THE INTERNATIONAL PUBLICATION FOR TECHNOLOGY IN STADIA
Meyer Sound provide an audio revamp at the historic Mexico City ground.
State-of-the-art lighting and visual technology installed at the Perth stadium.
VITECâ€™s Sales Director discusses how the company is improving the fan experience.
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CONTENTS 4 IN DISCUSSION - ADRF / Sirqul 48 IN DISCUSSION - Mountain Productions
IN PROGRESS 6 HARLEM RIVER YARDS STADIUM New York City, USA 8 AL MAKTOUM STADIUM Dubai, UAE 9 MERCK-STADION AM BÖLLENFALLTOR Darmstadt, Germany Page 20
12 NAGASAKI STADIUM Nagasaki, Japan
16 IN FOCUS - Martin Audio Page 56
INTERVIEW 30 JOE WALSH VITEC 64 ROLAND HEMMING RH Consulting
INSTALL 20 MOLINEUX STADIUM Wolverhamption, England 24 ŚLĄSKI STADIUM Chorzów, Poland 36 OPTUS STADIUM Perth, Australia 44 CHS FIELD Minnesota, USA 50 EVERBANK FIELD Jacksonville, USA 56 AZTECA STADIUM Mexico City, Mexico
ISSUE 4 Whether it’s a new build or an upgrade to specific technology, the hard work, dedication and, most importantly, innovation that goes into stadium and sporting venues never ceases to impress. With that in mind, we’ve taken a closer look at the work of Philips Lighting and Daktronics at Optus Stadium - one of those new builds that everyone has been looking forward to. It’s certainly lived up to expectation. I also had the pleasure of visiting Molineux Stadium with Nexo and T.G Baker after they had worked together to update the audio system for Wolves. The installation has been incredibly positive for the stadium and it’s great timing, too, with Wolves earning promotion to the Premier League. Finally, keep a look out for the next issue of mondo*stadia in August... it’s our official launch issue, with a new design, new features and much more. If you’d like to be involved in the new-look magazine, e-mail me at email@example.com.
66 GCU STADIUM Arizona, USA 70 SCOTTRADE CENTER Missouri, USA 76 PLAZA DE TOROS DE VALENCIA Valencia, Spain
IN DETAIL 34 ROLAND XS-62S 68 LG Stadium Series 78 GOAL SPORT Software
SAM HUGHES ASSISTANT EDITOR
EDITOR: Rachael Rogerson-Thorley: firstname.lastname@example.org ASSISTANT EDITOR: Sam Hughes: email@example.com EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Hannah Ryan : firstname.lastname@example.org SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER: Jamie Dixon: email@example.com ACCOUNT MANAGER: Laura Iles: firstname.lastname@example.org PRODUCTION: Mel Robinson, Dan Seaton CEO: Justin Gawne: email@example.com FINANCE DIRECTOR: Amanda Giles: firstname.lastname@example.org CREDIT CONTROL: email@example.com GROUP CHAIRMAN: Damian Walsh ON THE COVER: Optus Stadium, Perth: Image courtesy of Optus Stadium 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 Seri Yoon, Director of Marketing at Advanced RF Technologies and Viki Zabala, CMO of Sirqul discuss how smart connected stadiums are revolutionising the fan experience.
All sports stadiums face the same major challenge: meeting the expectations of their digital native customers. In some cases, this can mean utilising mobile devices and wearables to incorporate the latest customer engagement approaches. In others, it means competing with the continual enhancements to home entertainment that roll out to market each year. According to The Boston Consulting Group, brands that create personalised experiences for customers are seeing a 6-10% revenue increase. Leading stadiums of all sizes are taking advantage of IoT platforms to provide smart, personalised experiences and promote fan engagement in nonintrusive ways. Through telemetry, stadiums can gain access to data that anonymously tracks the location and intent of attendees without requiring the fan to install an app or plug-in. However, to make this type of data collection possible, stadiums must have adequate and reliable connectivity solutions in place. In other words, stadiums looking to meet their fans’ expectations need to have both hardware and software solutions. This means connecting fans’ devices to a data platform that incorporates information from a combination of cellular, WiFi and Bluetooth signals. Having seamless wireless connectivity throughout a stadium is crucial for data collection and analysis to happen in real-time. Once collected, data can then be fed through APIs and software endpoints to enhance sports stadium’s customer experiences. For instance, if a stadium team notices that there is a long line at a particular ice cream stand, they can send an additional ice cream pushcart or two over to alleviate the wait. Going beyond basics, here are three ways that stadiums are incorporating IoT and connectivity to revolutionise the fan experience:
- In-seat purchases Stadiums have implemented the ability for fans to make purchases and have the products delivered directly to their seat. This has often times been a perk for customers who have purchased premium seats, and a way to differentiate experiences among fans. In-seat purchases are becoming mainstream. Real-time IoT data can provide stadium staff the ability to implement line-busting techniques and allow guests to order food, drinks, souvenirs and nearly anything else with just a tap of their phone screens from stadium seats. This is achieved by implementing IoT platforms with point of sale systems and providing logistics to mobile staff to deliver items within the chosen time windows. These same systems can be used to personalise orders and make additional recommendations. Think of this method as similar to Amazon’s ‘people who purchased this item also considered this other product.’ This solution will allow stadiums to conduct more personalised and strategic interactions with customers. These same customers do little more than enter a ‘geo-fence’ area and intent becomes understood. The system can then provide insights to nearby staff that can then use that information to make recommendations that drive impulse purchases. - Instant 360 Degree Replay (and personalised advertising) Seconds after a home run is hit, a touchdown is scored, or a goal slides past the goalie, fans will soon have the ability to watch the instant replay, as seen from anywhere in the building, without doing anything other than grabbing their mobile phone. 360 video is a nascent technology that is making its way into the sports world via TV (where
leagues like the NFL use the technology to show if a player was an inch out of bounds or not) and live experiences alike (Japan is using 200 cameras to create holograms to broadcast the World Cup). 360 video requires a tremendous amount of bandwidth, meaning that stadiums will need to improve connectivity across the board to facilitate this new technology. The use of this type of video can also go beyond simply watching replays. By layering in various data points, stadiums can utilise IoT platforms to create personalised marketing campaigns, alerts and triggers. These will appear on mobile apps or nearby digital screens based on fan presence and behavior. Moreover, this can be in real-time, such as creating engagement through virtual games or trivia or allowing fans to take selfies ‘next to’ players. These methods can also allow for retargeting initiatives, promoting certain seats or sections to a fan who regularly views the action from specific and preferred sections. - Solving the parking nightmare At the end of a major event, more than 40,000 fans stream out to parking lots, get in their cars, and proceed to move nowhere. Getting out of the parking lot has been an ongoing issue for stadiums trying to draw consumers out of their homes to see live events and have them stay for the entire game. By giving fans more info, including estimated departure and wait times, fans can spend more quality time at shops, buying merchandise, staying with friends, and order more food items instead of being stuck in non-monetisable traffic. As cars become autonomous, it’s likely that algorithms can be implemented around stadiums to expedite the process of getting in and out of parking lots with ease. Implementing these algorithms, of course, requires connectivity to each vehicle, which is no easy task when considering that more than 20,000 vehicles are often parked in the same lot. Wayfinding becomes even more interesting when fan vehicles begin to navigate to where they wait for them to arrive in designated areas, similar to the same areas that existing ride sharing providers use today. Connectivity and data platforms will transform the fan experience in the ways above, and definitely in ways that have not yet been considered or created yet. In the coming years, the thrill of seeing it live will meld with various technologies to make going to events more comfortable, personalised and exciting for the generations of digital native and traditional fans to come. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily of mondo*stadia magazine.
8 Standards Converted 12G-SDI Inputs!
Talkback Controls Talk to each camera individually or all cameras simultaneously.
Audio Controls Each input allows selection of audio on/off, audio follow video, level control and LED audio meter per channel.
Camera Control Adjust iris, gain, focus and zoom as well as color balance.
Program Control Buttons illuminate red when source is on air.
Transition Buttons Easily choose your transition type including Mix, Dip, Logo, DVE, Wipe and more!
Preview Control Buttons illuminate green when source is selected on preview.
TrackBall Adjusts RGB values of selected cameras as well as DVE positions.
Source Select Buttons Choose sources for keyers, as well as managing and running macros.
LCD Display Shows program output, audio meters, and menus for changing settings.
Transition Slider Controls the transition manually so you can operate special effects and control the speed of the transition.
Spin Knob Control Quickly scroll through menus for full switcher control.
Aux Control Use the program row to select sources to the 12G-SDI aux output.
Source and Control Downstream keyer, fade to black, media players and transition operation.
Quick Set DVE Buttons Preset DVE positions for picture in picture effects.
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21/05/2018 10:17 AM
6 IN PROGRESS
IN PROGRESS A closer look at the upcoming stadiums and sporting arenas.
HARLEM RIVER YARDS STADIUM NEW YORK CITY, USA
Six proposals have been put forward for a Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium in the Big Apple since 2011. The Harlem River Yards vision would put New York City FC in one of the most unique locations in global football. Though New York seems to be a dream location for a strong MLS team, it has yet to be realised due to issues with finding a large enough piece of land to build on. At present, New York City FC is playing at the Yankee Stadium, which is far from ideal, as it was only ever meant to be a transition venue, yet the team is about to enter its fourth season in the Bronx. After five failed bids for an MLS Stadium, news broke of a sixth proposal back in April this year. It was the development-oriented website, New York YIMBY, that published a surprisingly, www.mondostadia.com
exclusive detailed account of the bid. The application for a location on the South Bronx side, along the banks of Harlem River has been filed with two strong associates, developers Related Companies and Somerset Partners. The latter corporation is already running a major residential project next to the proposed site. The stadium’s initial design was created by renowned architect Rafael Viñoly, known in the sports world for Princeton University stadium and Manchester City’s training facilities. Now he was employed by Man City’s US offspring NYCFC. He has proposed a stadium that seems conventional, yet on closer inspection, it isn’t. The field will be located above ground level in order to allow existing rail yards to operate on the ground. The site is also very constrained in terms of access, a double public concourse has been
7 IN PROGRESS
Above: The sixth proposal for the Harlem River Yards Stadium.
designed, around the seating bowl. The proposal explains that the partnership would pay US$500,000 annually for a 99-year ground lease, invest US$25 million into the new waterfront esplanade, and pay another US$100 million for making the site buildable, within the total investment of US$700 million. The football part extends beyond match-day use, including offices for 70 NYCFC employees and a soccer school. Beside the stadium a large residential unit is planned with 550 affordable apartments and a medical facility on ground floor - over 2,000 sq metres. Combined with the public green waterfront area the entire site would cover 12.8 acres.
Pictures: 2018 ÂŠ Rafael ViĂąoly Architects
8 IN PROGRESS
AL MAKTOUM STADIUM DUBAI, UAE The United Arab Emirates is starting to see a new type of stadium emerging in preparation for hosting the 2019 Asian Cup in January and February. Reconstruction of the Al Nasr SC stadium in Oud Metha, one of the most central throughout Dubai, is expected to become a model for change. For this project, three stands have been demolished. Initially built as an oval, the stadium is to become a proper, football-specific rectangle, which is the most significant change. Demolition began in October 2017 and the stadium revamp is approximately 30% complete. Only the old main stand, built back in 1995, will be retained, although that is to be expanded and reconfigured. Initial plans suggested
only a modest canopy on top, while the final one is much more impressive, creating a dominant west side. Elevations have also been raised on all sides in the final design. With new layout the match-day capacity is expected to grow noticeably, to some 15,000 spectators. Designed by OBE Architects, the stadium is expected to become ‘European’ with the creation of fully covered auditorium and illuminated outer wrap. Very similar to the one in Uyo, Nigeria, the cladding would be made out of translucent diamond-shaped panels. By day, they would be white, by night turning turquoise and this way completing the club’s blue and white colours.
