is also the headquarters for the Irish Football Association (IFA). World-renowned consultant, Arup, provided engineering and technical expertise, through its Belfast team, who were involved in the transformation of Windsor Park into the National Football Stadium from concept through detailed design, providing the IFA with multidisciplinary (SMEP) building engineering services as well as geotechnical and fire engineering services, for the refurbishment. Arup also set out a tender for the technology upgrade, which was won by Belfast-based RCF partners, MGA Communication. The company was tasked with carrying out the implementation of commentary/broadcast systems, as well as disabled refuge, working under

electrical contractors William Coates; the solution was based around an RCF DXT7000 emergency evacuation system and Acustica P-Series stadium loudspeakers. This architecture is based on a model that RCF has successfully rolled out in similar sized stadia right across the world. In fact, the success of MGA’s bid was based on the deployment of a similar RCF P-series solution at nearby Kingspan (Ravenhill) Stadium, home of Ulster Rugby, several years earlier. MGA Managing Director, Aaron McKeown, stated that the main requirement at Windsor Park was for the installation to be EN54-16 compliant for the electronics, EN54-24 for the speaker systems and the overall installation to be BS 5839 (Part 8) compliant. The system also needed to meet current FIFA requirements. “On a normal match day, the crowd noise needs to be exceeded by 10dB,” he said. www.mondostadia.com

On being awarded the contract, MGA wasted no time in contacting RCF for assistance with the design, derivation and implementation of the PAVA solution, and soon Francesco Venturi from RCF’s Engineering Support Group in Italy was preparing an acoustic model of the stadium using EASE 4.4. “For us, it was a no brainer to use RCF,” said Aaron. “We knew they would support it technically and having an existing working relationship was key,” he said. Already experienced in the use of the scalable DXT7000, Contracts Manager, Simon McClelland and Senior Engineer, Gareth Lennon, were confident that an enhanced version of the Ravenhill solution would meet all evacuation protocols, and at the same time be sufficiently adaptable to work only in selected stands (or on a reduced volume basis) as required for lower attendance games, such as Linfield home matches.


44 INSTALL

A master control rack is stationed in the South stand, with further 42U satellite racks located in other three, linked via optical fibre for the entertainment PA system, and copper for the emergency mic to conform to EN54 norms. Each rack plays its own emergency announcement independently, at an SPL of 89dB(A). There is a fireman’s mic in each of the stands on a local buss, and the entire signal path from fireman’s microphone to loudspeaker lines is completely and automatically monitored against faults within the DXT7000’s 8 x 80W matrix. Included in the coverage are the pre-existing speakers in the administrative offices in the main stand. A commentary system for the hearing impaired is also provided via a line output from the RCF PA/VA and there are various XLR inputs for mixer plug-ins. Finally, the multi-zone paging mic is located in the master control room overlooking the pitch. Explaining the design, Gerry McKeown, Design Director, said: “We decided on a decentralised approach, and because of the requirement for a dynamic high end entertainment solution as part of the voice alarm system, we decided to put in a separate horn overlay system.”

The main entertainment PA comprises 45 P6215 15-inch coaxial weatherproof 60° x 60° loudspeakers which are IP55-rated, driven low impedance by RCF IPS 3700 amplifiers. These are spaced in clusters of two along the lip of the stand roof. Positioned alongside, are pairs of the EN54-24 compliant overlay system comprising IP66-rated HD21EN 30W ABS horns, co-located with each cluster. The exception to this pairing is the East stand where only single enclosures of each were required. The horns immediately come into play in the event of a failure of the main system, providing seamless UPS. To set the splay angles of each cluster for optimum stand coverage required the commissioning of some bespoke bracketry by the electrical contractor William Coates. This was designed and fabricated with separate tethering for safety purposes. “This not only prevents any spillage onto the pitch but focuses the sound where we want it, at the back and front of the tribunes,” Gerry continued. “As for the DXT7000, this was chosen not only because of its EN54 compliance, but the fact it could be run in a decentralised way and carry out a number of DSP functions.” He rationalises that a decentralised

