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AMON G. CARTER STADIUM

OPEL ARENA

SCOTT WILLIAMS & CJ DAVIS

AUDIO FOCUS

TCU’s venue undergoes an audiovisual revamp, with a state-of-the-art L-Acoustics system installed.

Thorn Lighting upgrades the LED floodlight system and main stand lighting at Mainz 05’s stadium.

The pair discuss Quince Imaging’s history, impressive sporting venue projects and what the future holds.

With high-end products and incredible projects, we showcase audio solutions in sporting venues across the world.

ISSUE 12 - JUNE | JULY 2020

THE INTERNATIONAL PUBLICATION FOR TECHNOLOGY IN SPORTING VENUES


Enterprise Center – St. Louis, MO, USA

RAPID ROI

SOUND SOLUTION FOR SPORTS VENUES

L-Acoustics systems are renowned for their uniform, full-range, natural sound. Our flexible, lightweight systems project crystal clear sound onto your audience. From top to bottom, your fans will hear great sound that puts them into the heart of your sports action. Their flexibility allows your venue to alternate seating configurations and event types and still achieve flawless sound. Let our systems help you achieve maximum ROI for your sports venue. l-acoustics.com

Advertising Sport Venues_245x318_Mondo-Stadia.indd 1

20/05/2019 15:21:12


12 WELCOME

t’s certainly been a difficult time for the industry, though it seems we’re starting to slowly rediscover some normality with the return of sport across the world. However, it’s imperative that further steps are taken with care and consideration – and innovative technology needs to be at the forefront of that. Whether it’s contactless payment solutions, crowd intelligence software, digital tickets or socially distanced seating, these new measures are all going to be vital and, potentially, here to stay for the foreseeable. In this issue, our cover story focusses on Ascot Racecourse – a venue that is more than prepared for the ‘new normal’ due to how it has embraced technology in a whole host of different ways. When you factor in the history of Ascot, that only makes it more impressive – the tradition hasn’t been affected, only enhanced. Turn to page 42 for our comprehensive feature on what is one of the most forward-thinking sporting venues in the world. Elsewhere, we spoke to Scott Williams and CJ Davis of Quince Imaging to discuss their history, the visually stunning projects and how they’ve fully embraced the future in terms of augmented reality and remote production. There are plenty of other venues covered, too, from TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium through to Thorn’s new LED floodlight system at Opel Arena in Mainz. Not only that, but we’ve launched our Commentary Box section online. We’ll be uploading interviews, podcasts and videos from the industry: www.mondostadia.com/commentary-box - if you’d like to be involved, get in touch!

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Sam Hughes Editor


12 INSIDE…

Cover image courtesy of Ascot Racecourse Editor Sam Hughes s.hughes@mondiale.co.uk

Editorial Assistant Emma Davidson e.davidson@mondiale.co.uk

Sub Editor Peter Iantorno p.iantorno@mondiale.co.uk

Digital Editorial Assistant James Robertson j.robertson@mondiale.co.uk

Senior Account Manager Jamie Dixon j.dixon@mondiale.co.uk

Account Manager Laura Iles l.iles@mondiale.co.uk

Design & Production David Bell d.bell@mondiale.co.uk

Mel Capper m.capper@mondiale.co.uk

CEO Justin Gawne j.gawne@mondiale.co.uk

TEAM TALK

006 David Glover, SPS Technology

Finance Director Amanda Giles a.giles@mondiale.co.uk

VENUE FOCUS LIGHTING

074 Opel Arena | Mainz, Germany 078 DW Stadium | Wigan, England

DRAWING BOARD

082 Fairgrounds Speedway | Nashville, Tennessee

Credit Control

010 New Manchester Arena | Manchester, England

SEATING

ar@mondiale.co.uk

012 Cagliari Arena | Cagliari, Italy

084 Vaudoise Arena | Lausanne, Switzerland FAN EXPERIENCE

Group Chairman Damian Walsh MONDO | STADIA is published by Mondiale Media Limited, Strawberry Studios, Watson Square, Stockport, SK1 3AZ, UK Tel: +44 161 476 8340 Printed by Buxton Press

088 Advent Round-Up | USA

KICK OFF 014 Audio

INTERVIEW

EXTRA TIME

030 Scott Williams & CJ Davis | Quince Imaging

092 Yamaha 093 AJA

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094 BroaMan

THE FULL PITCH

096 Venue Tech Directory

042 Ascot Racecourse | Ascot, England

097 Event Diary

060 Amon G. Carter Stadium | Texas, USA

098 Full Time

066 New Clark City Sports Hub | Capas, Philippines


DAVID GLOVER, CEO SPS TECHNOLOGY With their revenue streams temporarily halted by COVID-19, stadiums and arenas are seeking new ways to keep renovation and reprofiling projects on track amid scarce resources. In an industry where weight reduction equates to weighty benefits from a cost, time and environmental perspective – replacing reinforced concrete with a structural composite system offers a breakthrough. Images: SPS Technology

rom sports tournaments, to the

that either have to or wish to complete work

project budgets and operators confronted with

plight of elite athletes, and world-

as soon as possible, there is a new, failsafe

increased maintenance costs.

music tours to isolated recording

approach that also saves time and is cost

Given that concrete quite literally underpins

artists, the impact of COVID-19 on

efficient; utilising a breakthrough structural

stadiums and arenas across the world, the

events hosted in stadiums and arenas has been

(steel-elastomer-steel) composite plate

question of sourcing an alternative is one

devastating. As importantly, the stadiums and

instead of traditional reinforced concrete.

that requires considerable thought by prudent

arenas that hold these events have experienced

This fresh approach is not a short-term

decision makers.

a historic standstill in revenue generation

‘COVID-19 only’ solution; it delivers a range

Industries concerned with the construction

from blanket cancellations in most areas of the

of long-term benefits, fulfilling communities’

environment tend to be conservative, which

globe.

growing need for improved sustainability and

makes breaking with traditional approaches to

Faced with no clear calendar to mark the end

demands to future-proof stadiums and arenas

venue renovation and reprofiling a challenging

of current economic turmoil, the industry

against both the effects of, and the need to

task - even in an era where COVID-19 is

must retain as much cash as possible, taking

mitigate, climate change.

transforming working practices in many

expenditure planned for renovation/reprofiling

For many years, reinforced concrete has been

industries at record speed.

and new construction projects, and redirecting

synonymous with the construction of stadiums

For risk-averse project managers, there are

it to support core business activities and

and arenas, acting as the structural building

aspects of the project design that can be

business continuity in worst-case scenarios.

material of choice to create spectator stands,

changed without venue owners exposing

For those responsible for upgrading facilities,

walls, stairs, platforms etc. While the material

themselves to the additional risk – perceived

postponing work is undoubtably an option,

has a long track record, it is not without

or otherwise - that inevitably comes with

although for an industry that now expects to

limitations. Its vast weight and resulting

the use of new technologies. A breakthrough

operate with squeezed margins for years to

considerable labour, time and transportation

structural composite plate, known as SPS,

come, this is only postponing the inevitable

requirements now faces increased scrutiny

very much sits under the umbrella of ‘smart

need for work to be carried out. For those

from budget holders confronted with depleted

construction’ initiatives, which make full

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TEAM TALK

use of digital technologies and automated

process, concrete terraces are very heavy,

mobile cranes, in comparison to larger crawler

manufacturing techniques, improving

requiring a large number of trucks for

cranes that would be required to manoeuvre

productivity, minimising whole life cost,

transportation at a high cost, time, and CO2

reinforced concrete terraces. In fact, in some

boosting sustainability and maximising user

footprint. Upon arrival, heavy-duty cranes are

cases, bringing large cranes to site may be

benefits.

also required to manoeuvre units into position,

impossible, preventing improved stadium

This breakthrough composite, which

adding further costs due to the high daily rates

modification with concrete risers.

compromises two steel plates bonded with an

charged for equipment and operation.