RSX208L RSX126/129 RSX86/89
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10 IN PROGRESS
MERCK-STADION AM BÖLLENFALLTOR DARMSTADT, GERMANY
Above: The stadium reconstruction is due to be complete in 2020. Picture: © SV Darmstadt 98, 1100 Architekten
German football club, SV Darmstadt 98 (the Lilies) has announced its partnership with technology company, Merck, has been extended and will now remain in place until 2024. The confirmed agreement means Merck will remain the club’s premium sponsor, financing youth operations and the stadium’s name will remain Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor for at another least six years. Merck has been a long-term partner for SV Darmstadt and has provided support in many ways. The company went the extra mile in 2016 when it agreed to give away naming rights for almost an entire season to honour Jonathan Heimes, a supporter of the Lilies who died of cancer. The news of the extended sponsorship came at the perfect time for SV Darmstadt 98, having had proposals for a new stadium dashed last year. In place of the design for a brand new stadium, plans were drawn up for a gradual reconstruction instead, and as a result of Merck’s continued investment, municipal authorities have granted a long-term lease and allocating funding for the redesign is in progress. The entire project will cost is expected to stay within €28.5 million, of which the largest contribution will come from the city of Darmstadt (€15m). The football club will add €10 million, while the land of Hessen should complete the budget with €3.5 million. www.mondostadia.com
The redesign - led by 1100 Architect - will include a comprehensive renovation and addition to the 17,400-seat stadium, along with a new training facility and club headquarters. By adding canopies over the main stands and modernising the concourse, the project will enhance the fan experience and improve stadium amenities, providing a contemporary home for the team and its supporters. A new public gathering space in front of the main gate will define the entry sequence and offer a place for fans to safely gather before and after matches. The reconstruction will be carried out in three phases, retaining the two provisional, covered end zones. Floodlights will also remain as they are. Their use will enable constant use of the stadium throughout the process. The first stage, which began in Spring 2018, will see the creation of additional club offices behind the main stand, as an annex to the municipal sports hall. Next, work will begin inside the stadium with the removal of the old east terrace that will be replaced by a brand new concrete stand. To retain some of the Bölle spirit, the grandstand will offer standing room only in the lower half, with seats in the upper sections. The entire stadium is expected to be complete by 2020, and will be able to hold 18,600 people instead of 17,400.
12 IN PROGRESS
NAGASAKI STADIUM NAGASAKI, JAPAN
As recently as 70 years ago, the city of Nagasaki was barely a city at all, with few buildings or amenities, but, today, it’s a thriving area with a tagline to match - ‘fun to live in Nagasaki’ - proposed by Japanet. In recognition and celebration of the change, a massive ¥50 billion project is going ahead, which will include a football stadium for V-Varen, as well as 300 apartments, a hotel, a shopping centre, multilevel parking and offices. This brand new football stadium in Nagasaki is expected as part of a major revitalisation project at the Urakami riverfront. It’s a symbolic location, known primarily for the proximity - around 1km - of ground zero, where the nuclear bomb was www.mondostadia.com
dropped in 1945. The stadium itself, to be designed by Takenaka Corporation, will use more of the land than both towers - that will house the apartments, a hotel, a shopping centre, multi-level parking and offices - combined and will not be built exactly along the plot, rather in tilted to fit the north-south axis. This creates minor spatial constraints in two corners, hence the octagonal shape. The stadium’s final shape is likely to change, however, as ground-breaking is not expected to take place in 2021 with delivery in 2023. It’s not clear what the final cost of the stadium itself will be, however, the entire project is expected to cost ¥50 billion (US$456 million).
13 IN PROGRESS
With 23,000 seats the stadium will become home to V-Varen, the football team currently in its first J1 League season. While it might not be filled to capacity every game, last seasonâ€™s 5,900+ per game in the 2nd league (with 22,000+ at peak) shows promising progress for this recently successful team.
Above: The impressive plans for Nagasaki Stadium Pictures: 2018 ÂŠ Takenaka Corporation
CATEGORIES Best Nightclub Best House of Worship Best Sporting Venue Best Integrated Resort Best Theatre Best Concert Hall Best Bar & Restaurant One more category to be added in 2019
ENTER Look out for the new website coming in Summer 2018 to submit your project for the 2019 Awards www.mondodrawards.com
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16 IN FOCUS
IN FOCUS A closer look at the sporting venues installed with Martin Audio.
LEICESTER COMMUNITY SPORTS ARENA LEICESTER, ENGLAND
The new £4.5m Leicester Community Sports Arena - a joint venture project between Britain’s oldest professional basketball club (Leicester Riders), Leicester City Council and Leicester College - opened at the end of January, with the 2,400-capacity audience. A total of 12 of the CDD15 loudspeakers were specified and installed by local sound and lighting integrators, MBSL. Mark Broadhead’s technical company was brought in just two weeks before the venue’s inauguration when it was discovered that while the six 100V line loudspeakers, specified by another party, might have been sufficient for voice evacuation, it was certainly not up to delivering in the arena on match days. Mark said: “We wanted a loudspeaker that would provide even sound dispersion and work reliably - since it would be located eight-metres up in the air and we didn’t want to be making service calls. “As soon as I heard the high output generated from the CDD15’s 15-inch coaxial driver, I was bowled over - it produces an impressive punch and delivers over a wide dynamic range. We had also given the client three different options to show them what a 15-inch driver would sound like, and they were impressed.” With the bulk of the crowd facing each other
across the court, Mark quickly realised he could provide all the necessary coverage from just four CDD15’s on each flank, despite the raucous and reverberant ambient noise produced by the crowd. These are fixed to the ceiling using Martin Audio’s standard bracketry. In one corner at the two end stands, and angled back towards the seating, are two further CDD15’s, while from the other corners the final two CDD15’s turn to fire into the court. The system is optimised using the dedicated DX0.5 management system - and despite the fairly cavernous space, and different sound sources pumped through it - no EQ was necessary - and only the limiter needed to be set. In addition to basketball, the venue hosts a local badminton team and in future hopes to stage banquets and weddings and so reconfigurability of the soundscape was essential. Summing up, Mark said: “Some of my old Martin Audio systems are still working after 10-15 years and unlike other brands I have never heard anything bad when fitting this brand. The clients know they have good value, and are over the moon.”
17 IN FOCUS
DREXEL UNIVERSITY’S DASKALAKIS ATHLETIC CENTER PHILADELPHIA, USA
After producing the US Open Squash Championships in Philadelphia for seven years, IMS Technology Services noticed a distinct improvement in the audio quality after switching to Martin Audio CDD-LIVE loudspeakers for this year’s event. As IMS Director of Audio Chris Leonard pointed out: “We definitely upgraded the speaker coverage with the Martin Audio CDD-LIVE 12’s and 8’s. They had a major impact on the environment with their low-end extension and consistent wide coverage. There’s no good place to put subwoofers at this event, so having a loudspeaker with the low-end power of the CDD-LIVE series really helped us out with adding excitement to the audio quality and coverage. This was the seventh year we’ve done this event
and by far the best sounding one yet.” The Championships takes place at Drexel University’s Daskalakis Athletic Center with a custom ASB glass squash court placed in the middle of the gymnasium floor with the audience of just over 1,000 surrounding the court on all sides Continuing his discussion of the audio challenges for the championships, Chris explained: “There’s a referee on a headset mic in the centre of the gym just outside the glass court and he has to be live the whole time and loud enough to be clearly heard by the players and everyone in the place because he’s calling the score and in constant communication with the players. “Then they have an announcer that does the player introductions, lots of live music stings, and www.mondostadia.com
the need to maintain a pumped-up environment for the presentation. So, in between match play, there’s plenty of high energy music and lots of lights flashing.” The actual deployment consisted of four CDDLIVE 12’s with one flown in each corner from a special truss while two CDD-LIVE 8’s were flown over a VIP bar area for additional reinforcement because it was located outside of the main area of coverage. An additional CDD-LIVE 8 was used to assist Chris in monitoring the event from backstage. Summing up, Chris added: “The Dante networking is great too. I could run the signal in stereo to give it an extra-wide feel. It allowed me to easily distribute signal across the venue with enhanced audio quality and greater flexibility.”
18 IN FOCUS
LEE VALLEY ATHLETICS CENTRE EDMONTON, CANADA Old Barn Audio has completed its third Martin Audio CDD installation within Olympic class venues owned and operated by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA). Following successful fit-outs of the Lee Valley White Water Centre and Lee Valley Ice Centre, they have now completed a challenging installation at Lee Valley Athletics Centre in Edmonton. This required the company to install a 30-metre long roof truss section down the middle of the 200-metre six-lane oval track, 6.5-metres up in the air, to support over half a tonne of Martin Audio’s popular CDD 12, CDD 10 and CSX subwoofers. Built 10 years ago at a cost of £15m, the centre plays host to a wide range of athletes - operating as an elite venue for Olympians as much as a walk-in facility for the general public. Boasting 4,000 admissions a week, it is the busiest indoor athletics facility in the UK. In such a wide open, cavernous venue, pristine sound is vital, as much for commentary at athletics meets as general messages and voice evacuation. However, the previous sound system was sadly lacking, as centre Manager Mick Bond explained: “It piggy backed onto the fire alarm system so it was not really fit for general purpose. It was a constant source of frustration and produced feedback whenever turned up. “We managed to get funding for a replacement system and got various quotes. Old Barn Audio
were both competitive on price and were tried and tested as far as we were concerned.” Project Manager Neil Kavanagh knew that LVRPA wanted to main continuity with the proven CDD formula and his solution was to specify largely CDD12, enabling the CSX 118 subwoofer to take care of the lower frequencies. This he knew would not only provide the level of speech intelligibility required for commentary and handle background music during daytime training, but also have sufficient muscularity to handle for small concerts. “The venue is also available for hire so by providing a high spec. Martin Audio system this will facilitate a lot more business, leading to an excellent return on investment,” he said. Neil’s first conundrum was how to tackle the acoustics of an inherently ‘live’ cantilevered venue, while at the same time integrating the preexisting sound system. He specified 10 CDD12, two CDD 10 and four CSX 118, ensuring that the subs fired down at the rubber floor, which would provide absorption, while the full range boxes were arrayed and directed at the 500 raked seat stand on one side of the oval - avoiding the facing wall entirely. The internally wired truss itself is suspended from four points, with two tonne weight-loading and safety bonds at each end. The speakers themselves are fixed using half couplers and are safety bonded. “We assembled everything 1.5-metres off the www.mondostadia.com
ground and hoisted it into positions on four chain hoists and tethered it at the four hanging positions,” continued Neil. The installation required 200-metres of single 19-core cable running back to the power room and 400-metres of additional loudspeaker cable on the truss. The result is a potent solution devoid of any reflections, which comes as no surprise to Neil. “What I really like about the CDD Series is the accuracy of dispersion. It has been designed to offer a lot of sound within the budget. Not only that, but the inherent coaxial speaker technology offers power coupled with a sonic performance that is unrivalled for the price.” Control and amplification also followed the model set in the two other Lee Valley venues. As for integrating the pre-existing horn system this is now detailed to handle voice announcements only. “We have put a ducker into the main system so that it cuts for messages,” Neil explained. In summary he said: “Now that the Lottery funding has finished and venues built for the London Olympics need to stand on their own two feet, a powerful sound system such as this is a wise investment. We are also grateful to Martin Audio for the excellent support. And according to Mick the new Martin Audio system has proven extremely popular with the staff. “Although it was only recently installed it is already more than meeting our expectations,” he said. www.martin-audio.com
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MOLINEUX STADIUM Wolverhampton, England
Home to Wolverhampton Wanderers since 1889, Molineux Stadium is one of Englandâ€™s iconic grounds, having been the first stadium ever built for use by a Football League club. In May 2010, plans were announced for a redevelopment programme at Molineux Stadium, which would see three sides of the ground rebuilt and linked, increasing the total capacity to 38,000. However, after the Stan Cullis Stand was completed as part of the first stage in 2012, the next two stages were put on hold, leaving the current capacity at 31,700.