www.mondostadia.com


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46 INSTALL

topology also affords a better level of redundancy, so that if one master system fails, another can send signals to the rack. Stadium Director, Louise Doyle, added: “I am happy to say that MGA have given us excellent customer service and are always there to assist if needed. The PA system is superb and gives us a good level of flexibility which is important with the varying events that we hold within the stadium.” Working in tandem with MGA Communication was another locally-based system integrator, Ashleigh Signs, who, like MGA, also won its posi-

tion through a tender process, but this time for a digital display solution. Prior to the upgrade, the IFA used to hire in a large screen for international games, but it became clear over time that this was not a cost-effective long-term solution, nor in keeping with the expectations of today’s fans in an increasingly digitised world. The brief was to deliver a solution which would have the capability to offer replays of key action, live match feeds, stadium updates, commercial advertising opportunities and an overall better experience for visitors to the stadium. After evaluating the key features and benefits of-

www.mondostadia.com

fered by a number of products, the IFA settled on Absen’s XD10 LED display screen. Thomas Fulton, Senior ICT Manager at the Irish Football Association, explained: “The XD10 from Absen offers a high definition image and high brightness, together with an intuitive content management and replay feature on the back end - which for us, was exactly the all-round high-end solution we were looking for.” Boasting a 10mm pixel pitch, 6000 nits of brightness and 120º of horizontal viewing angle, the XD10 offers real-time monitoring from PC, tablets and smartphones, giving the user


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48 INSTALL

complete control locally or remotely. With a panel thickness of just 106mm and weighing only 21kg, the Absen XD10 is thin and light, saving on installation space where it is at a premium, and making delivery and installation convenient and easy. Front and rear servicing make the IP65/54 waterproof module easily accessible for maintenance. Whilst the XD10’s product specification meant it could clearly deliver against the original brief in terms of end user benefits, a number of its key features also helped the Ashleigh Signs team to overcome challenges on site during the installation process. Space restrictions around the perimeter of the football pitch meant that regular access equipment could not be used, and scaffolding was the only solution. Weighting 20% less than traditional panels, and with a depth that is also typically a third thinner, the XD10 cabinets ensured a fast and successful installation. “The cabinet depth and weight were key considerations in finding the right display solution for the stadium. With good saturation in the

marketplace and a strong price point given the quality on offer, the XD10 clearly stood out as the product of choice from every angle,” continued Tom Sadler, Digital Signage Division at Ashleigh Signs, who oversaw the project on site. “What’s more, working with Absen throughout the project was a pleasure. From sales right through to service, every team was skilled, knowledgeable and prompt in getting the necessary information to us and offering support with the product.” The 43sq metre Absen XD10 screen was deployed in an 8.96-metre wide by 4.8-metre high configuration. Reinstatement of the cladding around the screen allowed it to tie in seamlessly with the stadium’s overall aesthetics. The content is delivered to the screen by Goalsport Mini - an intuitive and user-friendly system by Czech firm Daite. “We are 100% satisfied with the XD10 and it really has exceeded our expectations. Being able to control the screen device, locally or remotely, is a great feature and allows us to add and control content at short notice if and when required. Not

TECHNICAL INFORMATION INSTALLERS: MGA Communications, Ashleigh Signs BRANDS: RCF, Absen WEBSITE: www.mgacom.co.uk / www.ashleighsigns. co.uk / www.rcf.it / www.absen.com

www.mondostadia.com

only that, but it fits beautifully into our stadium environment – we’ve had fantastic feedback from visitors and it is now used not only for the football, but for other events we have taking place throughout the year. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending it to anyone looking for a similar solution,” said Thomas. Ross Burling, Business Development Manager UK, Ireland and Nordics for Absen, concluded: “We excel in working alongside trusted systems integration partners such as Ashleigh Signs to deliver a bespoke solution for every client’s needs. With our proven performance and reliability in the sports market and compatibility with sports content management systems, all at an unrivalled price point, our products are a great fit for major projects such as this. Windsor Park is an impressive, unique venue and we are proud that the XD10 now sits at the heart of the stadium, adding value and enhancing the experience for the hundreds of thousands of fans who live and breathe the game.”


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50 INTERVIEW

RIght: Peter Knowles Far Right: RAMsTV broadcast setup at Pride Park, which was a StvdioExpert project.