Lowering the weight of construction building

elastomer core, offers a very high strength-

By contrast, the structural composite plate

materials by replacing reinforced concrete

to-weight ratio – making it a highly suitable

is very lightweight and easily stackable for

with structural composite plate can also have

alternative to reinforced concrete in an

transportation. This means it requires fewer

profound benefits for the overall steel frame of

industry where weight reductions equate to

vehicles for delivery, and, upon arrival,

a venue, cutting its weight by 30% – with all

weighty benefits – both from a cost, time

smaller cranes can be positioned at either

the associated cost, time and environmental

and environmental perspective. Terraces

end of the terrace under construction or pitch

benefits that come with a lighter supporting

made from SPS have already been used in

side during installation. All this means lower

structure. This has significant benefits at new

stadium and arena bowls across the world,

vehicle and installation costs, enhanced safety,

build and venue renovation stages, with the

including: Avaya Stadium, home to the San

reduced risk, plus reductions in overall project

lightweight structure enabling major projects

Jose Earthquakes, USTA Grandstand and Court

completion times averaging 15%. This is highly

to be completed without demolishing the

17, U.S., Anfield Stadium, home of Liverpool

beneficial in an era when off seasons are likely

entire existing structure.

Football Club, in the U.K and Philippine Arena,

to be reduced or eliminated entirely in order

The structural composite can also be bolted on

Philippines.

for venues to reschedule events postponed

top of existing structures, allowing architects

The production of concrete terraces involves

during the COVID-19 pandemic.

to re-profile stands, with huge cost and time

offsite manufacture and transportation to

For urban stadiums in particular, site access

savings. On a smaller scale, new features

the venue for installation. While an effective

is easier and more cost effective for smaller

such as disability platforms, balconies and

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TEAM TALK

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VIP areas can also be added with ease - while

space is available below seats that can be made

away from the isolation triggered by COVID-19,

seats fitted on rails bolted direct to the

available to franchises, with all revenue going

as it is for so many industries right now. What

structural composite can be easily adjusted,

to back to the venue owners. Looking further

is clear is that business as usual will not be able

to create space between seats to maintain

into the future, with many venues focusing

to continue at hubs for interaction, where it is

social distancing. At the end of an event, the

strategically on making their facilities multi-

hard to use mitigating interventions such as

same seats can be easily washed down with

purpose and multi-functional, the ability to

good hygiene practices, for some time to come.

disinfectant, with the non-porous surface of

modify existing structures with additional

However, despite the unprecedented challenges,

the structural composite reducing the risk

terrace units allows venues to accommodate

it is feasible to cut near-term expenditure,

of COVID-19 and other viruses and bacteria

more varied sports, and support a transition

while propelling venues from antiquity into

lingering on surfaces.

from sports tournaments to a music venue.

a new modern era. By exchanging reinforced

In addition to recouping immediate overall

When looking at future-proofing stadiums

concrete for breakthrough structural composite

project cost savings of between 15-20%, the

and arenas, the structural composite can

plate, tight project timelines and budgets can

utilisation of the structural composite creates

incorporate efficient, under-seat heating,

be met, while returning visitors will benefit

further opportunities for added revenue

ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)

from a venue that is increasingly multi-

generation when stadiums and arenas re-open

systems with ducts for cooling and heating

purpose, multi-function, with all changes

to fans – with enhanced uninterrupted sight

the immediate spectator space (directly below

underpinned by environmental benefits.

lines, which are delivered by long-span terraces

each seat) in a stadium or arena. This ensures

In the face of the biggest challenge in modern

of 7.5-metres (24ft) average, with significantly

a safe and comfortable guest experience with

history, successfully rethinking the way venues

longer lengths available. Dry space below the

affordable running costs in years to come.

are built, renovated and reprofiled may hold the

terraces is used for concessions.

At the time of writing, it is difficult for stadium

key to an intelligent recovery from COVD-19

Fewer supporting structures means more

and arena owners to plot a conclusive plan

and long-term success.

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#togetherwearestronger

We want to personally reach out to all in our entertainment technology and production community as we face this unprecedented health challenge. All of us – manufacturers, rental companies, venues, broadcasters, festival and event organisers, production managers, artists and of course our vast pool of highly talented individuals, designers, engineers and creative freelancers – to everyone working in all disciplines and across every each sector making this incredible industry go round – we offer our solidarity, strength, thoughts and positive energy.

together our strength will shine. We are all facing an incredibly tough few months ahead. Cooperation, empathy, humanity and mutual respect should be paramount and in the true spirit of this great industry … please be kind and considerate to others. When we come through, we will be stronger and more united, and our industry will be more dynamic than ever.

Josef Valchar

Ladislav Petrek

Harry von den Stemmen

at the heart of our community


NEW MANCHESTER ARENA Manchester, England Renderings: Oak View Group

ak View Group (OVG) has appointed the Royal BAM Group (BAM) as its preferred construction partner, and Populous, the global architecture design firm, to lead the world-class team behind a new 23,500-capacity arena in Manchester. The venue would be the largest arena in the UK, bringing £350 million private direct investment into the city and significant economic benefit. This follows a recent announcement that OVG – the global sports and entertainment company founded by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff in 2015 – had submitted formal plans for the arena to be built in the Eastlands area of Manchester, a city world-famous for its music, entertainment, and sporting heritage. OVG also confirmed that Populous – a firm which has helped OVG place inclusivity, safety,

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and sustainability at the heart of its plans – will be the principal architect and designer of the new venue. The new development will deliver the bestin-class artist-fan experience for any arena in Europe, have the flexibility to accommodate multiple event types so Manchester can host a broader range of music, sport and entertainment events, and would be the most sustainable arena in the UK. Alongside BAM and Populous, BuroHappold, ME Engineers, Vanguardia, Turner & Townsend and Deloitte will make up the project team that will deliver the new arena. Members of the team have unrivalled experience of working on global iconic entertainment and sport destinations and will assist delivery of OVG’s vision of building the best venue in the UK and Europe.


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DRAWING BOARD

CAGLIARI STADIUM Cagliari, Italy Renderings: MANICA Architects

espite the crisis the world is going through currently, Cagliari Calcio has decided to take another essential step in order to actively promote a new fresh start, as it announces the signed deal with Sportium for the commission of the final design of its new stadium. During the past six months, Monitor Deloitte, a practice strategy of Deloitte Consulting, world leader in consultancy, has worked to rewrite the economic, financial and industrial plan of the new stadium, aiming to create an exceptional arena, in Italy and worldwide, which will be an example of innovation and sustainability, and will contribute to the development of Cagliari. Teamed with the stadium’s lead design architect, MANICA Architecture, the group brings extensive experience in the design of modern and functional sports arenas, compliant with the best practices at an international level and with an innovative approach to making large-scale events unforgettable. The new stadium in Cagliari will be the pride of

D

the island and the first real strength of a team capable of representing it in the best way. The stadium will be in an exceptional location where the team will find a powerful boost, in total harmony with the spirit of its proud people. This is the result of brilliant architecture that, by using modern technologies, immediately makes the stadium appear as a Mediterranean fortress. The agreement certifies a process started in 2015. There were also two other decisive moments in 2019: in March, the declaration of public interest on the preliminary project by the Municipality of Cagliari, and, in November, the approval of the guide plan for Sant’Elia. These are fundamental steps to continue the assessments that will lead to the drafting of the final project in June. In 2021, there will be a public tender for the assignment of the concession for the construction and the presentation of the executive project. From the start of construction, the duration of the work is estimated to take two years.

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KICK OFF | AUDIO A closer look at products and projects from the world of audio.