Above: Wolverhampton Wanderers home ground, Molineux Stadium.
Recently, there have been plenty of changes at Wolves, with Fosun International, a Chinese conglomerate and international investment company, taking over the club. It has enjoyed plenty of success on the pitch, earning promotion to the Premier League after finishing top of the EFL Championship, which has put the plans regarding expansion back on the table. Prior to that, though, the club made the decision to upgrade the audio system at Molineux Stadium, with a view to improve the match-day experience for the fans. T.G Baker were, once again, asked to assist with
a total revamp of the PA/VA system by Steve Sutton, Head of Operations at Wolves. The sound specialists carried out extensive work on the Stan Cullis Stand back in 2012. As part of that project, two new PA/VA racks were designed, manufactured and installed, connected to a bi-directional, dual redundant copper network, to link to the existing PA/VA racks in each of the other three stands. In addition, another 14 PA/ VA zones were created within the new stand, covering two levels of concourses, home and away turnstiles, a museum, a megastore and extensive new hospitality areas, all with PA/VA www.mondostadia.com
and AV integration. “The driving force behind the decision was our change of ownership and, with that, came more availability in terms of budget, which we’ve not had before,” explained Steve. “The system that was 24 years old, so the loudspeakers were way passed their recommended working life. “Primarily, the main improvement from a new system was going to come on the in-house entertainment side, as, from a safety perspective, the old system was certifying as suitable, satisfactory and compliant every year. But, on a match day, we were limited massively by the
ability of the loudspeakers, especially when it came to music.” With the plan in place, T.G Baker began work on finding the best option for the stadium based on the requirements from the club. “So, once we made the decision to upgrade, we started exploring the various options we had. The guys from T.G Baker came down with a variety of different loudspeakers and equipment for us to listen to,” added Steve. “We had various demonstrations that involved our senior management team to decide on the speaker sound we liked the best.” Andrew Plunkett, Regional General Manager at T.G Baker takes up the story: “What we decided
to do was sit them in the top tier of the Steve Bull Stand and set the loudspeaker options - around four or five different manufacturers - up on the pitch parameter. “We then played them the songs they’ve been hearing at the match, the songs that they’re used to playing on match day. And that’s when they chose the best sound.” The unanimous choice was the Nexo PS15-R2 loudspeakers, which offered intelligibility, even coverage and a great low-end. It was the perfect choice as Andrew had established that a full line array solution - although desirable for stadiums - did not fit with the budget for the project at Molineux Stadium, so a point-source solution
TECHNICAL INFORMATION INSTALLERS: T.G Baker BRANDS: Nexo WEBSITE: www.tgbaker.com / www.nexo.-sa.com
was the best option. Induction loop systems were provided to all disabled viewing platforms and main banqueting areas, together with a Baldwin Boxall Omni-Care disabled refuge system across all levels of the new Stan Cullis Stand. T.G Baker used 34 Nexo PS15-R2 cabinets, which were fixed to the roof of each stand, throwing over 20 to 25-metre distances, delivering even coverage with real clarity. To power the system, just six NXAMP4x4 amplifiers, distributed over three locations, were installed. Since the install, the feedback has been hugely positive, with the club now able to offer the entertainment to improve the fan experience. “Crucially, it’s that last five-minute build up towards kick off, where the crowd are filling the terraces bit by bit, that things start to ramp up,” said Steve. “Lately, we’ve supplemented it with a pyro display as the players come out, so that’s being synchronised into the new Nexo sound system. “Two minutes before kick off, the players come
out of the tunnel, music is playing and the fireworks go in sync with the music - that’s quite spectacular.” The new audio system has made a key difference in getting fans into the stadium earlier, too, with the club making the most of its ability to offer entertainment pre-match and at half time. “We still get some late arrivals, but what we have noticed, because we’re doing more on-pitch interviews, pyros and so on, fans are spending less time in the concourses - they make sure they’re out a little bit earlier,” added Steve. The historic ground has certainly been given a new lease of life with the Nexo audio system in place. It’s perfect timing, too, with Premier League football just around the corner for Wolves. One thing we can expect is an incredible atmosphere as the club look to make an impact at the top level once again. Should the success continue, we could see Molineux Stadium develop even further. It’s definitely one to keep a close eye on, much like the team itself.
Above: The stands at Molineux Stadium. Left: Andrew Plunkett of T.G Baker and Steve Sutton, Head of Operations at Wolves. Right: The pyro display as the players enter the pitch
The Śląski Stadium (Silesian Stadium) in Chorzów, Poland has seen its fair share of obstacles during the rebuild, so much so that it has taken over eight years to complete the project. At the time of the original build, in 1951, the Śląski Stadium was part of Europe’s biggest urban culture and leisure park - Voivodship of Silesia. It opened on 22 July 1956 with an international friendly between Poland and East Germany. Later in 1993, it became the official home of the Polish national football team.
Above: The Śląski Stadium hosts athletics meetings, as well as football matches.
The rebuild began back in 2009. The new 43,000 sq metre roof proved the biggest hurdle and its partial collapse during construction led to long delays and a re-design. However, Poland being selected along with Ukraine to co-host the 2012 European Football Championships spurred the project on, even though the Śląski Stadium was only earmarked as a standby stadium for the 2012 tournament. A design scheme was submitted by gmp Aachen. While the initial audio system design was put to-
gether by Dr. Piotr Kozłowski of Wrocław-based Acoustic Laboratory Pracownia Akustyczna, who subsequently approached Polish distributor, Tommex, to begin the process of equipment selection. Local company, NOMA2, was brought in to carry out the detailed installation work under the guidance of its manager, Janusz Konopka. The decision was made to increase the capacity in the stadium from 47,000 to 55,000 seats with the construction of an additional upper tier on the west side, thereby changing the geometry www.mondostadia.com
of the undulating lower-tier stand. Originally, only a small proportion of the seats were due to be under cover. However, to comply with UEFA regulations, it was required to roof over the entire seating area. gmp Aachen designed the roof using a filigree cable structure, which was erected largely independently of the existing structure. Following the principle of a bicycle wheel, with an upper and lower external steel compression ring and a number of stays at the inner edge of the roof, the cable structure was positioned at
37-metres above the pitch, with the aid of 40 fixed reinforced concrete supports. The new and old stand structures, along with different basic geometry, produced a incommensurable result, but a homogeneous-looking overall arena still managed to be achieved thanks to the oval roof structure. At 43,000 sq metres, it is believed to be the largest stadium roof in Europe, provided with a translucent polycarbonate cover. Inside the stadium, measurements determined the specification, which included an STIPA speech intelligibility of no less than 0.45 in an empty stadium. With a bandwidth of 60Hz to
16kHz, the system was required to deliver 105dB at the stands and 95dB on the playing field, each exceeding the estimated level of the fans by 10dB. Meeting the design criteria required loudspeakers that would not only match or exceed the acoustic specification, but also handle the severe weather conditions. Śląski Stadium is an all-year venue, so the sound system had to meet IP55 and, above all, the loudspeaker enclosures and fittings had to withstand the conditions of the severe Polish winter. Tommex chose Community loudspeakers, having already proven their acoustic performance
and all-weather reliability in numerous Polish stadia. With well-controlled dispersion, the Community loudspeakers selected by Tommex exceeded specification and achieved an average level at the stands of 108dB. The system, designed by Tommex, is based around Dynacord electronics and Community loudspeakers. The main system for the spectator stands is divided into eight zones and utilises 119 Community R2-52Z three-way loudspeakers, supplemented by 40 R6-BASSHORN subwoofers. The raked seating of Śląski Stadium creates theatre-style balcony overhangs and the under
balcony seating and walkway areas are covered by 61 Community W2-2W8 loudspeakers. The playing field is covered by four powerful threeway R2-694Z loudspeakers. System management is located in the commentator room in the east stand. This is where a Yamaha CL1 digital mixer, Dynacord P64 matrix and Dante to MADI converters are located MADI being the format for transmission of audio between the Yamaha CL1 and OB vans when providing signals for television or radio. Using the Dante protocol, the audio signal is distributed by two redundant optical fibre cables with a third optical fibre used for communication of the IRISNet network. System amplification includes 40 two-channel Dynacord DSA 8209 amplifiers and 47 four-channel DSA 8410 amplifiers. A PC provides full control and system management via the IRIS-Net network. The system includes both wired and wireless microphone systems, with feedback eliminators. Zone microphones are additionally equipped with automatic
regulators that adjust the signal level according to the background noise level and a Dynacord Promatrix microphone zone panel allows PA messages to be made by the stadium’s safety and security staff. CD, MP3, USB and SSD players are also provided. In addition to the main stadium systems, 80 Community loudspeakers are installed on pillars that surround the stadium. A total of 40 R.2594Z loudspeakers are directed to the gallery, which surrounds the walls of the stadium and 40 ENT-FR high performance column line source loudspeakers cover the area between the stadium and the venue’s perimeter fence and entrance gates. Indoor rooms and public areas of the stadium building are covered by 108 Community I/O8 and 88 DS8 wall-mounted loudspeakers. All of the sound systems at Śląski Stadium are fully integrated with the audio warning system, which, if necessary, can take full priority and use the sound system for more efficient crowd control and evacuation of fans in the event of an
TECHNICAL INFORMATION DESIGNERS / INSTALLERS: gmp Aachen, Laboratory Pracownia Akustyczna, Tommex, NOMA2 BRANDS: Community, Dynacord, Yamaha WEBSITE: www.gmp-architekten.com / audioakustyka. org / www.tommex.com.pl / www.communitypro.com / www.dynacord.com / www.yamahaproaudio.com www.mondostadia.com
emergency. Marcin Zimny, the Commercial Director of Tommex, commented: “We are very pleased with the sound system at Śląski Stadium. With built-in reliability, it provides high intelligibility speech, great music quality and consistent coverage for this prominent international venue. It’s also a system of which we can be proud, being the largest sound system installed in any sports facility in Poland. “It was a pleasure to work with Dr. Piotr Kozlowski and Pacownika Akustyczna and the installation company, NOMA2 - all high profile specialists in their fields.” Despite the Śląski Stadium no longer being the home for the Polish national football team - its home ground is now Warsaw National Stadium - players and visitors alike from various teams around the world can to enjoy the modern infrastructure and facilities, which now make it one of the most impressive football venues in Europe.
Right: Joe Walsh
JOE WALSH Sales DIrector, Sports & Entertainment Venues, at VITEC
First of all, tell us a bit about your background? I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BSEE degree, then, when I left school, I got into technical sales. So, I’ve been selling pretty much all my career. I’ve been VP of sales for probably five different companies. Some were broadcast based, others have been sports video analysis based.
known as an IPTV company. At that time, we didn’t have signage. So, we made a strong effort to go look at that signage market. That’s when we decided that in order to be successful in the signage space and the sports space, we had to add signage as a solution into our range - and it has paid off for us.
When and why did you join VITEC? I joined VITEC in 2015, starting in its sports and entertainment market. The company was in need of some help adding depth into that market.
When did you introduce the signage? Two years ago. We offered it and we have gone from having a signage platform to having video walls. We see the migration, in that, it has become very popular in the luxury suites, with the personal TV experience. We are starting to see a lot of the specs coming out that are requesting video walls in a suite, so, as a result, we added the video wall capability.