PETER KNOWLES Senior Consultant, Broadcast Technology at StvdioExpert Firstly, can you tell us a little about your background? I began my working life as a technical operator for BBC Radio at Broadcasting House some 35 years ago, and worked for the Corporation for the next 13 years. I learned my trade helping to create a huge number of the nation’s favourite radio and TV programmes for the most prestigious broadcaster in the world - it was undoubtedly the best possible introduction to the industry I could have had. I was based in Pebble Mill in Birmingham for much of that time, working with (and learning from) colleagues who were quite literally the best in the business - forging relationships with specialists in all the different broadcast disciplines that remain strong to this day. By the time I left the BBC in 1996 I was a Senior Sound Supervisor with the kind of experience, training and professional network that that I would struggle to have found anywhere else. I then set up Total Audio, a business which specialised in providing real world solutions and advice for a wide range of clients. Early projects included setting up and running audio facilities for many reality TV shows, from Scrapheap Challenge to The Weakest Link. When and why did you set up StvdioExpert? The digital revolution meant that suddenly it wasn’t just the mainstream broadcasters who could reach vast audiences - everyone could. So, we began to see banks, travel companies, retailers and all sorts of different businesses needing to build content production facilities. But these new content producers had very different business models to the traditional broadcasters. Their priorities were different - their financial models were different - and so were their timelines. They were seeking new solutions that would give them a competitive edge and allow them to push boundaries. The traditional systems integration companies were not only slow to catch on, but once they did, they also had problems adapting to this leaner, faster-paced and more cost-conscious market. The decision to create a new business specifically designed to meet the needs of this exciting new market pretty much made itself - and the name of the business, StvdioExpert, virtually chose itself, too. What is your role and what does that consist of? My job is to listen to our clients’ aspirations and ambitions, understand their practical and financial constraints, and then find a solution that meets all of their requirements. StvdioExpert does that by working with best-of-breed manufacturers and suppliers, leveraging the network of experts that I’ve built

up over the last 35 years, and always being prepared to think outside the box. We think like a member of our client’s team. That means never costing in a service that could be provided by in-house staff, and we’ll often provide training to enable that to happen - self-sufficiency is always the goal. We’re not just about providing technical facilities - we keen to use our experience to help ensure the content that’s produced with them is the best it can be. One thing we always seek to do is to communicate effectively with our clients and their stakeholders at all times - that means making sure we offer clear explanations for why we are recommending particular solutions, using language and imagery that is appropriate to our client’s level of knowledge. Our aim is never to baffle on the one hand, or patronise on the other. That’s not an easy balance to achieve, but I hope we get it right most of the time! What is it that attracts you to working on broadcasting facilities in stadiums? Stadiums such as Pride Park are deploying a wide range of technology because they cover everything from weddings to football matches, conferences to birthday parties. I love the challenge of designing a technical infrastructure within a finite budget that will be flexible enough to cover every eventuality both now and in the future. There’s something special about the culture within Pride Park - there’s a great collaboration across the technical and creative teams, and I’m proud to have played a part in creating the environment where that can flourish. They are producing world class content with affordable - some might also call it ‘disruptive’ - technology. How does a stadium project start for you and your team? It always starts with a lot of listening. We have to gauge quickly where the stadium is today, and where it wants to be tomorrow. Not only that, but we have to know what sort of budget they have to fund that journey. Very often we’ll find that the stadium’s management team is not aware of the traditional broadcast vendors and has therefore started contacting equipment manufacturers direct. Indeed, it’s often those manufacturers that have suggested bringing us in. The solution a stadium ultimately needs invariably spans many different manufacturers and disciplines. It would be a very big challenge for any in-house team to arrive at the right solution without expert help - all the data’s out there it’s true, but you have to know where to look for it, and then what it means when you find it. It’s usually a huge relief when they realise they can trust us to do that for them - and save