SPODEK D&B AUDIOTECHNIK Spodek – meaning ‘saucer’ in Polish – is one of Poland’s best-known cultural landmarks. So called for its iconic shape, which distinctly resembles that of a classic sci-fi flying saucer, Spodek is one of Poland’s largest multi-purpose indoor venues. In addition to the main arena, Spodek houses a 1,200-capacity ice rink. During the winter season, the venue sees over 40,000 people pass through its doors. When the time came to replace the sound system, pro audio distribution and systems integration experts, Konsbud Audio, won the tender to supply a flexible, lightweight d&b system that has radically improved the audio experience within the ice rink. The number one priority for the new system was to achieve flawless speech intelligibility and even coverage against a background of music, cheering, clapping and all of the other types of noise generated by a high-octane hockey match crowd. Fans needed to be able to hear all of the information and announcements provided during the match. The system also had to be able to stand up to the harsh conditions of low temperatures and high humidity – something that had proved to be the downfall of the previous system, which suffered significant corrosion. In such an acoustically challenging environment with so much reflection off hard surfaces – including the ice itself – Konsbud decided that the best solution would be to install a lot of smaller loudspeakers in a zoned configuration for maximum control. Five zones were designated: upper stands, lower stands, VIP area, journalists’ area, and around the main scoreboard, each with independent control for level and on/off. 014

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To this end, Konsbud selected a total of 16 Yi10P high-performance two-way point source loudspeakers with wide dispersion, and 24 E6 compact coaxial point source loudspeakers with rotatable horns, all in fully weather-resistant (WR) versions to withstand the testing conditions. Konsbud Project Manager, Damian Mizura, recalled that the installation was not without its challenges given the difficult conditions in the ice rink: “All of the prep work was carried out whilst the rink was frozen. However, when it came to actually installing the loudspeakers, we had a very tight timeframe of just 10 days and nights whilst the ice was thawing, which massively increased humidity in the room – installing, at height, over thawing ice definitely didn’t make for easy working conditions. However, the results are worth it, not just in terms of intelligibility and ease of control, but also in terms of the amount of weight borne by the roof.” The venue is thrilled with the results. “We chose d&b because of its great audio performance, compact form factor and high intelligibility in an unfavourable environment,” explained Spodek’s System Engineer, Grzegorz Wylazlowski. “Even though we expected improvements, the results were astonishing – the multi-loudspeaker design has enabled us to achieve excellent intelligibility and superb coverage across the individual zones at lower SPL, resulting in reduced reverberation on the ice rink, which makes for a much more comfortable audio experience.” www.dbaudio.com


KICK OFF

DELTA SERIES XTA

Biamp’s Community LVH-900 Beamforming Venue Horn is designed for extraordinary performance in large venues. The Community LVH-900 provides the highest output, widest bandwidth, and most consistent coverage of any large-format point source loudspeaker on the market. Combined with Biamp’s Community Amplified Loudspeaker Controllers, the LVH-900 precisely tailors the directivity of each loudspeaker, or array of loudspeakers, to meet the sound requirements in any application. “Excellent audio performance is essential for creating an extraordinary experience in large venues and stadiums, but it can be challenging and time-consuming to establish precise sound coverage in all seating areas with point source speakers, at least until now,” said Joe Andrulis, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development at Biamp. “The Community LVH-900’s beamforming capabilities provide system designers with the flexibility to modify the coverage pattern of a single loudspeaker, or array of loudspeakers, without having to change out the physical loudspeaker. No other point source loudspeaker on the market achieves the level of performance, coverage and arrayability we offer in the LVH-900.” Each LVH-900 loudspeaker consists of four 12-inch low frequency drivers, three Community M200 mid-range compression drivers, and four 1.5-inch high-frequency compression drivers. Using patent-pending techniques, all drivers integrate into a single triaxial waveguide that fills the entire 36 x 31-inch face of the enclosure, providing pattern control below 400Hz. Two horn patterns offer fixed horizontal dispersion of 60º or 90º, with each allowing vertical dispersion beamforming ranging from 60º to 20º.

The Delta Series from MC2 Audio combines the latest quad-channel amplifier class D platform and power supply design in both DSP and non-DSP formats. The DSP-enabled models have four processed inputs, with analogue, AES and optional Dante networking and, uniquely, eight channels of independent processed output – four for the local power amps and four aux channels, which can feed other non-DSP amplifiers, or be fed back onto the Dante network for use elsewhere. The Delta nonDSP amplifiers may also be fitted with Dante networking, making them ideal for system expansion. Legendary XTA DSP, including FIR filtering capabilities, means processing quality is assured, and two ohm stability with powers ranging from four 3,500W (4R) all the way up to two 6,800W (2R) means effortless driving of any system. Ethernet, USB and RS485 control via AudioCore: Amped Edition, XTA’s remote software application, the DeltaDirect iPad app, or even full front panel control. With GPIO and integration with Crestron and Lutron systems, Delta can be used for anything from high-power top-end touring and club installations, to cruise ships, sports stadia and everything else. Not long after their launch, Delta amplifiers kitted out the Volgograd stadium for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with over 200 channels of amplification. Key to the success of this system was the grouping architecture introduced to AudioCore: Amped Edition, which is used to control Delta DSP systems. This powerful feature allows both relative groups (and sub/ super groups) to be created for control of specific areas with adjustment of gains and delays, as well as absolute groups for layers of EQ. In particular, Delta amplification lends itself to stadia installations with its flexible remote control options and audio network capabilities, plus the many power levels and DSP options. This can even be used to utilise current amplifiers with Delta DSP. The smallest amplifier in the range – the 1U Delta 20 – has recently been given its own flexible crossover card that can be fitted to create a complete bespoke system without the need for any external processing but still with the benefits of Dante audio networking and distribution.

www.biamp.communitypro.com

www.mc2-audio.co.uk

COMMUNITY LVH-900 BIAMP

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NARBONNE ARENA NEXO Société Texen, one of the leading audiovisual system integrators in the south of France, has added the Narbonne Arena to its impressive list of installation references. The venue opened at the end of 2019, providing a new cultural, sporting and event scene for the Aude region when the athletes and performers return. Fully modular, the Arena can accommodate up to 5,000 people in its main space, and will host sporting events as well as touring shows, concerts, symposia, meetings and conventions. Texen has chosen NEXO’s GEO S12-ST line array format for the Narbonne Arena’s audio system, complementing its well-designed acoustics with proven hardware from one of the leading manufacturers of audio equipment for large venues. The specification was heavily influenced by Texen’s successful implementation of NEXO technology at the Arena Pays d’Aix, just 250km away in the city of Aix-en-Provence. Arena Pays d’Aix is a state-of-the-art, multipurpose venue, which can house audiences of up to 8,500. Designed to host a wide range of events, the arena has been equipped with a NEXO and Yamaha audio system delivering high-quality, flexible audio throughout the complex. It has quickly become a popular destination for sport and entertainment from throughout the region, including nearby Marseille, France’s third largest city. Designed by Architect, Christophe Gulizzi, its modular format allows the 4,000 sq metres interior space to offer 17 different configurations, depending on the type of event being hosted. The main space (Grande Salle, unofficially nicknamed The Cauldron) is the home of the Pays d’Aix University handball club, which competes in Division 1 of the Ligue Nationale de Handball. With an audience capacity of up to 7,000, it can be configured to host a wide range of other events, including tennis, wrestling, indoor motocross, live concerts, ballet and much more. The venue’s interior designer, Kanju, commissioned consultants Solus3 to design the audiovisual systems. Solus 3 approached Aix-en-Provence-based systems integrator Société Texen to deliver a solution where flexibility and quality were the most important features. Texen’s Thomas Goeuriot recommended a Dante-networked Yamaha and NEXO system, with The Cauldron’s ‘bowl’ system using 30 NEXO GEO S12-ST loudspeakers to deliver high-quality sound to sport and event audiences. Arrayed as 10 flown clusters of three around the edge of the arena floor, the loudspeakers are powered and controlled by NXAMP 4×4 and NXAMP 4×1 amplifiers. The compact two-way GEO S1210-ST is a high-output, long-throw version

of the standard GEO S1210 cabinet, and has been optimised for stadium and arena installations. It offers exceptional SPL for long-throw applications, with enhanced speech intelligibility. The module displays exceptional MF/LF output (105dB SPL nominal sensitivity) from a single 12-inch, using NEXO’s proprietary Directivity Phase Device. “Many manufacturers approached us to provide the Cauldron system,” said Thomas. “Coverage and intelligibility were really important and NEXO provided the best technical solution. The GEO S12 loudspeakers cover low enough frequencies without needing subwoofers and they provide seamless coverage to every seat.” “Arena Pays d’Aix has the most modern, high-quality facilities installed throughout and the audio system is fundamental to delivering the best experience to all users,” said Yamaha’s Pascal Bessenet. “The entire audio system was single-sourced from the Yamaha and NEXO family, delivering not only high-quality sound, but exceptional flexibility and reliability. We know these qualities will serve the Arena well for many years to come.” www.texen.fr www.nexo-sa.com