What is your role at VITEC - and what does that consist of? I am responsible for ensuring sales thrive in the sports and entertainment business. It involves working with our consultants, channel partners and integrators that are going after that space. We spend a lot of time and energy working with sports consultants, making them understand who we are and how we work, as well as getting them up to speed on our technology. At the same time, my role is to look at the sports market and make sure our business plan is in order for VITEC to be successful in the market. We’ve made a lot of additions to the software side to make us more successful in that space. Was it difficult to get into the sports market at the beginning? We had a couple of sport teams under our belt, so to speak, on a professional level. But that was kind of a higher level when we were primarily
Can you tell us how VITEC improves the experience for fans at stadiums and sporting arenas? It is all about the fan experience for us. If you look back over the last few years, in terms of the technology, most of the stadiums and arenas were pretty much 100% signage type of environments. There was barely anything done with IPTV. The stadiums like the fans to see the action if they leave their seat and get a hot dog. We were able to push that content back to anywhere within the facilities. We can deliver a video over to the storage and also to mobile with ultra-low latency. In a lot of these suites, they want the personal experience that they have at home. They want to be able to watch multiple games or, if their children are there, maybe they want to watch something else entirely while the parents are watching the game and, on
top of that, we have the ability to deliver video on demand. So, this is where the arena can now push content specifically suited to them. The fans are demanding more and more of the technology - and we should be the ones who are delivering it. Tell us more about VITEC’s EZ TV IPTV and digital signage platform - what are the benefits? In a new stadium or arena, you are expected to deliver everything over IP - it is the new way of delivering video, really. There’s a huge benefit to that because now you can basically put an encoder into a meeting room and create that as a channel. I can bring in a TV and then our architecture will manage the ability to see the content. On top of that, we can add video on demand, and we can record any live stream. For the fans, we can start pushing content on displays, menu boards, we can push stuff to mobile devices. And we also have a PC player, which tends to be utilised for back of house. At Orlando Magic, they’re using it for the press - they can see what’s happening during the conference. We have built-in product controls, too. Whether it’s controlling the price on the menu items on the menu board, or bringing in an external data piece like stats. It’s all part of our eco system. How does a project start for you and your team at VITEC? For us, there are a few different ways in which a project at a stadium or sporting arena can start. A lot of times, sports consultants want to know what’s available and we work with them on the specs, so this is one way. The other way is to get the referrals. If Orlando Magic liked us, when they
hear about a project, they might recommend us. Some contact us as a result of our consumer base saying: ‘Hey, we heard about you, we want to know more’. Also, our marketing team has done a good job of creating all the key information - we’ve got case studies and video testimonials, which are great for giving potential clients some inspiration of what they can achieve. On top of that, we have our traditional channel partner - big integrators that are in the sports industry and they call us to say: ‘Well, we heard about this project, we want a product off you’. What are the main things you have to take into consideration when it comes to working on a stadium or sporting venue? They all overlap. Some of them are small renovations - some are very large scale, as in brand new stadiums. I have a project management team that will help go through the specs with us and it can turn very technical very quickly. So, we have a team of our people that will assist. Furthermore, I have to work with our integrators and their technical staff who also get involved. There are always a lot of conference calls in which we talk about how we can achieve exactly what the customer wants Are there any difficulties you regularly experience when it comes to stadiums? A lot of it is due to very long sale cycles. We first pitch, then there’s a flurry of activity. So, it goes through the process, through all these peaks and valleys of things that have to be done. Secondly, our specs are often for very large projects, yet despite being the fan-facing technology, typically, we
are the last in the loop. Finally, if it is a large project, you can have multiple consultants, plus all their technical staff, so you get all these people in a room with a whole bunch of different opinions on the technology, and it’s really about trying to get all these people in sync. We don’t do a lot of consulting on our side - we try to be as neutral as possible. Of course, we are going to promote our system, but we are also going to be straight up with our customers and tell them what they can and can’t do. I think that has helped a lot in the past. Which stadiums or sporting venues have you been working on recently? We’ve been working with the Atlanta Hawks - they’ve built a brand new practice facility, so we won that project. At the same time, they were in a process of renovation on the Philips Arena. We’re also completing LSU, which is a very large collegiate school. We are doing over 1,000 displays for managing their football stadium, their basketball arena and their baseball stadium, so that’s pretty unique. We’re also just completing the Minnesota Vikings practice facility, which has over 300 displays. I was just out there a couple of weeks ago and we are still fine tweaking that. They have an outdoor practice facility that they’re going to allow fans into, so, we’re just completing that. They are just some of the projects that we have been working on. What would you say has been your favourite project to date? There are no favourite ones - they’re all favourites. I have a dream job. I
talk to professional sports teams, to collegiate sports teams, all very rich in history, and every project is unique. My friends and family are always amazed at the travel I do and the projects we work on. It really is a lot of fun. What do you believe to be the next big thing in terms of technology when it comes to stadiums and sporting venues? The way I see it going is simply to continue enhancing the fan experience. Data is going to be huge. The point is that if I had a suite and I walk in and I have my favourite sports team or my favourite players, I am going to want to have access to that data, right? Aggregating this data is our goal. We are going to have the infrastructure. We have an open API, so we’re going to be able to deliver that customised data set to specific individuals or fans. Video on demand, the library aspect of it, again customising the VLD library based on who is in the suite. Also, VIPs are going to want to have access when they’re travelling. They want to have access to the stadium channel line up and we’ve got technology that allows that. They just travel with a small setup box that they put in a network connection, they don’t need a technician to sort that. To me, those are the type of things that people see as technological progresses.
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ROLAND - XS-62S INTEGRATED SIX CHANNEL VIDEO SWITCHER AND AUDIO MIXER With an abundance of great features such as PTZ camera control capabilities, the Roland XS-62S integrated six-channel video switcher and audio mixer is ideal for installed or portable live events, recording, broadcast and streaming productions. In a compact 1RU form factor, the XS-62S can be operated by a single user from easy-to-use front panel controls, or remotely from a Mac or PC or programmable interface. The Roland XS-62S supports seamless six-channel switching between four SDI inputs, featuring de-interlacer along with scaled HDMI and RGB inputs from computer, tablet and other video sources, plus two still images stored in internal memory. Two SDI and two HDMI outputs may be freely assigned to program (PGM), preview (PVW) or auxiliary (AUX) buses. The multi-view output displays all six video input sources, two still images and PGM and PVW outputs with audio metres. The Multi-view out can be changed to an extra output with a scaler and scan-converter (separate resolution from the main out). In PGM/PST Mode, the XS-62S enables the grouping of multiple images on a single screen, with independent assignment to the AUX bus supporting confidence, downstage monitor or additional screens. Downstream keyer (DSK)
supports both luminance (black/white) and chroma (blue/green) keying, plus PinP (picturein-picture) functionality, enabling compositing of titles, graphics and inset video. Dissolve Mode offers video switching and composition with cross-dissolve to the PGM bus suitable for a system where the user directly operates the main unit. The separate AUX bus is also available in Dissolve Mode. In Matrix Mode, the XS-62S allows individual video input signals to be assigned to three different destinations on three buses with fadeto-black seamless switching, effective for routing signals in applications using multiple screens while simultaneously mixing program audio and controlling PTZ remote cameras. The XS-62S features an 18-channel audio mixer with four TRS jacks and an RCA stereo pair, plus audio de-embed from six video inputs. Rolandâ€™s discreet eight-channel analogue audio embedding enables the operator to select which audio source to embed separately to SDI outputs one and two, for example, to fix audio issues or separate multi-language audio sources when editing after an event. In addition to high-quality preamps, powerful on-board audio processing includes a high-pass filter, gate, compressor, www.mondostadia.com
three-band EQ and delay, plus the ability to select audio-follows-video channels. Processing may be controlled from the front panel screen menus or using Rolandâ€™s powerful XS-62S RCS (Remote Control Software). Integrated auto-mixing automatically adjusts audio inputs based on weighting, ensuring even levels for the room mix, recording and web-streaming even from hardto-manage sources such as multi-microphone discussion panels. Programmable PTZ camera control eliminates the need for individual camera operators through one-touch recall of preset camera positions and angles, combined with the audio auto-mixer this allows the operator to focus on switching video. XS-62S RCS, an easy-to-use software application (Mac/PC), provides setup and control through a network port, plus copy, store and recall memory (backup) and preset settings. RS-422 port provides PTZ control (VISCA) plus RS-232 connector for remote control from a touch panel or other programmable interface device. A USB port included for still image uploads and saving program files.
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Image courtesy of Optus Stadium
Back in 2012, the Government of Western Australia laid out plans, with the end goal being to create a multipurpose facility that was able to deliver a unique experience for fans and the wider Perth community.
The ‘fans first’ approach was adhered to rigorously throughout the whole project, resulting in the Optus Stadium, a 60,000-seat venue with an innovative design that ensures exceptional atmosphere for a variety of events. The whole design of the stadium - and the park that surrounds it - acknowledges Western Australia’s sporting, cultural and Aboriginal heritage. With year-round access in mind, the western section of the park is home to the BHP Boardwalk and Amphitheatre, the Chevron Parkland, playgrounds, BBQ and picnic areas, while the North-
Above: Optus Stadium and the surrounding facilities.
ern Oval is open for public use on non-event days, as well as providing event-day parking. The area is well connected in terms of transport, too, with a network of cycle and walking tracks, the six-platform Stadium Station, the Swan River Pedestrian Bridge and special event bus stands. In fact, the transport strategy ensures the safe and efficient movement of 83% of a capacity crowd within an hour of an event finishing. As the Optus Stadium is a world-class multipurpose venue, it is more than capable of hosting a range of sporting and entertainment events, with plenty planned, including AFL, cricket, rugby union and rugby league, soccer and concerts. To have that capability, Optus Stadium needed state-of-the-art technology that was adaptable and able to deliver a unique experience for the specific events taking place at the venue.
In a bid to achieve the ambitious goals of the government for the stadium, the Signify lighting formerly known as Philips Lighting - design team pushed the boundaries of lighting integration, creating a bespoke solution, while managing everything from lighting design to installation, documentation, and commissioning in collaboration with key project partners. With the stadium being built over a five-year period, one of the main challenges for the team was keeping pace with the technological advancements. This meant that a very close partnership was needed to assess designs and plans at each stage throughout the project to ensure that, once completed, Optus Stadium had one of the most sophisticated, IoT-enabled lighting systems. A key feature of the stadiumâ€™s aesthetic is the faĂ§ade and roof lighting, which incorporates a fulwww.mondostadia.com
ly-controllable LED solution, featuring 650 RGB LED lighting fixtures to deliver a stunning visual impact. The faĂ§ade has been fitted with 1.4km of RGB LED strip lighting, which creates a dynamic, unique design. This installation means that the whole stadium can be lit up in team colours to add to the experience for fans travelling to and inside the venue. With more than 22,000 LED fittings in total, Optus Stadium is the largest LED sports lighting installation in the world. The lighting in the stadium is managed by the Interact Sports lighting management software from Signify, enabling advanced lighting and scene management. Music and lighting can be merged together in advance, making it simple to create pre-match and half-time light shows. The LED floodlights meet all the requirements for
Image courtesy of Optus Stadium
HDTV broadcasting standards for sports lighting, too. The demand for flexibility meant that the lighting system needed to meet a number of criteria. Beyond the pitch, the lighting for every facility in the stadium and surrounding area had to be specifically planned to enhance the architectural vision and safety according to the original brief. There are more than 60 VIP areas and 95 corporate suites, each with their own purpose and carefully designed lighting, to perfectly compliment the specific space requirements, create ambience and build atmosphere. The distinctive arbour lighting has been created using colour-changing LED to illuminate the shapes and forms of the space. This spectacular visual, featuring 621 RGB fixtures throughout the 500-metre space, has been designed to acknowledge the Aboriginal heritage of the site. The lighting for each of the four entrances and concourses has been carefully designed to not only build on the aesthetic, but assist in wayfinding and build anticipation for fans. The final result is incredible, with the lighting enhancing Optus Stadium, taking the already-impressive venue to another level entirely.