www.mondostadia.com


51 INTERVIEW

them a huge amount of time and money doing it. What are the main things that you have to take into consideration when working on a stadium or sporting venue? Change! Nothing stays the same for long. Needs change - circumstances change - and technology certainly changes, and very quickly. So it’s vital that we understand as much as we can about our clients’ business, and that we are aware of any new technological developments that are in the pipeline. That’s why we like to foster close relationships not only with our clients, but with all the key equipment manufacturers, too. Do you think more football clubs - particularly lower league clubs - will start to embrace the idea of investing in their own broadcasting facility? Without a doubt. We live in a world where we expect everything to be available - it’s the norm now, so if they are not to disappoint their fans, the clubs almost have no choice! Not only that, but they have to make it good - we have all become accustomed to the extremely high production values delivered by the major broadcasters, and so inevitably we compare everything with that gold standard. While that might sound a daunting prospect, it really needn’t be. What we have achieved at Derby County is proof that scalable content of the highest quality can be created by dedicated and creative in-house teams using state of the art equipment and infrastructure that is both affordable and extremely cost-effective. We’ve been blazing a trail for the last 18 months - and now we’re encouraging all our friends in the EFL to follow it. We’re keen to collaborate by sharing our experience and we’d be delighted to help in any way we can. Do you believe using this kind of setup can challenge the traditional broadcasters when it comes to live sport? From a technical point of view, there is no doubt that the gap is ever narrowing - I believe the content that RAMS TV is now producing stands comparison with the major broadcasters in terms of quality. Our experience in terms of the investment required suggests that a model where clubs syndicate directly to their fans will provide better value for all parties - the clubs themselves, their fans and their sponsors. So yes, it’s my personal view that the traditional broadcasters can be challenged - It may be a little way off yet, but we’ve definitely started down the path.

Are there any difficulties you experience on a regular basis - and what are they? The obvious one is the sheer size of the venues. Older stadiums and venues tend not to have modern containment, and installing long cable runs can be very time-consuming. If we are installing a run I will always make sure we have future capacity - the cable is proportionately cheaper than the labour. Which stadium and sporting arena projects have you been working on recently? As you know, I’m currently working at Pride Park with RAMSTV - it’s probably the most forward-looking and dynamic project I have worked on, and it’s been getting a lot of attention. We are regularly approached by other clubs interested in hearing about how we’ve achieved what we have, and we’re always keen to share information and advice where we can. A collaborative network of club media teams has already begun to emerge. What would you say has been your favourite project to date? You should know better than to ask me to choose one client’s project over another! But I will take this opportunity to say that RAMsTV has had a growth and success rate I’ve never witnessed before - Pride Park is a genuinely exciting place to be working right now. Do you have any interesting projects coming up in the near future? Again, none that I can talk about at the moment … but, yes and very different. What do you believe to be the next big thing in terms of technology when it comes to stadiums? All stadium infrastructures must be moving towards a complete I/P environment. At Pride Park we use NDI as our video network and Dante for audio. It allows sharing and expansion in a cost-effective and powerful solution. The immediate sharing of any experience within a stadium plus access to the event’s social media (containing great footage) is a package that is clearly at the forefront of any audience / fan experience wish-list.

www.stvdioexpert.com

www.mondostadia.com


52 INSTALL

LUZHNIKI STADIUM

Four years in the making and Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia is now fully equipped to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, during which the ground will see seven matches of the competition played there, including the opening match and the final. The new stadium can now hold 81,000 supporters and is located in one of the most picturesque areas of the Russian capital. It’s part of a wider Olympic complex - of the same name - that covers more than 180 hectares. The Moskva River flows alongside the stadium separating it from the complex at ground level, but they are connected via cablecar, so visitors can move easily between the two.

Moscow, Russia

Above: The new stadium, now fully equipped and ready for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

www.mondostadia.com

Luzhniki Stadium, as the biggest stadium in Russia, is naturally the home ground for the