KARA II L-ACOUSTICS L-Acoustics has announced the new Kara II modular line source, with the addition of Panflex, giving Kara four-in-one directivity: one box handily covers any audience geometry. Kara II morphs to fit any design, offering consistent coverage and SPL distribution with precise focus in four different directivity patterns: 70° or 110° symmetrical and 90° asymmetrical, steering to either the left or right. In its 70° configuration, Kara II packs a full 2dB more than in 110°. The success of Kara has never ceased to increase, earning the loudspeaker best-seller status at L-Acoustics and in the professional audio industry. Last year saw record-breaking sales for the lightweight yet powerful enclosure. In a nod to the wide audience of Kara owners around the globe, L-Acoustics will make available a kit to upgrade existing Kara with Panflex. Florent Bernard, Executive Director of Application Design at L-Acoustics, explained: “Kara has been a perpetual best-seller for a reason. Its lightweight, 016

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diminutive form factor and strong, consistent SPL make it the perfect tool for a plethora of events or permanent installs. When we introduced Panflex to the industry, our clients told us this was the only thing missing from Kara. We listened, and the new Kara II brings our medium-format line array into a new era of added directivity and improved polar stability.” Kara II is a powerhouse enclosure, meeting the needs of any audience geometry and morphing to fit any design, offering consistent coverage and SPL distribution with laser focus. As with all L-Acoustics K Series line arrays, Kara benefits from decades of research and development into quick and safe rigging, making it the reference in the market for rapid and optimised deployment. www.l-acoustics.com


KICK OFF

WELLS FARGO ARENA ELECTRO-VOICE When Spectra, the venue management and operator of the Iowa Events Center, decided it was time to update the sound system in the Wells Fargo Arena, they opted to work with Daktronics on a design-build basis. The goal was to modernise the sound both within the arena – which serves as the region’s primary sports and entertainment venue – and for several ancillary areas outside the main space, including concourses, restaurant/bars, and interview rooms. The project was led by David Sturzenbecher, applications engineer in the Audio Systems division of Daktronics. The physical installation was managed by Daktronics Field Engineer, Thijs Hammink. Providing the highest level of sound quality within the arena was the main goal, and David elected to fly a series of sub-compact line-array loudspeakers to achieve it – the XLD291 from Electro-Voice. A key factor was the physical size of the arrays, which provide full audio coverage within the bowl area without interfering with sightlines to the main floor and video scoreboards. A total of 94 XLD291 elements are deployed in eight separate arrays ranging from nine to 13 boxes each. Coverage for the main floor comes courtesy of four Electro-Voice EVH-1152 horn-loaded loudspeakers hung within the scoreboard structure. Another EVH-1152 is deployed as a fill loudspeaker for the low seats behind each basket. As it does for the vast majority of its stadium projects, Daktronics also provided an Electro-Voice RE20 broadcast microphone for the announcer. Amplification throughout the arena is provided by Dynacord IPX series multi-channel DSP amplifiers for fixed installation. This enables both sophisticated signal processing and Dante audio networking of the entire sound system, while also providing highly efficient power and state-of-the-art system performance and protection technologies. For the ancillary areas outside the Wells Fargo Arena main bowl, Daktronics employed a wide range of Electro-Voice surface-mount loudspeakers – primarily the EVID-S models with their innovative quick-mount system. A total of 181 EVID-S5.2XB loudspeakers were required to expand coverage beyond the concession stands, eliminating dead spots on the concourses while upgrading the audio in the facility’s restaurants and bars. Electro-Voices’s wide selection of surface-mount models proved a huge benefit in other applications as well. The dedicated interview room received nine EVID C8.2 ceiling loudspeakers, while the service level entrance downstairs is covered by 12 EVID-S8.2TB models. Various bar areas benefit from the use of ceiling-mounted C10.1 and EVID-S10.1DB subwoofers, plus 20 C4.2 ceiling loudspeakers. The new sound system has received high marks from all involved. Spectra’s

A.J. Johnson, Production Manager for Wells Fargo Arena, commented: “Wells Fargo Arena needed improved sound quality and clarity to ensure the best experience for our guests. We also needed a timely installation that stayed on budget. Daktronics nailed all our needs and stayed patient when we needed to make adjustments. The new EV sound system checked all our boxes with a greatly improved listening experience throughout the arena. We are also very happy to have improved flexibility of use to fit our varied types and sizes of shows and events.” www.electrovoice.com

NCIE PILOT MEDIAMATRIX The MediaMatrix nCIE PILOT is an industrial-grade PC running a custom embedded software platform providing control and monitoring in mission critical life safety systems, and is type tested and certified to the EN54-16 standard. The nCIE PILOT is designed to work in conjunction with the NION series of processors (also EN54-16 certified) and a host of third-party devices under the NWare software suite, which together form the heart and brains of the life safety VACIE system. The nCIE PILOT strikes the ideal balance between energy efficiency, performance, versatility, and durability. The Intel Quad-Core N3150 Braswell Celeron processor consumes less than six Watts (for a total system wattage of less than 20 watts), making it ideal for processor-intensive applications. Built to last, the nCIE PILOT is enclosed in a ruggedized, fanless and ventless chassis that protects the system against the rigors of industrial environments. Where typical fanned solutions fail, the nCIE PILOT thrives thanks to the Hardshell Fanless Technology, which resists dust, metal shavings, or other debris that are standard hazards on manufacturing floors. Being fully solid state, this computer eliminates points of failure and relies on the superior

design of the integrated heatsink to keep internal components cool. Despite its diminutive size, the nCIE PILOT is equipped with an array of I/O, including VGA and HDMI capable of powering dual independent displays (including one at 4K resolution). Dual Gb LAN, three optional COM ports, and six USB ports (including four USB 3.0 ports) round out the available built-in connectivity. The nCIE PILOT is accompanied with the optional 2U rackmount adaptor allowing two PILOTs to be buddied together in an n+n redundant auto failover configuration. www.peaveycommercialaudio.com 017


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COTE D’OR NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX BOSE The Cote D’Or sports complex in Mauritius consists of four stadiums, a gymnasium, an aquatics centre, a football stadium and an athletics track. In February 2018, Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth laid the foundation stone of the complex, which he called the “future jewel of the sports landscape of Mauritius”. The Cote D’Or is a state-of-the-art sporting complex that meets international standards and complies with the requirements of their respective international federations. The goal was for the complex to become an essential destination in the Indian Ocean and a sports hub of the region for international meetings. Mauritius-based system integrator, SKR Communications, was commissioned to execute the audio and PA portions of this major project. The combination of Bose engineers’ system expertise and SKR’s 25 years of experience in this market created a winning team, which ultimately delivered a high-performing, quality audio system throughout the athletic complex. The Bose Professional team met delivery needs for the newly introduced ArenaMatch loudspeakers and the SKR project team worked through the weather between April and June each year to complete the aquatics centre and gymnasium ready for the swimming and judo events at the Indian Island Ocean Games in July 2019, with the entire complex operational by October 2019. Pascal Vierdeel, Regional Sales Engineer for Bose Professional, designed the systems for each stadium. There was no acoustical room model supplied, only an architectural drawing, so an acoustical room model needed to be created by relying on Pascal’s experience designing other sports developments in the Bose Modeler software. The design of the system was based on four key deliverables; to create a room model that provided optimal, clear audio for all spectators, provide even coverage over the entire audience area, provide the appropriate sound pressure level, and finally, provide the highest possible speech intelligibility. Bose ArenaMatch loudspeakers allowed for the projection of sound to the listening areas in the venue, as they behave like a modular custom

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loudspeaker. This avoided reflections from the sidewalls, ceilings, and other hard surfaces. They were also chosen for their weather resilience and were ideal for this environment that features humidity and rain, whilst delivering the vocal clarity needed. In the gymnasium, a solution needed to be designed for positioning the arrays in the optimal location, respecting a minimum free height above the playing field. Therefore, the arrays were placed just above the first seating row. This required the readjustment of the pitch angles of the arrays. However, the wide, 100° horizontal angles of the modules and the one 40° vertical unit at the bottom of each array, meant superior coverage was possible from the front seat up to the last seat in the stands. In the aquatics centre, given the different elements within this space, the loudspeaker clusters needed to be placed close to the curved ceiling. Initially, the design put all loudspeaker clusters at the same height, independent from the arched ceiling. Placing each loudspeaker at different heights resulted in different coverage patterns for the direct sound in the seating areas, but was overcome by redesigning the cluster angles, guaranteeing an optimal result thanks to the wide horizontal angles of the array modules. For the stadium/athletics track, the final roof structure was different from the initial blueprints during the design phase. This meant that arrays needed to be placed deeper into the stands and hung two-metres lower. As the arrays moved closer to the audience area, the coverage pattern was reduced. However, the system was designed with enough vertical coverage to overcome this problem, ensuring consistent, quality coverage from front to back in the stands. www.bose.com