“The community have been absolutely blown away by what a fantastic facility has actually been created here in Perth,” said Ronnie Hurst, Project Director, Department of Sports and Recreation. “And the ability to light up the stadium with your team colours on a game day is magnificent.” Sports Minister, Mick Murray, was similarly impressed with the lighting at Optus Stadium: “The control platform provides the flexibility to create a completely immersive lighting experience for the venue and is adaptable to the specific requirements of each sporting code that will play. “A key feature is that the stadium can go from full dark mode to full television broadcast mode in less than a second, allowing for amazing event production and patron experience. The lighting is one of the most stunning features of this state-ofthe-art facility.” Elsewhere in the stadium, Daktronics were chosen to design, manufacture and install a total of eight LED video displays in and around the venue. The displays were installed to create an energising atmosphere and provide entertainment within the stadium. The two main displays from Daktronics are located at the east and west ends of the www.mondostadia.com
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live show, integrated and triggering with the sound, lights and all LED within and outside Optus Stadium,” added Blair Robertson, Regional Manager at Daktronics. “This is a true super system designed to entertain and amaze the fans. With two of the largest displays in the country, spectators have a perfect view of the replay action wherever they are seated, even in direct sunlight. “The moment you approach the stadium, the
Image courtesy of Optus Stadium
Image courtesy of Optus Stadium
stadium, measuring approximately 10-metre high by 34-metre wide and featuring a 15HD pixel layout. Each will provide more than 340 sq metres of display area for live video, instant replays and event statistics, as well as providing the opportunity to highlight sponsors and statistics during events. The 15HD pixel layout provides incredible clarity and contrast, all while boasting great viewing angles from any seat in the stadium. “Daktronics Show Control is at the heart of the
Daktronics super system will start informing and entertaining you. It continues to help you while identifying where your seat is, entertaining you throughout the game, leading you to the hotdog stands, pointing you to merchandising opportunities, and helping you on your way home. Optus Stadium is world class and will provide a unique experience through light, sound and digital content designed for the fans.” Two ribbon displays wrap around the stadium
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Image courtesy of Optus Stadium
at ground level and level one. The ground level ribbon measures more than one metre high by 345-metres long and features 10mm line spacing. The level one ribbon measures 0.75-metres high by 380-metres long and features a 15HD pixel layout. Both provide complementary content to the main displays, such as event prompts, statistics and advertising. Since the hugely impressive lighting and visual
install, Optus Stadium has been put to the test with numerous AFL Premiership matches, with more to come in the shape of One Day International cricket and Taylor Swiftâ€™s world tour. However, with such unique, adaptable and very impressive systems in place, Optus Stadium will surely prove itself to be one of the go-to stadiums for a whole host of events.
TECHNICAL INFORMATION ARCHITECT: HASSELL, Cox Architecture, HKS CONTRACTOR: Multiplex BRANDS: Signify, Daktronics WEBSITE: www.hassellstudio.com / www.coxarchitecture.com.au / www.hksinc. com / www.multiplex.global / www.signify.com / www.daktronics.com
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Located in the Lowertown District of Saint Paul, Minnesota, CHS Field, which first opened in 2015, is the home of St Paul Saints baseball team.
CHS FIELD Minnesota, USA
After the Saintsâ€™ former home, the Midway Stadium, began to deteriorate, the team started to look at the options. This led to the approval of CHS Field in 2012, with US$25 million in funding coming from the Minnesota Legislature. The city and the Saints provided the remainder of the funding for the US$64 million project between them. Now, as well as being the Saintsâ€™ home, the stadium hosts youth and amateur baseball games for the community, alongside other events. CHS Field is an impressive venue that has
Above: CHS Field, home of St Paul Saints.
become a huge part of the local area. With a capacity of over 7,000, plenty of fans flock to the stadium over the year. With that in mind, the city and the team wanted to improve CHS Field, with a new audio system being on the agenda. The brief was to provide full coverage for all primary seating areas at the venue, including the concourses, private suites, offices and locker rooms. To assist in delivering this, Electronic Design Company (EDC) was contracted to handle the entire project, from designing the new audio system, right through to installing it. As CHS Field has an open-air structure in an urban populated neighbourhood, there was plenty for Sales Engineer - and System
Designer - Kent Stevenson to consider, with high intelligibility and tight pattern control of vital importance to the project. “We’re manufacturer agnostic. It’s my job to find the best product for the application, regardless of brand,” said Kent. “For outdoor venues where you have to worry about bleed-out noise being disruptive to the neighbourhood, I’ve found Electro-Voice EVH and EVF loudspeakers to be a great choice. “The have really precise, consistent dispersion, and they sound great, which is not always the case for speakers with tight pattern control. Plus, Electro-Voice has weatherised versions, which is obviously critical in our weather conditions.” With the decision made to go with Electrowww.mondostadia.com
Voice loudspeakers, Kent used EASE modelling software to help with the design. Kent and the EDC team used nine Electro-Voice EVF1122S/126 full-range loudspeakers, which were hung from the underside of the upper deck, offering coverage to the main lower level seats. Elsewhere, three EVH-1152S/99 loudspeakers from Electro-Voice provide long-throw coverage for the outfield bleachers and picnic area. One additional Electro-Voice EVF-1122S loudspeaker is used to provide audio at CHS Field’s main entrance. A selection of Electro-Voice EVID Series loudspeakers fulfill other audio tasks throughout the ballpark, with over 100 applicationengineered EVID speakers providing crisp, clear
audio in key locations. The Saints’ locker room is outfitted with high-fidelity EVID ceiling speakers from Electro-Voice, including six EVID C8.2 loudspeakers and two EVID C10.1 subwoofers. Another 13 of Electro-Voice’s ceiling-mounted EVID C4.2 loudspeakers provide audio in the elevators, bathrooms, work room and break room. Various Electro-Voice wall-mount models are also employed. A total of 31 EVID 4.2T loudspeakers serve the concourse, guest services and suites, while 57 EVID 6.2T models cover the entrance, walkways and the suite terrace. “The team and the city wanted an audio solution that would sound great with minimal leakage outside the stadium, and it had to withstand
Minnesota winters,” explained Kent. “That’s why we chose Electro-Voice. They’re rugged, they sound fantastic and let me put the audio exactly where I want it. Plus, the EVID ceiling and surface-mount models are the perfect complement.” EDC President, Joe Kankovsky agreed with Kent: “I was out at a Saints game recently and, I have to say, it made me proud. The music sounded great and the announcing was extremely intelligible. The Saints do a great job of using the system to keep fans entertained, and it made for a really good game day experience.” As well as the audio system, the team at CHS Field ensured that the visual aspect was covered, too. Daktronics was enlisted to design,
TECHNICAL INFORMATION INSTALLERS: Electronic Design Company BRANDS: Electro-Voice, Daktronics WEBSITE: www.edcsolutions.com / www.electro-voice.com / www. daktronics.com www.mondostadia.com
manufacture and install a video display and scoreboard. The main video display, which is installed in left-centre field, measures 27.5ft by 49ft, with a 15HD pixel layout, offering excellent image clarity with wide angle visibility. The display is capable of showing one large image to highlight live video and instant replays. The Saints also had a Daktronics scoreboard installed, which displays basic information, such as pitch count, at bat and hits and errors. “We’ve had a longstanding relationship with Daktronics in St. Paul and with several other of our clubs in The Goldklang Group. Daktronics’ products and services are second-to-none and have come to play a big part in the fun we try to create at every game,” said Tom Whaley, Saints’ Executive Vice-President. With the audio and visual systems in place, CHS Field is able to deliver an impressive experience for visitors, whether it’s a baseball game or any other event. Although small in size, the venue has the technology to back up its charm.
Above: The stand at CHS Field Left: Electro-Voice loudspeaker in place Right: Daktronics video display
48 IN DISCUSSION
IN DISCUSSION Stadiums and sporting arenas are increasingly turning to automated installation systems when it comes to kitting out their venue, Mountain Productions explain the reasons why Intelligent Hoist Control has become so popular.
The increasing popularity of automated installation systems in venues such as stadiums and arenas is being seen all across North America. Venues currently prioritise systems that give them the most flexibility when it comes to positioning and placement, as well as costeffective labour solutions. Intelligent controlled systems that combine hoist control and electric chain hoists have revolutionised the way venue managers think about their event schedule. Mountain Productions (MTN) is now offering its services internationally through its affiliate office in Dublin, Ireland to bring the best rigging solutions to EMEA. “We have invested extensively to build our fastgrowing venue installation division with the top talent and capabilities in the business,” said Ricky Rose, CEO of Mountain Productions. The venue installation team has spent the past two years working with a number of professional sports teams that are upgrading to smart hoist control systems in their arenas. The MTN install crew has recently worked on some of the largest stadiums, arenas and venues across North America, including American
Airlines Arena, Bryce Jordan Center, Prudential Center, Tiger Stadium, Joe Louis Arena, Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center, M&T Bank Stadium, Oracle Arena, USTA Armstrong Stadium. The crew is also in production at New York’s newest waterside venue, Pier 17 Rooftop Stage. At each of these venues, MTN continually updates the latest technology for its rigging setup to bring the most innovative and intelligent control systems to its productions. Let’s talk a little bit about the different components and discuss why big-time venues are turning toward automated systems. What is Intelligent Hoist Control? The best way to control components such as loudspeakers, scoreboards, LED panels, and video walls in a venue is with intelligent hoist control systems. These systems allow your permanentlyinstalled electric chain hoists to be set with pre-programmed positions the operator can determine for various scenarios. This is especially beneficial for arenas and stadiums, due to the variety of events that they hold (sports events, conferences, concerts, etc.). Each event will more www.mondostadia.com
than likely call for unique loudspeaker positioning. The capability to program multiple presets gives venues the ultimate flexibility to change their audio and video configurations per event. Mountain Productions has launched its own automated control system with the Raynook software developed by Niscon. This system delivers the hoist control functions for automated and preset positioning with a touchscreen control interface and potential integration with Load*Cells for real-time load monitoring, emergency stop function, variable speed hoists and much more. The power of this control unit is astounding, allowing seamless control of up to 336 hoist points simultaneously. The control unit isn’t only an operating desk, it is also a tool that enables you to create a new production with off line-editor to view moves and transitions. Lodestar D8+ Electric Chain Hoists Columbus McKinnon’s Lodestar D8+ electric chain hoist is the perfect accompanying hoist to use with an intelligent hoist control system. The D8+ has a second brake and a clutch that is outside the load path which acts as a precise overload
49 IN DISCUSSION
device. The addition of the double brake gives the D8+ an impressive 10:1 safety ratio - a rating that venue managers love to see. Another appealing feature of the Lodestar D8+ is that it does not require wire rope safety redundancies. CM’s reputation is unmatched, and its quality manufacturing and close attention to detail make its products widely used all over the world. Mountain Productions is CM’s largest ET distributor worldwide and is selling its products across North America and in Europe through its International affiliate office in Dublin, Ireland. The system that pays for itself Beyond the versatility aspect and positioning abilities of automated systems, these installations will save you money by reducing the labour burden required for your events. These systems can control and
re-position chain hoists and your audio/video components at the push of a button, eliminating the need for rigging crews before every show. This also reduces the time needed to setup and transition between your booked events. If you’re thinking of upgrading your venue rigging to a smart automated hoist system, the installation team at Mountain Productions is ready to help you find the perfect way to utilise this technology and reduce the amount of money you spend on unnecessary labour. www.mountainproductions.com
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily of mondo*stadia magazine. www.mondostadia.com
LED display photos courtesy of Daktronics
Since opening almost 23 years ago, the NFL Jaguarsâ€™ home stadium, EverBank Field, has undergone numerous changes and upgrades. The Jacksonville Jaguars took to the pitch for the first timed on 18 August 1995, only 20 months after the old Gator Bowl was demolished - which is an exceptionally quick build period for a stadium of this size.