53 INSTALL

national football team, this will remain with the newly redeveloped stadium after the FIFA World Cup too. Planning for the renovation dates back as far as 2013, though, actually straight after the World Championships in Athletics that took place in the summer of that year. Whereas previously the stadium had been used for football matches, athletics and other sporting events, the decision to make it purely a football stadium came into play with this redesign. It was a couple of years into the planning process before a tender document was issued, it had been drawn up by on behalf of the principals, The Big Sport Arena Luzhniki, with the technological requirements detailed by Moscow integration specialists, S-Pro Systems, together with the German company, Broadcast Solution. The team

responsible for the audio design comprised Andrey Matveev (S-Pro), Evgeniy Stepanenko (Broadcast Solution), Pavel Pyshkin (S-Pro) and Ivan Khizhnyak (S-Pro). S-Pro’s project managers were Sergey Manserov and Grigory Yurov. A McCauley Sound PA was selected for the stadium, which is now one of the largest football stadiums in Europe. McCauley Sound, along with its local partner, installed a new ILA412 / MLA3-2i long throw line array system, which is both weather resistant and provides seamless coverage and concert level sound to all of the seating areas. A staggering 216 McCauley Sound ILA412 / MLA3-2i long throw line array cabinets were needed for this project. The ILA412 / MLA3-2i was engineered to meet the strict FIFA intelligibility requirements, providing significant www.mondostadia.com

headroom above the crowd noise, even with the largest of audiences. Sitting alongside the McCauley inventory is a new network broadcast transmission, and at the heart of it are 57 Optocore and BroaMan fibre interfaces, designed in a fibre ‘star’ out of the ring topology, and supplied by Moscowbased distributor Audio Solutions. After the bid was accepted they became involved in the project as an S-Pro partner, with responsibility for equipment supply and warranty service management of the whole system. Audio Solutions was able to demonstrate the advantages of producing a site-wide multinode fibre transmission system and broadcast/ multi-format links to the OB vans. Igor Kovalev, who manages the Audio Solutions’ Pro Audio


54 INSTALL

TECHNICAL INFORMATION INSTALLERS: S-Pro Systems, Broadcast Solution, Audio Solutions BRANDS: McCauley Sound, Optocore, BroaMan WEBSITE: www.mccauley.com / www.optocore.com / www. broadcastmanufactur.com

Department said: “Optocore and BroaMan create a perfect synergy, providing an extremely robust optical network system for audio transport and auto routing functionality. Optocore I/O modules also have a wide working temperature range, which was one of the important criteria for choosing equipment for this project.” The Optocore system was designed around two main nodes. First, the stadium patch panel room in OB Van area for multi-signal conversion to MADI. Various Optocore X6R-FX, X6R-TP V3RFX and V3R-FX-TP converters were mainly fitted with mic-in and line out cards, while an Optocore M8-BNC allows OB Van MADI connection with additional feature of Emulation Mode to control on-site Optocore mic preamps directly from the Van’s console. Secondly, the media control room, with a Yamaha 02R96 digital console equipped with an Optocore Y3R-TP Yamaha card - enabling it to work with Optocore’s proprietary SANE protocol. Igor explained that the system had needed

to meet a number of objectives: to uplink the environmental bowl sound - the stadium crowd noise - with the Optocore modules bundled in the technical racks positioned around the playing field perimeter; to integrate with the intercom systems of the technical personnel - achieved by using Optocore’s dedicated V3R-FXINTERCOM; to integrate with the stadium’s sound reinforcement system; to integrate with the stadium’s patch panel room; to integrate with the stadium’s media room, which comprises all the multi-media signals, and finally to integrate with the commentator’s communication system. To expedite broadcast requirements Audio Solutions turned to Optocore’s associate company BroaMan, which in turn harnesses the power of Optocore. Two of the new Route66 AutoRouters are stacked, with each fibre node connected independently through the Route66. “The combination of redundancy and ability to close the Optocore loop automatically when active devices are added or disconnected, are

the main advantages of the BroaMan Route66 AutoRouters,” added Igor. The installation also takes advantage of economies, for example the Optocore TP devices are separated and placed up to 50-metres above the main FX devices - resulting in the need for fewer FX devices and less fibre cabling. The system, which conforms to all worldwide broadcast standards, has certainly met the approval of The Big Sport Arena Luzhniki and Igor said that with the successful fulfillment of signal conversion and audio/data transport - with the delivery of pristine, low latency audio - all objectives have been met. “The great advantage of an Optocore solution is that there is no interference from power cable runs, perfect EMR isolation and it has extremely flexible functionality, with the ability to handle any audio transport tasks with ease, over long distances,” he concluded.