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Q5X SHURE Finding the right equipment and technology to bring sound to sports fans is critical. Wireless microphone developer Q5X and Shure, a leader in professional audio solutions, announced a collaboration to combine their expertise to provide superior sound quality and security that today’s sports broadcasts require. Together, Q5X and Shure have developed specialised Axient Digital-Enabled Q5X Wireless Transmitters that deliver the latest wireless digital technology with unparalleled RF stability, encryption, and spectral efficiency. “With the combination of Q5X and Shure, this is really the best of both worlds,” said Jens Rothenburger, Director of Pro Audio Marketing at Shure. “The new Axient Digital-Enabled Q5X Wireless Transmitters provide sound engineers and the sports industry with a complete solution in a superior, already-established form factor.” For more than a decade, Q5X has worked closely with professional sports leagues (like the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB, MLS, and CFL) and major sports networks to develop wireless bodypack transmitters specifically to safely meet the rigorous demands of athletes without impeding athletic performance. Shure has extensive experience bringing flawless sound to live sporting events, including the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, the Olympic games, NHL finals, World Cup soccer, and MLB World Series telecasts with its portfolio of microphones, transmitters, and receivers. Developed to directly address ongoing technical challenges plaguing major sports organisations, the Axient Digital-Enabled Q5X Wireless Transmitters incorporate the most innovative wireless technology in the world. With outstanding signal quality in even the most complex venues and congested RF environments, Axient Digital provides maximum stability, range, and clarity for professional productions that demand flawless execution. “Q5X prides itself on developing transmitters to solve difficult wireless audio problems for our customers,” said Paul Johnson, CEO of Q5X. “Now, we have a proven digital technology that can be placed in literally any form factor.” Q5X has established well-proven form factors ideal for players, coaches, and

officials at all sporting levels in different sports. And now, three form factor models feature the latest Axient Digital technology, including the CoachMic, PlayerMic, and AquaMic, which is designed for wet environments such as outdoor functions or water sports. The new CoachMic combines the functionality of a large, easy-to-use rocker-style mute switch with the security of digital encryption. This new form factor securely and unobtrusively captures the coach’s audio for post-production, while giving the coach the opportunity to confidently mute the mic for game strategy or other sensitive discussions. Originally developed for the NBA, the PlayerMic is the only flexible bodypack transmitter that is deemed by the NBA to be the safest solution to be worn by the players. PlayerMic’s unique thin, bendable, rubber design protects players from injury if they fall on it or take a direct hit and is extraordinarily concealable. This version of the Q5X PlayerMic bodypack transmitter has been co-developed with Shure to be compatible with Axient Digital wireless receivers for best-in-class digital wireless transmission. When a waterproof solution is required, the AquaMic is designed to capture crystal-clear audio in demanding environments such as water sports or buried in the outdoor playing field when players can’t wear them. The AquaMic is fully submersible, so it is ideal for challenging environmental situations like those in reality television, film, and sports broadcasting. Rechargeable batteries provide four-16 hours of life. The MicCommander enables users to control all aspects of the bodypack transmitters remotely, including set up and monitoring: on/off, frequency, mic offset, RF power, groups, and battery level. The handheld remote control and transmitters take advantage of the RCAS (Remote Control Audio System) communication scheme for simple and complex adjustments, making MicCommander a required purchase for Q5X transmitter operation. The combined sports mic and technology expertise from Q5X and Shure will enable audio designers to capture sound without compromising the safety or comfort of the wearer. The Axient Digital-Enabled Q5X Wireless Transmitters will benefit sports leagues, broadcasters, and production companies resulting in an enhanced audience experience. www.shure.eu

STADIA 28 OUTLINE Outline STADIA 28 is a new addition to the very successful STADIA family of loudspeaker systems designed for the largest sports venues and arenas. The new module is a medium-throw, constant curvature array enclosure weighing just 21kg yet capable of a peak SPL of 139 dB. It features the same world-class weather protection and premium audio quality as the rest of the range, but is designed specifically for smaller venues, providing a very cost-effective solution for locations that don’t need the power of its larger stablemates. Its usefulness is extended by its ability to be arrayed in either vertical or horizontal orientation, for example with just six cabinets providing a full 135º coverage in both deployments. A single element produces a nominal dispersion of 90° x 22.5° (H x V). Stadia 28 is designed for outdoor areas such as stadiums, theme parks, leisure facilities, tourist attractions and public spaces. The enclosure mounts two eight-inch, partially horn-loaded mid-woofers with neodymium magnets and a three-inch dia020

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phragm compression driver (1.4-inch exit) loaded on a waveguide with a unique proprietary design, ensuring the lowest possible distortion levels and greater reliability. Stadia 28 implements the Outline V-Power concept to specifically control the coupling between the array modules, and all the radiating surfaces of the cabinet are perfectly symmetrical. The suspension hardware is designed to be unobstructive for installations. The cabinets are constructed from birch plywood finished with ‘OutSIDE’ Coating Technology, an extraordinarily waterproof elastoplastic coating which interacts with the cabinet material to provide extreme levels of long-term protection. Stadia 28 is fitted with 10 M10 threaded rigging points made of corrosion-resistant anodized aluminium alloy (Ergal) allowing suspension and safety cable attachments. www.outline.it


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GETEC ARENA SALZBRENNER The GETEC Arena in Magdeburg is the largest multipurpose hall in Saxony-Anhalt. The main user is the Handball Bundesliga club, SC Magdeburg. The high utilisation of the venue left very little time to renew the sound system as part of the building´s conversion into one of most modern halls in Germany. The experienced audio specialists from SALZBRENNER media completed the ambitious conversion scheme in just two weeks. SALZBRENNER media was commissioned to replace all of the PA system loudspeakers with a new, modern solution tailored to handle the different GETEC Arena utilisation scenarios. Additionally, a redundant digital audio network was installed. Apart from the main control room the system can also be controlled from four additional positions in the arena and extra audio components can be connected. Planning of the project was handled by the planning office ADA Acoustics & Media Consultants GmbH from Berlin. The new sound reinforcement loudspeakers for addressing the grandstands on the long side and the front of the arena could be installed at the old locations. In the centre of the hall, where the loudspeakers are installed in a circle, each at an angle of 60°, a special solution was required. During sports events a video ring is mounted underneath the centre cluster, which partially obstructs the loudspeakers. The Franconian full-service provider’s engineers solved the problem by positioning the new line arrays in front of the video ring using a special attachment. The loudspeakers above the stage area, which are used for conferences and similar events were mounted in the existing rigging constructions. The arena was equipped with Kling & Freitag Nomos XLS subwoofers and

Gravis 15 W and Sequenza 5 W multi-way loudspeaker systems, a Yamaha QL 1 digital mixing console and a large screen video projector were also installed. Custom mounting structures for loudspeakers, patch panels and wall junction boxes were manufactured by SALZBRENNER media. “The extremely tight time frame for the installation, due to the high utilisation of the hall, and the custom mounting brackets for the centre cluster loudspeakers presented two challenges we accepted gladly and mastered”, recalled Philipp Bauch, project manager for SALZBRENNER media. www.salzbrenner.com