A decade down the line and the stadium was the host site of Super Bowl XXXIX, for which it underwent a US$63 million renovation. Among the additions were the Terrace Suite, a 25,000 sq ft sports bar called the Bud Light Party Zone and a 20,000 sq ft Sky Patio. Taking its name from a partnership - that included a naming rights agreement - between
Above: The LED displays are some of the largest instadium video boards in the world. www.mondostadia.com
EverBank Financial Corp and the Jaguars in 2010, the stadium has an impressive PA system and boasts one of the world’s largest in-stadium video boards too. Design firm, WJHW, provided design and consulting services for this project, while EverBank Field’s management company, Spectacor Management Group (SMG), hired Christopher ‘Topper’ Sowden, Principal Consultant of Sowden and Associates to design and oversee the installation of the new audio system, which was installed by locally owned Florida Sound. In order to meet the brief of delivering high output and even coverage throughout the stadium, Christopher and his team designed a distributed line array system using JBL VLA loudspeakers that are mounted to lighting structures behind the stands. “The facility contains eight lighting
structures placed around the stadium,” Christopher explained. “Working with Florida Sound Engineering and [JBL Professional Senior Application Engineer] Brad Ricks, we decided the JBL VLA Series loudspeakers would be the best choice for this installation for their frequency response and ability to deliver high-impact sound over large throw distances.” The loudspeakers on the sides of the stadium include three VLA Series VLA601-WRX loudspeakers and one VLA901-WRX loudspeaker, along with two PD Series PD5212/64-WRX loudspeakers and one PD5212/95-WRX loudspeaker per cluster. While the end zone clusters each feature three VLA Series VLA601-WRX loudspeakers, one VLA901-WRX loudspeaker, with one PD5212/64WRX and one PD5212/95-WRX loudspeaker. www.mondostadia.com
“The arrays were developed using a road show rigging concept that allowed their installation using either a 150ft crane or two chain motors,” Chris noted. “Each cluster only took about an hour to mount. Because the lighting structures are forward from the upper deck rear seating rows, we covered that area with 32 JBL AM7212/26WRX high-power two-way loudspeakers on poles behind the last row of seats, which we chose because of their extremely wide horizontal angle of coverage,” Christopher pointed out. “We also installed 52 JBL AW295 speakers below the edge of the upper deck to cover areas of the lower deck that were shadowed from the main system.” “The combination of loudspeakers and deployment gave us the ideal combination of sonic attributes to achieve exactly the sound coverage
and musical quality we needed,” Christopher said. For HD LED video displays, the Jacksonville Jaguars partnered with Daktronics. Each display is long enough to reach a little further than the distance from the goal post in one end zone to the goal post in the other end zone, and each display boasts more than 21,700 sq ft of active display area - almost enough to cover the entire field of play when combined. “As the construction took shape, we all envisioned what an impact it would have on EverBank Field and the game-day experience,” said Jaguars owner, Shahid Khan. “And that was one of the reasons from the beginning for embarking on this ambitious project. We wanted EverBank Field to be a world-class destination, and we wanted to bring energy and attention to Downtown Jacksonville. Our goal is to offer best-in-
class amenities and the best in-stadium experience for our fans and for everyone who visits Jacksonville and EverBank Field.” “We owe our fans and this community nothing less than the best, and the enhancements are the best,” added Jaguars President, Mark Lamping. “The stadium upgrades drastically changed the in-stadium experience and create a truly unique environment that you can’t get at home. It is an eye-opener and an attention-getter for Jacksonville.” The two end zone displays each measure 60ft high by 362ft wide and feature a 13HD pixel layout. The north end zone display measures nearly 10ft high by 320ft wide and features the same 13HD pixel layout. On the opposite end of the field, there are two ribbon displays on both levels of fascia in the seating bowl below the south end zone main display. Each ribbon display www.mondostadia.com
TECHNICAL INFORMATION DESIGNER: WJHW, Sowden and Associates INSTALLER: Florida Sound, Alpha Video BRANDS: JBL, Daktronics, D.A.S. Audio, NanoLumens WEBSITE: www.wjhw.com / www.sowdenassoc.com / www.floridasound.com / www.alphavideosports.com / www.jblpro.com / www.daktronics.com / www.dasaudio. com / www.nanolumens.com
features a 15HD pixel layout. The top display, measuring more than 3ft high by 365ft wide, is curved to appear the same length as the bottom display, which measures more than 3ft high by 295ft wide. Four new displays replaced the existing displays in each corner of the stadium and two further displays were installed above each tunnel at opposite corners of the stadium. Thatâ€™s a mammoth amount of LED display! The Jaguars also installed seven Christie Spyder X20-1608 image processors and, to link the workflow together, tasked Ross Video to stitch
the 8K video together upstream of the processors. Ross Video did so using the Multi-Screen feature set of the Carbonite production switcher to create a 7680 x 1080 output. Two Vision Tritium panels and an 8M/E Octane chassis control the Carbonite frames, Spyders, and Mira 8K playback systems. Four M/Es support the south left corner, south right corner, north left corner, and north right corner of both boards, with a final M/E providing the program feed to the centre of each board. Working with systems integrator, Alpha Video,
the Jaguars overhauled the SD control room to build a state-of-the-art room that could handle 8K. Located on the sixth floor in the northwest corner of EverBank Field, the video-control room features an Evertz router, multiviewer, main frames, frame syncs, and software. For replay, the Jaguars opted for three eight-channel Abekas Mira instant-replay servers, giving the team a total of 18 channels of record and six channels of playout, as well as an eight-channel Mira production server. Alongside the main stadium itself, is Dailyâ€™s Place,
a 5,500 seat amphitheatre and covered flex field to the downtown sports complex. Florida Sound was invited back to install the PA system here too. This time, though, Valencia-based D.A.S. Audio was selected. As a multipurpose venue, the ability to ensure quality sound throughout the space was a crucial consideration for facility management. Senior Project Manager at Florida Sound, Neil Cooper, takes up the story: “The sound reinforcement setup at Daily’s Place is a large distributed system. “We used a combination of 24 D.A.S. Audio Artec 315.96 two-way, passive enclosures along with HQ-218CX high power sub-bass enclosures. The Artec loudspeakers are spaced evenly throughout the area and are mounted to the facility’s structural supports at a height of about 80ft. Similarly, the HQ Series subwoofers are evenly spread out around the area and mounted up high as well. For the actual loudspeaker positioning, we had custom mounting brackets made to affix the loudspeakers to the main roof support beams of the flex field facility.” The Artec loudspeakers and the HQ Series
subwoofers are particular well-suited to stadium projects, however, Neil shared the fact that they were actually chosen directly by the Daily’s Place. “Once we had them installed and tuned, I was very impressed. Both speech intelligibility and music reproduction characteristics are very good and natural sounding. Frequency response from the system is very even and, from a construction standpoint, the D.A.S. Audio equipment is very solid and well made. Overall, I’ve been very pleased with the outcome of this system,” he added. Next to the amphitheatre is the Lycamobile South End Market, which has also been renovated recently. As part of this section upgrade, a three-sided NanoLumens ENGAGE Series display has been installed. The three-sided display comprises of three separate NanoLumens ENGAGE Series displays, each measuring 11ft by 6.3ft and utilising a 2.5mm pixel pitch that provides bright, crystal clear viewing from any distance and any angle. The setup hangs from the ceiling in the south end zone concession area, providing pregame coverage and live footage from the field in www.mondostadia.com
every direction. This is part of the location’s ongoing improvements to guest services, according to Nik Sobic, Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Jacksonville Jaguars. “The renovated Lycamobile South End Market includes brand new concession areas, multiple bars, a full service Daily’s convenience store, a Jaguars Pro Shop and now the brand new three-sided LED NanoLumens display,” Nik said. “It helps to ensure that we deliver the best possible fan and guest experience for fans on game day and concert goers attending a show at the all-new Daily’s Place amphitheatre.” Because it is essentially an outdoor display in an area of the country that is subject to hurricanes, it was determined that it needed to be built and installed to withstand 140mph winds and receive a protective coating to shield it from the elements. “The new display met all our needs for performance and rugged reliability in an open area environment,” Nik said. “We are thrilled to have NanoLumens on our team.”
mondo*stadia jumped at the chance to visit the largest sporting stadium in Latin America, Mexico City’s pride and joy, the Azteca Stadium.
Mexico City, Mexico
Home to football team, Club America, Azteca Stadium has also held games for various other Mexican clubs, such as Cruz Azul and Necaxa, as well as playing host to both the 1970 and 1986 World Cup tournament - therefore it’s no surprise
Above: Latin America’s largest stadium in all its glory.
that it’s regarded as one of the most iconic stadiums in the world. Owned by Mexico’s leading broadcaster, Televisa, and designed by architect, Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, back in 1960, the stadium has been an integral part of Mexico’s community for over six decades, meaning it is no stranger to change. In previous years, safety measures brought back capacity from 115,000 in 1986 to around 100,000
in the 2000s, the official capacity now stands at 84,000 after the introduction of VIP booths. Azteca Stadium has a long-standing relationship with audio manufacturer and pioneer, Meyer Sound, with its sound system being installed back in 2012, however the Berkley-based company was called back in last year to upgrade the sound system in order to deliver a clearer, higher quality sound, that would reach everyone in the www.mondostadia.com
crowd. “We didn’t want the updated loudspeakers to obstruct the view of the stage, the audience is so big and the energy is so incredible that it was important to make sure the sound reached all parts of the stadium, from the last row to the supporters at the front,” explained Oscar Barrientos, Latin America Technical Services Manager of Meyer Sound. “It was important to hear the referees and
the announcements too.” “Technology needs to support what’s happening in the stadium, not become the forefront of the show - a silent partner. You need it but you don’t have to see it,” Rob Mele, Digital Systems Product Manager of Meyer Sound emphasised. To ensure that the sound distributed evenly across the stadium, Meyer Sound replaced the previous conventional loudspeakers with its most extensive system to date - CAL column array loudspeakers with digital beam steering technology. The lower seating ring is covered by 24 CAL 64 loudspeakers with bass extension from 10 600-HP subwoofers, whilst the upper ring is covered by 27 CAL 96 and eight CAL 64 loudspeakers. It is the first AVB-networked stadium system in Latin America with all CAL loudspeakers and two GALAXY 816 processors connected via 12 Extreme Networks switches. “It’s easy to navigate for the end user and doesn’t comprise of a ridiculous amount
of pieces, the system scales up well and is modular,” explained Rob. Meyer Sound strived to ensure the best possible outcome for Azteca Stadium and Rob claimed that communication was absolutely key in order for the installation to go as smoothly as possible. “I think, on some level, we focus more on the relationships than the business side of things, it’s crucial in finding the challenge and the elements in each project and making it special, because every project you work on is extremely important to each client and so we have to treat it like that too. Like someone’s baby!” Rob commented. Despite the pressure to implement a smooth communication system, Rob and Oscar insist it’s all part of the fun and they wouldn’t have it either way. Although, Rob joked that due to the altitude of Mexico City (average of 2,250-metres) combined with how tall the stadium is, he ‘almost had a heart attack’. The installation took place while the www.mondostadia.com
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stadium was still in use, so, Meyer Sound not only had to overcome the challenge of installing a successful updated install, but also work around Azteca’s gaming schedule. In order to achieve a smooth install while keeping the stadium open, Meyer Sound divided the installation into two sections over two years and maintained parts of the original system during NFL practise games, although they had to have everything completed
before the NFL games went live. “It was tight but we had modelled the space in advance, so we knew the coverage of the speakers. It was fine to leave it last minute as we knew what to expect,” Oscar reassured. Azteca Stadium already had a video display system that was installed back in 1998, comprising of phosphorous panels, which were supplied by Panasonic. However, as part of an upgrade to
the video displays, Panasonic installed its large LED screen displays. The system included a pair of 220 sq metres large screen displays and two ribbon-shaped screens installed at eye-level of the box seats. These state-of-the-art screens, which have a total surface area of which is equal to more than 746 sq metres, delivered innovative new entertainment and a wealth of information in full HD quality.