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56 IN DETAIL

BLACKMAGIC DESIGN - CAMERA FIBER CONVERTER AND STUDIO FIBER CONVERTER Blackmagic Design has announced the all new Blackmagic Camera Fiber Converter and Blackmagic Studio Fiber Converter which convert standard television industry connections for video, audio, power, talkback, tally and more into a single SMPTE hybrid electrical and fibre optic cable. This allows cameras to be placed up to 2km away from a studio or outside broadcast truck using a single cable. Whether it’s in a studio or out at a large sporting venue, customers working in live production often need to place their cameras both far away and close to the action. SDI connections are common, but they have limited range. Plus, when working in large theaters or massive stadiums, it can also be hard to find locations with power. Running multiple cables for power, talkback, tally, video and audio feeds normally requires expensive interfaces and extenders. This can make set up incredibly complex and increases the chances of a technical error. The Blackmagic Camera Fiber Converter and Blackmagic Studio Fiber Converter solve this problem by converting all essential connections and full camera power into a single convenient SMPTE hybrid electrical and fiber optic cable that can be run long distances up to 2km away. That means cameras can be placed anywhere and connected back to broadcast trucks parked outside of a venue or back to a central control room in a studio. The new Blackmagic Camera Fiber Converter and Blackmagic Studio Fiber Converter transform your URSA Broadcast and URSA Mini cameras into a complete studio solution. One converter

is located on the camera and one is located far away back in the studio or outside broadcast truck. It’s the perfect solution for news, magazine style talk shows, game shows, multi camera sitcoms and even massive outdoor sporting events. Best of all, it costs tens of thousands less than other broadcast camera solutions. This means web producers, professional AV customers, houses of worship and educators can now afford to use the same high end broadcast technology that professional broadcasters use. The cable used between the camera and studio converters is a standard SMPTE 311M hybrid electrical and fiber optic cable with a standard SMPTE 304 connector on each end. The cable features a two-way fibre pair, data pair and power pair, along with a central strength member that gives it the needed durability for continuous use. The Blackmagic Studio Fiber Converter provides an industry standard 200V of power to the camera converter for both the camera and its accessories. The converters at each end have dedicated micro controllers that continuously monitor power and will instantly cut it if a leak is detected. High voltages to the SMPTE cable are not enabled until the converters ensure that all safety checks have been completed. This means Blackmagic Studio Fiber Converter and Blackmagic Camera Fiber Converter are compliant with SMPTE fiber standards, making them incredibly safe to operate. At the camera end, power is stepped down and made available to the camera and accessories via standard 12 volt connections. The Blackmagic Camera Fiber Converter attaches www.mondostadia.com

to the back of URSA Mini and URSA Broadcast cameras and converts all of the video and audio connections, along with camera control, PTZ, talkback, tally and power into the SMPTE hybrid electrical and fiber optic cable. The converters feature standard television industry connections, including the latest 12G-SDI, for working with all HD and Ultra HD formats up to 2160p60. Customers get an Ultra HD camera feed, three independent return HD feeds, full remote camera control, PTZ, and ethernet. For talkback, the converters feature two dual channel intercoms with fivepin XLR connections for professional talkback headsets. In addition, there is a redundant back up intercom that can be used to set up or troubleshoot if the fiber link is down. The camera converter also includes a 10-pin connection for tracker talkback, which provides an additional talkback feed for a crane operator when both headsets are already in use, and a tally output. Communication between the two converters is via standard 10G Ethernet. That means all video and return feeds are IP video based. The converters use high end, lossless broadcast quality 10-bit video encoding and decoding. All other connections such as talkback, tally, camera control and lens control are also converted to IP. Both converters are designed to be super fast and have extremely low subframe latency, providing the kind of incredible realtime performance customers need when working on live productions. www.blackmagicdesign.com