JAN BREYDEL STADIUM FUNKTION ONE Opened in 1975, Jan Breydel Stadium was built for the city of Bruges to provide a shared home for the two local football clubs - Club Brugge KV and Cercle Brugge KSV. During the Euro 2000 tournament, Jan Breydel Stadium hosted three group matches and the quarter-final between France and Spain. Nowadays, it is still home to both Club Brugge and Cercle Brugge, however, it was due an upgrade, with the audio system being first on the agenda. Kirsten Willem, Head of Communications at Club Brugge, explained further: “The audio in our stadium was very poor – and, more than ever, we realise the importance of the pre-match build up and how that affects the atmosphere for the games. Just simple things like playing the right music and announcing players’ names, for example. It’s really important. “So, at the beginning of 2019, we had some internal discussions about the audio after receiving some negative feedback – the system simply wasn’t capable of achieving what we wanted. We decided to look for a new solution that we wanted to have in place by the play-offs in April.” From there, Club Brugge contacted Belgium-based audio experts, Soundsystem.be, with the task to help improve the audio experience throughout the stadium for the fans. As an official Funktion-One distributor, they had access to the suppliers of an audio system that has been deployed with great success at Volgograd Stadium for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Lieven Pillaert, Technical Director at Soundsystem.be, takes up the story: “A lot of research went into the plans that we presented to Club Brugge, as we had to understand what each area of the stadium needed. I used a decibel metre during a game to work out what approach we needed to take in the different stands.” Working with Funktion-One Founder, John Newsham, a 3D visualisation of the entire stadium was drawn, which then saw a sound simulation applied to it. From there, Soundsystem.be ordered close to 30km of audio and loudspeaker cables to connect a total of 146 Funktion-One loudspeakers, with five amplifier rooms. Using custom-made stainless steel frames, the team fixed 24 Funktion-One EVO 6 loudspeakers, 72 Funktion-One RES 2SH loudspeakers, 22 Funk022

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tion-One F55 compact loudspeakers and 28 F218 MK2 subwoofers from Funktion-One. “The Funktion-One system has very high intelligibility – it’s very clear when it is used for voice alarms and announcements – but it’s also a very powerful system that can be aimed to specific areas of the stands to offer a consistent sound quality for all of the fans. Plus, it’s weather resistant, too, making it the ideal solution for Club Brugge.” The new audio system is always operating at the stadium for safety reasons, with the police and fire department directly connected and able to take control of the system when needed. During matchdays, the system is operated by the stadium speaker and DJ. Soundsystem.be has also installed a direct input close to the pitch for any kind of connection, as well as a plug-in for Club Brugge’s television channel. Since the new Funktion-One system was installed, there has been a vast improvement, with great feedback so far. www.funktion-one.com


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HYNES ATHLETIC CENTER TW AUDIO As the home of the celebrated Iona Gaels college basketball team, the Hynes Athletic Center has long been an incubator of athletic success for New Rochelle, New York’s famous Iona College. First constructed in 1974, the arena has since undergone numerous updates. But with the last technical work having taken place in 2013, a major overhaul of the installed systems quickly followed the donation of more than $6 million by college alumni and well-wishers. The subsequent renovation – described by Iona College as “dramatically changing the experience for both student-athletes and fans” – has delivered a new standard of multi-purpose sound reinforcement within the venue courtesy of TW AUDiO. A proud competitor within the US’ Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), Iona College is used to national and even international attention, but by the time of the donation, the limitations of its previous audio system had become obvious. Seeking to expand the use of its facilities, the college set out to find a more flexible audio solution alongside Connecticut-based AV systems integration specialist Metropolitan Interactive. “Our key challenge was to build a high-quality audio system which could meet a variety of user needs while remaining easy to use within a tight budget,” explained Metropolitan Interactive CEO, Jeff Mele. “Frankly, the TW AUDiO loudspeakers were a great fit.” A total of 12 T20i enclosures now serve the arena, alongside pairs of T24N90 and T24N-60, all powered by four Powersoft Quattrocanali 4084 DSP amplifiers. “The gymnasium has been entirely renovated and reconfigured with bleachers on all four sides of the court,” continued Jeff. “Three T20i loudspeakers cover each bank of bleachers for games and events. A pair of T24N-90 mounted at

the east end of the gym are aimed towards the far bank of bleachers for endstage events to cover the floor. “In addition, a pair of T24N-60 are mounted on the South side of the gym aimed northwards to cover the floor for rallies and other wide event setups, as well as providing reinforcement on the floor for games. For the East stage configuration, delays are used on the south-, west- and north-facing loudspeakers to focus attention on the stage area.” Control for the system is via a Q-SYS 110f Core with a Touchmix-8 mixer and a mixture of QSC and Attero Tech wall panels. “The TW AUDiO solution provides a wide, even field of coverage within the arena,” concluded Jeff. “The result of our choice of TW AUDiO is that we could keep the equipment count to a minimum while still generating plenty of headroom above an excited crowd of basketball fans.” www.twaudio.de

SPRINGDALE SCHOOL DISTRICT DANLEY Springdale School District is the largest school district in Arkansas and is responsible for over 23,000 students. It operates two high schools – Springdale High School and Har-Ber High School. Football is a big deal in Springdale, and both high schools have well-appointed stadiums that are capable of entertaining over 6,000 fans each. The district worked with local Springdale audiovisual integration firm, All AV Services, to design a big-impact, high-intelligibility, sound reinforcement system using a single Danley J1-94 Jericho Horn in each stadium. “The decision-makers at Springdale School District were well-acquainted with the world of loudspeaker-on-a-pole sound systems, and they were tired of it,” explained Scott Fusselman, owner of All AV Services. “They wanted a real game day experience. Stephen Lightfoot, Springdale School District director of performing arts centers and AV systems, did his own research before reaching out to us and discovered that Danley Sound Labs might have the kind of impactful, out-of-the-ordinary solutions that they were looking for.” Kim Comeaux at Anderson Sales & Marketing brought a Danley J1-94 Jericho Horn to Springdale High School and approximated its would-be installed position near the scoreboard. Everybody involved walked the field and traveled both the visitor and home stands while Comeaux played a representative mix of spoken word and game-day music. “Everyone had a huge smile on their face,” Scott said. With everyone solidly on board, plans moved forward to get a Danley J1-94 Jericho Horn installed at Springdale High School before the first game of the season. But as that day approached, the approximately fifteen-year-old system at the other high school, Har-Ber, went out completely. Worse, HarBer’s first home game was earlier than Springdale’s. Finding itself in a tough spot, Springdale School District asked All AV Services to install the Jericho Horn it had on hand at Har-Ber and to order a second for Springdale. “One job became two,” Scott said. Both Jerichos went in with a four-channel, 20,000W Danley DNA 20k4 Pro amplifier with integrated DSP and optional Dante connectivity for simple connection to existing systems at the press box. 024

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PHOTO CREDIT: © 2020 Matt Barber

To save money, Springdale’s capable engineering staff fabricated the necessary accessories and installed the systems themselves. “The completed systems are everything they had hoped for,” Scott said. “When you’re walking toward the stadium before a game and you hear the Danley Jericho booming out, you know you’re in for an event. This is no budget PA. This is exactly the kind of experience Stephen and everyone at Springdale was hoping for when the project began. Having heard how Danley transformed their football fields, they’re believers.” Stephen shared his thoughts: “The Jericho has the ability to transform the atmosphere at high school football games. No longer are we crippled by mediocre SPL and low intelligibility, but now have the exact opposite. It has the presence of a professional stadium. I think it is phenomenal that from 140 yards away (which is where our band bleachers are) there is still low-end presence. This is something you typically don’t see in a high school football stadium, let alone out of one single cabinet. Danley’s motto ‘Hearing is Believing’ holds true to their product. We will be utilising Danley systems in many more facilities.” www.danleysoundlabs.com


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ULTRA-X40 MEYER SOUND The ULTRA-X40 is Meyer Sound’s most innovative redesign of its point source loudspeakers since the introduction of self-powered systems more than two decades ago. The new loudspeaker series features a concentric driver configuration, new amplifier and processor technologies drawn from the LEO Family of line array loudspeakers, a rotatable horn, an extraordinary power-to-size/ weight ratio, and a wide selection of versatile rigging options. The ULTRA-X40 brings new versatility to system design and deployment. It’s at home in any portable or installed application requiring predictable, controllable wide coverage, including a stadium’s distributed system. It’s perfect for under balcony use, portable audiovisual systems, and small voice-reinforcement systems. The compact loudspeaker employs a concentric driver configuration with dual eight-inch neodymium magnet cone drivers coupled to a low-mid waveguide surrounding the single three-inch diaphragm high frequency compression driver. The 110° x 50° Constant-Q HF horn is easily field rotatable and working in concert with the concentric design it ensures that the full bandwidth coverage pattern will be uniform with either horizontal or vertical orientation. The concentric driver configuration coupled with the optimally designed horn brings the main advantage of coaxial driver but none of the disadvantages posed by these driver’s assembly. This configuration’s advantages include: pattern control down to 400 Hz; no throat distortion as the horn is optimized independent from the LF section; incredible horn pattern as the horn can be optimized to interact with the LF section; and no thermal interaction between the LF and HF sections that could create power compression prematurely. The ULTRA-X40 is completely modular, making assembly, service, and quality control easy. It also incorporates a newly designed and highly efficient 3-channel Class D amplifier that produces a total peak output power of 1950 W with very low power consumption due to its highly efficient design. Preliminary performance specifications include an operating frequency range of 55 Hz to 19.5 kHz, with linear peak SPL of 132.5dB measured with