RCF STADIA SOLUTIONS With 60 years of heritage in audio R&D and a passion for installations, RCF creates tailor-made solutions for complex projects with an encompassing support that includes design proposal and validation, alternative solutions, acoustical consultancy, onsite system start-up and training activities. More than just providing high-quality sound-systems, our Engineering Support Group meets each project’s audio performance requirements, adapting products to any specific venue, outdoor applications and tough environments demanding advanced know-how. Need some references? Baku Olympic Stadium (Azerbaijan), Borussia Mönchengladbach (Germany), Signal Iduna Park (Germany), Juventus Stadium (Italy), Wembley Stadium VIP Halls (UK), Ilie Oana Stadium (Romania), Parken Stadium (Denmark), Konya Torku Arena (Turkey), Audi Arena Györ (Hungary), Chongqing Stadium (China) and many more.
The picture shows HL 20-WP installed at Borussia Mönchengladbach Stadium with a custom-made configuration
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The system went live during the Liga MX’s Clausura 2015 quarter finals between Club América and C.F. Pachuca. “It was critical for us to change the stadium screens, because of this new technology era,0 it demanded us to provide a different, higher quality experience and to be more interactive with the spectator,” Elias Rodriguez, Director General of Operations at Televisa explained.
Azteca Stadium has taken considerable measures to improve the sound and video quality over the last few years, and, with the installation of both Meyer Sound’s CAL column array loudspeakers and Panasonic’s large LED screen displays, it is clearly evident that Azteca Stadium has achieved what it set out to do - provide ground breaking entertainment using cutting edge products.
TECHNICAL INFORMATION ARCHITECT: Pedro Ramírez Vázquez BRANDS: Meyer Sound, Panasonic, Televisa WEBSITE: www.meyersound.com / www.panasonic.com / www. televisa.com www.mondostadia.com
ROLAND HEMMING Principal Consultant, Project & Product Management, at RH Consulting
How did you first get into the industry? I got into the industry 31 years ago, starting right at the bottom working in the warehouse of an audio systems rental company, slowly working my way up, going on site and eventually working on major events. Then, after about 10 years, I moved to working on installation projects; cruise ships at first. The combination of knowledge of live events and permanent installations culminated in me becoming Head of Sound for the Millennium Dome, which was the largest sound installation in the world. I was still only 29.
sound without breaking the bank. We’ve demonstrated that many times. Safety is an important factor and we are the only consultants who sit on the relevant British and European standards committees for emergency audio systems. I also chair the British standards committee for sound systems at sports grounds. Recently, we’ve been helping some stadiums consider how they might manage crowds during a terrorist incident, as it may not be as straightforward as simply evacuating. We’ve written a book about voice alarm, too.
When and why did you start-up RH Consulting? After the Dome, I ran an audio installation company for about four years and, to be honest, it was a low point. The company did well, and we even won the Wembley contract, so not bad for a start-up, but, for other reasons, it wasn’t right for me, so I left, not sure what to do next. I met up with lots of people, not to ask for work, but to seek advice on what to do next. I knew I had a place in the industry, I just wasn’t sure what it was. And, then, the phone just started ringing and, thankfully, continues to do so.
What does your role consist of? I help with a lot of the overall planning and management of a stadium project, whereas my colleague, Richard, deals with more of the system design and engineering detail. I’m also the one who focusses on safety compliance. Together we have a great combination of skills.
Can you give us an outline of what RH Consulting does? We provide professional audio consultancy to anyone who needs it. We design audio systems and also provide advice on people’s existing audio systems. We’ve done a lot of stadiums but also retail, houses of worship, corporate - anywhere where the audio is a challenge. We are often brought in to look at systems we didn’t design. We help deliver high performance audio systems. Good sound can make an enormous difference to how people feel at a game. With modern technology and good planning, stadiums can dramatically improve their
How do the stadium or sporting venue projects start for you and your team? We normally get a call from someone at the stadium with concerns about their sound system, either it sounds terrible or they are concerned about whether it will pass safety tests. We evaluate the system and come up with realistic plans for making things better. Increasingly, we are working on projects that happen in phases to spread the cost over a longer period of time, which is especially helpful for stadium work. We also work with building contractors and architects on new builds providing a full design and commissioning service. Most importantly, whoever the client is, we sign our names on the project
and take full responsibility for our work. What are the main things you have to take into consideration on a project? For stadiums, our work is a balance of how to ensure the PA system works best in an emergency, alongside helping improve the spectator experience. We also work hard to make sure our system doesn’t adversely impact on broadcasters. Are there any difficulties that you experience on a regular basis - and what are they? I can’t lie, working with builders is often a challenge. New-build stadiums often end up with poor quality sound systems. Systems are designed just to reach a paper specification with little thought into the detailed operation of the system. We often get called in a few years after a new stadium has been built, when enough time has passed to say the system is ‘end of life’, when the reality is that it’s been problematic since construction. Which projects have you been working on recently? We’ve just finished another season making improvements at Lord’s Cricket Ground. We’ve a long history working with them. Working with the contractor, RG Jones, we’ve just refurbished a new stand and also carried out a site-wide replacement of all the amplifiers. We are now down to less than 10% of the power used, to when I started working with Lord’s 12 years ago. We’ve also been doing more work at Derby County, which we consider the best-sounding stadium in Europe. It really sets the bar very high. Mind you, according to UEFA, Amsterdam Arena is the benchmark for audio
as far as they are concerned, so we are very proud of our involvement in that project, too. Do you have any interesting projects coming up in the near future? We can’t give details of future projects, but, suffice it to say, that we’ve got some exciting stadium projects both here and abroad. What would you say has been your favourite project? The London 2012 Olympics was a privilege to work on. I was responsible for all audio, except ceremonies, working for the organising committee. To work on a project of that scale and complexity in your home country was amazing. It also gave me a thorough understating of the audio requirements for so many different sports. What would you say is the next big thing in terms of stadium design? For us, two things come to mind. One is the real need to make changes to stadium sound systems so they can cope with a terrorist emergency. On a lighter note, we see stadiums wanting to produce their own content, many are integrating TV facilities so they can stream games and other activity to a wide audience - not all games are governed by television rights deals, so there is money to be made here. This production impacts on what’s happening in the ground itself. Sport is becoming increasingly experiential, and to achieve that you need a better sound system and that’s hopefully where we come in.
Grand Canyon University (GCU) was founded in Arizona back in 1949 by the Southern Baptist Church - initially located in Prescott before swiftly moving to and settling in Phoenix. Today, it is going through a period of growth, with the aim of building 10 news sports venues over the next two years, an initiative known at ’10-in2’. One of the latest to join the campus is the GCU Stadium - a new state-of-the-art facility with a 6,000-seat capacity, which includes an academic wing underneath the stadium. Spanning across a staggering 41,852 sq ft, the stadium is located in the heart of GCU’s campus.
The pitch is made from all-natural turf and is surrounded on the sides by a 10ft grass shelf, which houses half of the spectator capacity. The other half of the crowd can gather on the 2,100 sq ft raised, concrete platform on the east side of the stadium. In addition to the pitch, the complex includes a spacious indoor facility that features team locker rooms and a satellite training room. To provide the stadium PA, GCU contacted the Arizona office of Sound Image - a company renowned in the touring world, as well as having an integration arm. “The president of the university really likes to use audio to generate
Above: An EAW QX Series system was selected for the GCU Stadium. www.mondostadia.com
energy for the fans,” explained Ben Davis, Project Manager at Sound Image. “He wants all of their sporting events to be high energy - the EAW QX system hit all of their check marks for what they wanted for the stadium.” Being an educational facility, the project was put out to tender, and, after reviewing the public bid, Ben put together a design based on EAW QX loudspeakers, which fitted the criteria. He also included an EAW SB2001 subwoofer option for consideration - that could have been implemented either straightaway or in the future. GCU was so impressed with the proposal, it decided to award Sound Image the contract and chose to the additional subwoofer package too. “They wanted loudspeakers that would create a chest thumping experience, had exceptional audio quality, and could be weather-proofed to withstand the rigours of an outdoor installation while adding to the longevity of their investment,” Ben added. “QX has enough to create the punch, the SB2001 subwoofers provide tremendous low end and EAW does a great job with weatherprotecting their products. It was perfect - it hit all of their check marks.” The QX system consists of six clusters mounted along the roof structure above the seating section.
Each cluster is made up of two QX loudspeakers - one QX594 firing straight down and a QX564 for long throw - with two SB2001 subwoofers located directly behind the QX boxes for that chest thumping experience that was required. The QX loudspeakers feature four PhaseAligned 12-inch low frequency transducers arranged as vertical and horizontal pairs around a central coaxial mid / high-frequency horn. This arrangement provides exceptional fidelity as well as very high output and control across the entire operating range, providing designers the ability to achieve high impact and consistency even in large facilities, such as the GCU Stadium. The SB2001 subwoofers offer extremely high output in compact housing, boasting dual 21-inch cone drivers, mounted in a unique way maximises cone area and allows for the integration of an extremely low turbulence port while minimising frontal area, providing the acoustical performance well suited for creating subwoofer arrays. “The sound quality from EAW is exceptional,” Ben continued. “And because the QX has the two different loudspeaker angles - the 594 and 564 - it was simple to get even long and short throw coverage throughout the stands. We were required to hang the loudspeaker clusters from www.mondostadia.com
a small I-beam while maintaining shear and our 10:1 load rating - which we accomplished with rigging systems designed and manufactured by Sound Image. Better yet, we were able to get it all done in a day, which was the time allotted by our client.” Concluding, Ben said: “The school is extremely pleased with the end result. As a matter of fact, a huge storm came through a while back and destroyed part of the building’s roof. Fortunately, EAW loudspeakers are built to withstand just about anything - when the dust settled they were still hanging and worked just fine.”
TECHNICAL INFORMATION INSTALLER: Sound Image BRANDS: EAW WEBSITE: www.sound-image.com / www.eaw.com
68 IN DETAIL
LG - STADIUM SERIES
• Superb original colour representation (HDTV standard) • 6,000 cd/m2 high brightness • Excellent colour / brightness uniformity
LG Electronics (LG) has released a series of outdoor LED signage products for stadiums, tailored to specific applications, including scoreboards, ribbon boards, perimeter displays, slim high performance displays and large scale solutions. LG’s True 16-bit colour processing system is what sets these products apart for stadiums, making all images seamless and clear, while also displaying fast moving video with incredible detail. Each display in the range meets ‘HD Standard’ to cater for SMPTE and EBU international broadcast standard for colour representation. The industry leading calibration technology within LG’s Stadium Series is powered by the latest generation of LED colour processing solutions for the highest level of image quality, without compromising screen brightness to gain better calibration. With a 4,000Hz refresh rate, LG’s processing technology delivers a flicker free image, reducing moiré for live broadcast applications. Its clever product design includes heat dissipation within the layout of the PCBs and ventilation of the LED modules to minimise adverse effects on the LED display, increasing lifetime and brightness performance.
The displays feature LG’s panel flatness and louver design to ensure uninterrupted wide viewing angles of 160°, maintaining contrast levels for the entire audience. The displays feature 6,000 nit brightness so every detail is clearly visible, even under bright sunlight. The display features superb contrast ratio and gray scale qualities, and the series provide a range of pixel pitches from 4.63mm through to 16mm. The displays are also easy to maintain, featuring the ability to remove LED modules and PSUs in less time than the industry standard of 15 minutes. The LG Outdoor LED Stadium Series lets you replace these components in less than a minute, keeping downtime to a minimum and are accessible through front or rear servicing.