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58 INSTALL

INDIAN WELLS TENNIS GARDEN STADIUM California, USA

Owned by Oracle founder, Larry Ellison, Indian Wells Tennis Garden boasts 29 regulation tennis courts. At 16,100 seats, Stadium 1, is the second-largest tennis-dedicated stadium in the world. Located in Palm Desert, California in the Coachella Valley, Stadium 1 has recently been treated to a complete audio makeover that features products from two Bosch brands: RTS and Electro-Voice. Technicomm Industries, a company that has handled previous Indian Wells expansions and upgrades, was contracted to handle the project. “The plan was to totally refurbish the main stadium last year. One goal of that change was to modernise the intercom system,” said Steve Burgess, Project Manager for Technicomm. “We wanted a system that could become part of our

Above: Stadium 1 at Indian Wells Tennis Garden

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59 INSTALL

site-wide Dante audio network, and RTS was one of the few brands with that capability.” “Over the years, the booths, which are quite small, had built up a variety of equipment to meet communication needs, including multiple radios, cell phones, and a computer,” noted Steve. “By integrating everything together in a Dante network, the RTS system met every need and eliminated a ton of gear from that booth. That made a lot of people happy.” The intercom system is based on an RTS ADAM-M digital matrix and uses OMNEO IP technology as its networking backbone. A total of 15 RTS DKP-4016 desktop keypanels and one rack-mount RTS KP-5032 keypanel are spread throughout the sprawling Indian Wells facility, each fitted with a gooseneck microphone. “The programmability of the RTS intercom

system put us miles ahead of our previous capabilities,” said Steve. “We were able to route several Dante audio streams into the system and tailored each keypanel to what that operator needs on it. We were even able to incorporate the audio stream for the Hawk-Eye line judging system, which was a huge advantage for the broadcast team.” The Hawk-Eye visually tracks ball trajectory and is used to adjudicate disputed out-of-bounds calls in professional tennis events, including the PNB Paribas Open at Indian Wells. The system requires audio input from the court effects and umpire microphones, which previously was achieved with the help of an outboard mixer. “Having a Dante network with RTS keypanels changed all that,” explained Steve. “Now we use the speaker on the keypanel as the playback www.mondostadia.com

device. All we had to do was go into our Dante controller, drag the source channels over to the destination and boom, it was done. Very simple, easy to use, and sounded great. It’s a good example of the flexibility of a Dante-based system. It also eliminated a whole bunch of gear out of the broadcast booth, which was another goal of ours.” Another major aspect of the Indian Wells upgrade was the public address system. When Technicomm learned that the Bosch family of brands included Electro-Voice, it was invited to be part of a multi-brand comparison. Quantum Sales and Technology - an EV dealer in the US - product rep, Dave Brown, came in to consult on the product selection and provide evaluation samples. “We had a loudspeaker demo shootout; six


60 INSTALL

companies, no loyalties, and the EV products flat-out won on sound quality and aesthetics,” said Steve. “The EVID ceiling loudspeakers were the clear choice based on superior sound quality.” A total of 60 EVID PC 6.2 premium ceiling speakers were installed in the facility’s premium areas, including the owner Larry’s private suite, along with other viewing suites, the champions’ lobby, and fitness centre. For wall-mounted indoor/outdoor applications, the facility chose the EVID 4.2, a weather-resistant design that combines attractive styling and flexible mounting with high fidelity and exceptional intelligibility. The installation itself was a major challenge for Technicomm due to delays in the physical construction process of refurbishing Stadium 1. “We were joking that we needed more Bosch power tools, because we were basically working through February 5th, and the tournament started the next day,” said Steve. “We ended up connecting and testing everything outside the

audio cage before we deployed it. Jeff Shorsher and Calvin Ogawa from RTS really had my back, programming the system on site and interfacing it with the broadcast system. They made sure that when we put the gear out in the field, it worked right the first time. I want to thank them for their incredible support.” While the audio and intercom upgrades were focussed on Stadium 1 and broadcast logistics for the annual BNP Paribas Open, the facility is in year-round use for other events as well, including music and arts festivals, major concerts, and as a graduation venue for high schools closeby. “By adding RTS intercoms and EV loudspeakers to the Dante-based system they had in place, Indian Wells now has the flexibility to provide the audio and communications for any type of event, with scalability that will make future expansion easy,” concluded Steve. “History tells us that there will be ongoing enhancements at Indian Wells Tennis Garden for years to come.” www.mondostadia.com