M-Noise, free-field at four-metres and referred to one-metre. Highly refined signal processing with advanced phase alignment methods result in phase response of ± 45° from 90 Hz to 19.5 kHz. Another variant in the ULTRA-X40 family, the ULTRA-X42, offers the same performance but with the coverage pattern defined by a narrower 70° x 50° Constant-Q high frequency horn. The rear-panel features a female XLR 3-pin input connector with a male loop output. The optional RMS remote system monitoring module provides comprehensive monitoring of loudspeaker parameters from a host computer running Compass software. In addition, the optional XLR five-pin connectors version of the input board accommodates both balanced audio and RMS signals. AC line power is furnished via loop-through powerCON 20 connectors. www.meyersound.com

BREX ARENA HARMAN Constructed in 1979, Brex Arena is Utsunomiya’s premier stadium and gymnasium. Home to the Utsunomiya Brex, a Japanese professional basketball team on the B.League, Brex Arena features two gyms with courts for basketball, table tennis, volleyball and badminton, as well as a dedicated space for practicing martial arts. To provide additional sound coverage for professional basketball games, Brex Arena was renting temporary loudspeakers to supplement their aging sound system for each event. Realising it would be more cost-effective and significantly improve sound quality, Brex Arena decided to install a completely new sound system. Brex Arena hired audiovisual integrators Hibino Corporation to install a stateof-the-art JBL Professional networked audio solution. Hibino Corporation equipped Brex Arena with JBL VRX900-Series Constant Curvature line array loudspeakers to deliver clear, intelligible sound throughout the venue. Leveraging patented JBL technology and components, VRX900-Series loudspeakers deliver class-leading performance in a compact, affordable package. To ensure balanced, even coverage in every seat, Hibino Corporation supplemented the system with JBL AM5212 loudspeakers, which offer excellent pattern control and off-axis response. To provide powerful low-end reinforcement for pre-game music, Hibino Corporation selected JBL VRX918S subwoofers for their extended low-frequency output. The system is powered by Crown DCi 4|1250 amplifiers and routed through BSS BLU-160 signal processors. “The previous sound system was as old as the arena itself, and was not delivering the desired performance,” said the salesperson for Hibino Corporation. “In the arena, people could feel the volume differences depending on their location, which made it impossible to achieve balanced sound quality throughout the stadium. This left much to be desired by both the stadium 026

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officials and the fans. Ultimately, we decided that the JBL VRX series loudspeakers would be best suited for the task, due to their powerful and reliable sound output.” “We required a substantial upgrade to our existing sound system,” said the spokesperson for Brex Arena. “The system had to be powerful enough to deliver clear, balanced audio throughout the venue. It had to be dynamic too, as the requirements vary with each event. We are very satisfied with the solutions provided by Hibino. The output is incredibly powerful, and the entertainment value of the games has significantly improved. In addition, the new system has reduced time and labor costs for loading and unloading temporary loudspeakers.” www.jblpro.com


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COMPOSER7.3 SYMETRIX

D SQUARED DIGITAL WIRELESS MIC SYSTEM LECTROSONICS

Symetrix has released Composer 7.3 – the latest version of its powerful, yet intuitive Windows programming software for Edge, Radius NX, Prism, and Solus NX DSPs. Symetrix ComposerT software enables integrators to program a complete end-to-end DSP signal path using just one application. New features in this update include multitrack audio recording, web-based event scheduler, support for new W Series remotes, new device integrations, and more. Multitrack Audio Recording allows a Radius NX device to record up to eight tracks of audio simultaneously to an external USB device. Audio tracks may be recorded individually or grouped into multi-channel modules of up to eight channels per module. The designer places one or more Recording Modules into the Design window of a Radius NX processor in Symetrix Composer. Each Recording Module has its own start/stop controls, assignable storage location on the USB drive, file naming configuration, and audio settings. The W Series remotes expand Symetrix’s control options with versatile, IP-based remote controls powered by PoE. With four variants providing different combinations of rotary encoders, momentary buttons, and OLED displays, W Series remotes provide system designers with flexible control options that can be deployed with a simple Ethernet connection to a PoE switch or an inline PoE power injector. The Web-based Event Scheduler and all Control Server apps provide simple, direct access to system control from any device with a web browser regardless of the manufacturer or operating system of that device. From any device with a web browser, a user can view existing scheduled events, make changes to existing events, or add new events. This eliminates the need for a dedicated computer running Composer software for adding/editing events. Users are able to easily control the functionality of the system without having access to modify the DSP programming of the system. The Web-based Event Scheduler can also be accessed by any computer on the local network allowing administration of the system from anywhere within the local networking cloud. Intelligent Modules allow Symetrix Composer to bring the same level of native control previously available only for Symetrix DSP devices to Symetrix I/O devices and non-Symetrix hardware. This includes direct integration with ARC and W Series remotes, real-time control of parameters, access to logic integration, and more.

Designed to be ideal for installations and live events where high-quality audio and reliability are required, the Lectrosonics D Squared digital wireless microphone system employs the company’s fourth-generation digital architecture, offering improved flexibility, fast setup, studio-quality audio and ultra-low latency. The D Squared family includes the DSQD digital receiver, DBu digital beltpack transmitter, and DHu digital handheld transmitter, as well as the DPR digital plug-on transmitter. The system operates across a tuning range from 470 to 608 MHz (470 to 614 MHz for export versions) and features 24-bit, 48kHz digital audio, two-way IR sync, and three levels of encryption. The DSQD four-channel receiver occupies a half-rack, yielding eight channels in 1RU, the highest rack density of any wireless system. Front-panel features include a high-resolution colour display, headphone jack with level control, IR port, power switch and USB connector for future firmware updates. Rear-panel connections include analog and digital audio outputs, BNC antenna ports with buffered loop outputs for feeding another receiver, and an Ethernet port for communication with Wireless Designer software. A serial port enables connection between receivers for data sharing and frequency coordination. The DSQD is backward-compatible with any Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless transmitter and provides a choice of three antenna diversity choices. Constructed with a housing milled out of aluminum alloy, the DHu handheld transmitter is compatible with Lectrosonics’ HHC cardioid condenser microphone capsule, or may be used with a variety of capsule heads employing the standard 1.25-inch/28-thread pitch mount. A programmable button on the outside of the housing can be user-configured as a push-to-talk, cough, mute or power switch, or may be bypassed. The DBu beltpack is made from solid machined aluminum and features a removable antenna with SMA connector. Audio input is via TA5 connector with servo-bias for compatibility with a wide range of mic and line-level sources. A multi-function switch on the top panel can be configured as power on/off, mute, talkback, or may be bypassed. The DPR digital plug-on transmitter offers RF power selections at 25 and 50 mW and includes AES 256-CTR encryption for security. Phantom power is selectable to off, 5v, 15v or 48v to accommodate a wide range of microphone types. A two-way IR port ensures quick setup and allows for encryption key transfer and other data sharing between units. The DPR can be configured as either a transmitter or a recorder, with files stored on microSD card memory in the industry standard Broadcast Wave .wav (BWF) format at 24 bits, 48 kHz sample rate. A 3.5mm TRS jack on the side of the unit allows timecode jam sync. The microSD memory card can also be used to update the unit’s firmware in the field. With an audio frequency response of 25 Hz to 20 kHz +0.0, - 3dB, a dynamic range of 110 dB before limiting, and a flat in-band phase response, the DPR in combination with the DSQD receiver is ideal for use as a wireless test and measurement link with calibrated microphones, for audio system alignment and monitoring.