• 16-bit colour processing • High refresh rate (4,000Hz) • Various pitches and types • Large unit case size for easy maintenance • IP65/54 (front/rear) High Performance Slim • Stunning image quality • Lightweight, slim design for wider application • Low power consumption • Two versions available (CREE / Multicolour) • IP65/54 (front/rear) Standard • Versatile performance
• 5,000 cd/m2 brightness • Lightweight, slim design • Fast lock for quick installation and easy maintenance • Half unit case size for various screen size configurations (4.63/6.94mm) • IP65/IP54 (front/rear)
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Since officially opening in 1994, the Scottrade Center has been the home of National Hockey League team, St. Louis Blues, though the venue also hosts a number of events each year, including basketball tournaments, wrestling matches, boxing bouts, concerts, ice shows and much more.
The popular 18,724-seat arena attracts nearly two million visitors with its range of events, however, the original audio system was no longer capable of keeping up with the demands. With such an array of applications, Scottrade Center needed comprehensive, even coverage, full-spectrum music reproduction and excellent speech intelligibility. With this in mind, Dallas-based consultant,
Above: Scottrade Center, home of St. Louis Blues.
Idibri, was enlisted to help design a new audio system. After considering the brief, it decided to use an AVB-networked L-Acoustics Kara system, which was installed by Logic Systems Sound and Lighting. For the new system, Idibri specified 90 L-Acoustics Kara loudspeakers and 36 L-Acoustics SB18i subwoofers, which are divided into six arrays of 15 loudspeakers and six subwoofers. On top of that, there are six L-Acoustics ARCS II loudspeakers configured in two clusters of three - positioned to face straight for ice coverage and special events. To the power the impressive audio system, 33 AVB-equipped L-Acoustics LA4X amplifiers are used, as well as one LA12X amplified controller from L-Acoustics. The Kara system provides the coverage, volume
and intelligibility that the arena desperately needed. In fact, the coverage is so comprehensive in terms of the seating areas, the option of adding under-balcony speakers was abandoned as soon as the system was tested. Ben Cating, Senior Consultant and Project Manager at Idibri, explains the decision to use L-Acoustic’s Kara system: “Although L-Acoustics’ K2 was initially specified and provided 6dB more SPL, Kara was eventually chosen because it was able to meet actual SPL requirements for the arena and a tighter budget, allowing funds to cover more aspects of the overall renovation, including updating the audiovisual systems in the locker rooms.” As is often the case with large venues, there were challenges along the way when it came to the www.mondostadia.com
installation of the loudspeakers. Chip Self, President of Logic Systems Sound and Lighting takes up the story: “The primary challenge was to place six arrays in very precise locations in a building, with asymmetrical steel and a labyrinth of 10ft diameter steel air ducts that always seem to be in exactly the wrong place. “It was lighter, more powerful, and required substantially less power than the other systems. Since this project included a huge new scoreboard, which weighs much more than the original, the weight savings was very valuable to the building engineers, as it did not necessitate the addition of any new steel.” As the audio system renovation took place between sports seasons and other events, as well as other aspects also being upgraded, it was
a particularly tight timeline, which meant that organisation was key. “Since the timeline was so very tight, we had limited access to the space,” recalled Chip. “Given lead times on equipment and other elements of the construction schedule, we were not able to start our work in earnest until there were less than 60 days to complete the entire project. “To compensate for that, we did a great deal of pre-configuration and pre-assembly off-site. I believe that made a huge difference in getting the project complete on time, and on budget.” In the end, all the L-Acoustics Kara loudspeakers were hoisted into place within a day, which allowed the crews to fully focus on the wiring and tuning the system. The upgrade has been a revelation for the Scottrade Center, as Chip observed: “The final performance exceeds the prediction. If anything,
I’ve found that L-Acoustics are conservative with predictions, which can’t be said of all loudspeaker manufacturers. “The intelligibility and directivity are spot-on, and there is headroom for days. Upon completion, the only change we’ve been asked to make is the installation of a 10Eazy SPL monitoring system to make sure it doesn’t get too loud.” As part of a venue-wide renovation, along with the new audio system, Idibri provided the design for a new US$3.8 million video production control room, audio-video improvements to the Blue Note Club, broadcast booths, press box and new television distribution system. The team at Scottrade Center completely removed the original equipment from the control room and worked with Idibri, Diversified and Grass Valley to drastically improve the broadcast facilities.
TECHNICAL INFORMATION DESIGNER: Idibri INSTALLER: Logic Systems Sound and Lighting BRANDS: L-Acoustics, Grass Valley, Ross Video, Mitsubishi Electric WEBSITE: www.idibri.com / www.logicsound.com / www.l-acoustics.com / www.grassvalley.com / www.rossvideo.com / www.mitsubishielectricdisplaysolutions.com
Grass Valley supplied the venue with a 3M/E Karrera K-Frame S-series production switcher, three LDX 86 WorldCam cameras for HD/3G acquisition, an LDX 86 XtremeSpeed camera for 6X HD and 1X/3X 3G acquisition, an LDX C80 compact WorldCam camera for hard-to-reach and remote applications, XCU Universe XF base stations, six Densité 3 Frames for housing audioand video-signal-processing modules, eight Kaleido-Modular-X multiviewers, two K2 Dyno replay systems with ShareFlex capability, an NVISION 8500 Hybrid Series router with 144×144
matrix, and an NV9000 controller. “Our goal was not only to have one primary provider for our video equipment, but that this provider could deliver flexible, easy-to-use, longterm solutions to meet the specific needs of the St. Louis Blues and the needs of the other diverse events hosted at the Scottrade Center,” said Chris Frome, Senior Director of Event Presentation at Scottrade Center. “From the start, the team, management, fans and even sponsors noticed the difference in quality of experience with Grass Valley’s solutions. It has improved the arena
experience and has given us the time and tools to create more quality content for arena visitors.” The video displays at Scottrade Center were given a huge upgrade, too. Working with Mitsubishi Electric, the Blues were able to transform the centerhung display from one of the NHL’s smallest to one of largest in the league. For the new centrehung, four 30ft by 22ft LED screens were used, along with a 6mm upper ring, bottom ring and four 6mm corner wedge displays. There are two 4mm underbelly displays included also. Mitsubishi Electric was also tasked
with designing and installing LED displays throughout the Scottrade Center bowl, with 10mm lower fascia and 6mm displays at each entrance into the main area. With the video displays upgraded, a wide range of Ross Video equipment was sourced as part of the install. In the control room, there are two Ross VIdeo Dual Channel XPression Studio Real-Time 3D graphic render engines, as well as a XPression Tessera from Ross Video, which allows the team to feed pre-rendered, real-time 3D content throughout the facility. A Ross Video DashBoard control system is used, too. After the ambitious - and somewhat hectic upgrade plans were completed, the Scottrade Center has gone from strength to strength, with state-of-the-art technology allowing the venue
to provide an incredible experience for fans. “Last year’s renovations required a high level of expertise, precision and commitment, and I can’t imagine working with anyone better then Ben from Idibri, Chip from Logic Systems and the L-Acoustics team,” added Alex Rodrigo, Scottrade Center Group Vice President and Arena General Manager. “This project was our ‘Mount Everest’ and the team not only reached the summit, but did it in such a professional and knowledgeable way that it was an enormous amount of fun. “Our fans and guests are now more engaged than ever and truly blown away by the difference that the new sound system has made. This project has dramatically improved Scottrade Center’s sports and entertainment fan experience for years to come.”
CONFERENCE: JUNE 2-8 EXHIBITS: JUNE 6-8 LAS VEGAS CONVENTION CENTER
PUT FANS AT THE CENTER OF THE ACTION Discover the latest audiovisual trends for sporting venues at InfoComm 2018. Browse emerging tech products and join education sessions that will inspire you to reinvent the sporting environment. Explore video displays that show every play in vivid detail. Experience audio that fills stadiums with immersive sound. Check out digital signage screens that keep fans updated so they never miss a game-changing moment. Register today for a FREE Exhibits-Only Pass with VIP Code STADIA
infocommshow.org THE AUDIOVISUAL AND INTEGRATED EXPERIENCE EVENT
Built by architect Sebastián Monleón Estellés, Plaza de Toros de Valencia is a famous Spanish bullring located in the heart of Valencia. The bullring is often used for sporting events, and, recently, was was used for the Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match, a game between Spain and Germany.
PLAZA DE TOROS DE VALENCIA Valencia, Spain
Pro audio manufacturer, WORK PRO AUDIO and parent company Equipson, were enlisted to create a temporary sound reinforcement installation. The bullring is one of the best-maintained vintage bullrings in Spain, but a few changes were needed before it could host the Davis Cup, which was a first for the venue. A clay surface had to be specially installed for the temporary ‘court’, and the technical requirements was more demanding. Although the traditional circular shape of the venue guaranteed the
Above: The interior of Plaza de Toros de Valencia during the Davis Cup. www.mondostadia.com
the matches, providing sound reinforcement was a different matter. The PA, which had to handle all public announcements and voice alarm duties, as well as all of the background music for the threeday event, was required to guarantee consistent, wide coverage both horizontally and vertically. As the temporary tennis court erected in the bullring mostly filled the available circular space, and the loudspeakers had to be mounted on the floor of the historic venue. The SL 210 A units had to be capable of consistent dispersion over a very steep angle to ensure complete vertical coverage of all the spectators. Launched during 2017, the Arion SL 210 A is a bi-amplified unit with built-in DSP and the option of Ethernet-based remote monitoring and control. Together with its associated SL 218 SA subwoofer, the SL 210 A can form a powerful line array suitable for medium-to-large scale PA
installations in theatres, concert halls, and, as it turns out, former bullfight arenas. “This was a potentially challenging project which we are delighted to have executed successfully,” commented Equipson’s CSO, Juan Jose Vila, who oversaw the project. “It would have been easy for an integrator to create a cheap PA/VA solution for the bullring that sounded good at ground level but was inaudible or incomprehensible in the top rows of the venue. Not only did our Arion SL 210A loudspeakers once again prove themselves technically, we are very proud of our chief designer’s work at the Plaza de Toros Valencia to ensure that the placement of the 20 loudspeakers was optimal, ensuring consistent, even coverage during the quarter-final throughout all levels of the venue from our 20kW system.”
TECHNICAL INFORMATION ARCHITECT: Sebastián Monleón Estellés BRANDS: Equipson, WORK PRO AUDIO WEBSITE: www.workpro.es / www.equipson.es
78 IN DETAIL
GOAL SPORT SOFTWARE Goal Sport Software is a complete in-house production system for stadiums and sporting arenas. It provides software applications for content management, video assistant referee, and game statistics, such as timekeeping and scoreboards. Goal Sport Software is a company with 12 years of experience dedicated to the sporting industry. One of its most in-demand products is Goal Sport Playout Software. With this application, users can easily manage and display content synchronously on multiple digital assets. It can be integrated to the other Goal Sport
applications for timekeeping, slow motion, live switching, replaying and graphics editing. On the other hand, Goal Sport Mini Software combines all the essential features for in-house production - live switcher, highlight replays, content scheduling, player presentation - in one easy-to-use software. Specially designed for sport games, the company has developed Goal Sport Video Referee. This provides accurate support for video analysis and the dynamic operation the game asks for. www.goalsport.software www.mondostadia.com
â€˘ Products and Services GS Playout / GS Mini / GS Replay / GS Timekeeper / GS Slow motion / GS Digital signage & IPTV / GS Video referee â€˘ References Barcelona FC - SPA / Juventus FC - ITA / France Ligue Nationale Rugby - FRA / Video Referee in Slovak Ice Hockey Extraliga - SLO / Stoke City FC - UK / Stade Rennais FC - FRA / London Olympic Stadium - UK / Burnley FC - UK / Windsor Park - NI / Hawthorn FC - AU / Seoul World Cup Stadium KOR / Ashgabat Olympic Complex - Turkmenistan / Storhamar Ice Hockey - NOR / CEZ Motor Ice hockey - CZ / HS Trebic Ice Hockey - CZ / Ice Hockey World Championship 2014 / Dijon FCO Stadium - FRA
Official launch coming in August 2018
If youâ€™d like to be involved, contact Sam on firstname.lastname@example.org www.mondostadia.com
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