TECHNICAL INFORMATION INSTALLER: Technicomm Industries BRANDS: RTS, Electro-Voice WEBSITE: www.electrovoice.com / www.rtsintercoms.com


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62 INTERVIEW

NORHISHAM ISKHANDAR MOHAMAD Sales & Business Development Consultant How did you first get into the audio industry? I studied audio engineering at Sae Singapore in 1998 and followed up with a BA (Hons) in Recording Arts from Middlesex University, with interest in music production. I was a closet producer working on my own music and freelance a bit in live sound. You’ve worked for a manufacturer for the past few years, but recently started a new position in the stadia world, tell us more about that? Interestingly, I started off working for Blackmagic Design and went into the video world before working for Sennheiser Asia. At Sennheiser Asia, as a product manager, I handled mostly third party loudspeaker brands including K-array and L-Acoustics. I later progressed to handle L-Acoustics Sales & Business Development at Sennheiser Asia, with my biggest project being the Malaysia National Stadium and Axiata Arena installations. Prior to working on these installation, I’d attended Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific exhibitions and visited stadiums in Europe, in particular, the famous Borussia Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park and Allianz Arena home to Bayern Munich. Through these events, I made friends with stadium consultants, architects and sports marketing consultants, which piqued my interest in the stadia world. After experiencing the amazing Opening and Closing Ceremonies, which used the installed L-Acoustics loudspeakers, I decided to further my career in this segment. I am currently pursuing an MBA in Sports Management from Escuela Universitaria Real Madrid to further complement my audio video technology background and gain more knowledge and insight to the sporting world. What does your new role consist of? Currently my new role consists of sales, business development and consultation for technologies in stadia and hospitality verticals with focus on Singapore and Malaysia. You’ve specialised in sporting venue installations during your career, how do those kind of projects begin? And what is a typical design process? For sporting venues, we need to identify the application, requirements and budgets, as many sporting venues are turning into multi-usage venues now. So, used for commercial events as well, such as concerts, conventions, and award shows. This effects the choice of brand and design of the system. From there, accurate room models can be drawn up and audio systems can be designed with simulation of results. Having direct contact with the client is best, because we can advise them on the right brand and technology to employ for the venues. Hence, right now we see the convergence of sports and entertainment, and by having the

right brand and equipment that adheres to entertainment riders, makes the venue more attractive to event organiser and hirers. They can integrate their system with the installed system as we saw during the recent Opening and Closing Ceremonies of SEA Games in Malaysia. Norwest integrated its groundstacked L-Acoustics Kudos and KS28 systems with the KIVAII installed in the upper bowls at the Malaysia National Stadium with much success, the L-Acoustics system has the same tonality across its loudspeakers. Event organisers also save on equipment rental as the venue speakers meet the rider and event performance requirements. What are the main things you have to take into consideration on a project? On upgrading projects, one important aspect is weight loading and cable length. As these infrastructures are usually built 20 years or more ago. It is important to assess the weight load for modern stadia requirements. This will effect the design and proposal. Another factor to consider is loudspeaker cable length. An ideal position to get maximum performance is to place amplifiers close to the loudspeakers. Perhaps due to the design and infrastructure of the older venue, this may not be the case, therefore, performance will be effected, but tuning and equalisation can compensate this. Are there any difficulties that you experience on a regular basis - and what are they? For me, not being on site is difficult as you can’t see the problems and make quick decisions on site. Therefore, you have to have good partners and contractors to provide you with accurate information. You were working with A.F.S. Engineering from Malaysia recently on the installation at KL Sports City, was this a landmark project for all involved? Yes definitely. It’s a major national project, which was used for the SEA Games in 2017. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies and the Games was broadcast regionally to other ASEAN countries, so it was very important to Malaysia to put on an exceptional display. Do you have any interesting projects coming up in the near future? Most definitely. More stadias and arenas and a few dance clubs in between. What would you say is the next big thing in terms of stadium design? I would say that 360º LED is definitely the next big thing for stadiums in the region, as we have yet to catch up in that area yet. The 360º LED at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta is amazing.

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mondo stadia Issue 3  
mondo stadia Issue 3