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12 INTERVIEW

“We enjoy around 90% of the market in North America for imagery of this type in the sporting venue market. We were and still are constantly pushing the envelope in wanting to do it the right way.� Scott Williams COO / CFO Quince Imaging


INTERVIEW

SCOTT WILLIAMS & CJ DAVIS COO / CFO & Creative Director, Quince Imaging Firstly, tell us a little bit more about your background… Scott: So, 38 years ago, out of college, I started work with a large defence contractor that built underground command centres - and my concentration was immediately on large group viewing devices. Imagery has been a part of who I am for 38 years; the analysis of how large the displays need to be; how much colorimetry; how much contrast and, really, the whole science behind how humans see imagery. The science around that eventually morphed into Quince Imaging becoming the distributor of the brightest video projection system in the world. I travelled around in my 20s maintaining these projection systems and building relationships with sports arenas, such as the New Orleans Superdome, Seattle Kingdome and Richfield Coliseum in Cleveland, among others. So, historically, Quince Imaging has roots in the sporting industry. However, as Sony came out with the Jumbotron – the CRT-based, direct view devices which revolutionised video replay/advertising in sports venues – it began to make projection obsolete in sporting arenas as we needed dim lighting. The trend in the late 1980s through to the early 1990s was to increase the brightness in sports arenas for the broadcasting aspect as they required higher levels of lighting on the court to see the players and advertising. From there, we got out of the sporting industry as we didn’t manufacture these types of large screen displays. Instead, we went heavily into the events and special integration activations industry, with a real focus on what human beings see – the complex, interactive images. Then, back in the early 2010s, we had seen a few people that had done some projection in sporting arenas. This was at the time when projectors were becoming just bright enough to be viable on a large scale, coupled with the advent of media server technology. So, we took a closer look at what they had done, with my colleague, CJ Davis, being a huge part of that process. We sat together and discussed how we could do it better – or, in our view, the right way. We developed a proof of concept with a couple of arenas we had existing relationships with, which resulted in us filming the concept at Capital One Arena in 2012. We then sent that to our friends in the sporting arena industry and it just took off – and that’s down to the fact that it’s a new, unique way to gain fans’ attention and create more excitement in the venue. There are, obviously, plenty of times in an arena – pre-game, half time and timeouts – where you can kill the lights and do something like this. That’s why it’s


been so successful. When you think about it, what does every sporting

about tying all that together. Owners want the best for their venues -

venue have in common? Every seat is pointed at the field or court of

new technology, augmented reality and so on – and we’re happy to be

play - and activating that was like a new frontier for advertising and fan

part of that whole process.

engagement. In fact, today, we enjoy around 90% of the market in North America

In terms of technology, are there specific companies you work with in

for imagery of this type in the sporting venue market. We were and still

terms of media servers and projectors?

are constantly pushing the envelope in wanting to do it the right way.

Scott: In the early 2010s, we saw the importance of media server

We didn’t treat it like an AV solution, but more like a large signage

technology, in that it really drives everything - it’s the brains around

manufacturer who comes in and builds a robust control room and LED

everything that goes on in the sports arena. Your digital signage

signage. We treated projection imagery the same way – it has to work

companies use media server technology to push out graphics and

when they push the button and it has to be a broadcast-ready solution

imagery in real time to everything from the restaurant displays and

with redundant systems installed in it. That’s been our philosophy from

concourse displays, through to the LED rings around the arena. When

the get go.

it comes to our media server technology, it’s no different. We have a few that we work with, with the two that we lean on heavily being

How does a sporting venue project usually start for Quince Imaging?

Ventuz and Christie’s Pandoras Box. There isn’t one solution in a media

Scott: Initially, we designed the systems and they were procured from us

server that covers everything for all projects – some do certain parts

to go right into the venue. Now, what we do primarily in sporting arenas

of a technical requirement particularly well, so it all depends on the

has made its way into the mainstream consulting environment. The

application.

consultants across North America and the world are now specifying this and, to a great extent, it is the system that we have designed.

And, with your sporting venue projects, are there any particular difficulties that you come across on a regular basis?

What are the main things you have to take into consideration when it

Scott: The really busy arenas can be a challenge due to access issues.

comes to a sporting venue project?

There are other things we’ve ran into, such as U.S Bank Stadium – a

Scott: We have our core must-haves; control over the placement of the

beautiful, brand new stadium designed with amazing windows that let

projection systems and how they interact with the existing technology

sunshine into the venue at the end of the day. It looks incredible, but

in the arena. It’s not just about projecting on a soccer pitch, baseball

that’s a challenge for us and what we do, of course.

diamond, football field, hockey rink or basketball court. It’s about tying

032

it all together to create a more immersive environment for the fans, as

CJ: The two major challenges we run into are, as Scott said, access and

well as television. There is still a broadcast element to this, too, so it’s

working around the busy schedule of an active arena, while the other

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INTERVIEW

challenge we often run into is the centre scoreboards that are being installed in these venues are getting larger and larger. So, it’s about coming up with the appropriate angles for projection that’s going to give you the best result on the surface itself, because we can’t shoot straight down. There has never been a challenge that we haven’t been able to solve, but every centrehung scoreboard is different. Not only are they large, but they move now and do different things, so that’s always a huge factor in how we go about designing our systems. Which arenas and stadiums have you worked on in the past? Scott: The beauty of what we do is that it has been incredibly diverse. We started with the ones you would probably categorise as easy – basketball courts and hockey arenas, for example. Plus, as CJ mentioned, in the early 2010s, the centrehungs were much smaller. We’ve most recently

“What does every sporting venue have in common? Every seat is pointed at the field or court of play - and activating that was like a new frontier for advertising and fan engagement.”

had the opportunity to work with National Football League (NFL) teams, stadiums and events, all the way up to and including the most recent Super Bowl. Using the same media server-centric design, we’ve evolved into bringing augmented and enhanced reality to the live event experience. We’ve

seems as though it’d be easier to do a projection in a closed arena. Is it

projected on football fields and baseball fields, which are very difficult

getting easier to achieve that in stadiums, too?

to achieve, but are now possible as we continually evolve the techniques

Scott: It’s all relative – the more we do, the easier it’s becoming, but,

and technology required to accomplish these. We’ve come a long way in

some outdoor stadiums are certainly a challenge, particularly when it

terms of technology to allow us to push the combination of these new,

comes to finding locations that are safe to place projection systems.

exciting higher brightness projection systems and laser-based light

However, we’ve seen it done in the Olympics, with them being designed

sources. Plus, there’s better optics in the projectors, which, coupled

into the stadiums. If we can get on board with consultants and

with powerful media server tools, allows you to place a projection pretty

ownership groups early on, then, typically, it becomes an easier and

much anywhere you’d like to these days, if you have to!

more cost-effective task. On the other hand, retrofitting our systems into stadiums is certainly still accomplishable, but it becomes much

That was something I was going to ask you about – it, of course,

more difficult. However, with the technology at our disposal now, it is

033


INTERVIEW

becoming easier as brighter projectors become available - naturally, it

real-time render engine tools get even better and these things start to

requires fewer projectors.

look more photo real, then we might hit a point where we don’t know it’s graphics.

Can you give us some insight into the augmented / mixed reality projects you’ve been involved in?

Scott: The Jurassic Park effect! I mean, they had years to create that film

Scott: First of all, I can’t stress enough how important these media

and make those dinosaurs. The reality of what CJ just said is that we’re

servers are – especially the ability to programme them and understand

able to almost create that live. That’s the power of it.

how they work. The goal of our team has been to become the experts in this field, so that includes understanding what media servers can do,

You’ve also completed some projects within the esports industry – is

what they can’t do and pushing them beyond. So, most recently, we’ve

there any difference in how you approach those compared to a live

partnered with some people who have made augmented reality a reality

sports event?

for Quince Imaging.

CJ: Every market is a little bit different, but the core parts of what we do and what we deliver are all there. We’re very centred around the

CJ: What Scott said is totally right - the media server is such a core part

technology we use and the team we have. However, the fact that we

of this understanding in terms of how to control a show, whether it’s

have experience in traditional sports gives us a lot of advantage in

on a screen or in a different type of media, such as augmented reality.

esports, because you’ve seen that a lot of the top talent at some of the

A lot of it is also our understanding of how the content works. The 3D

traditional sports clubs are moving over to esports jobs. There are lots

forced perspective effect, for example – understanding how that works

of people moving over there, so having that common language to say

through the lens of a camera for projection really helps translate pretty

‘you were at that show we did for the New Jersey Devils 10 years ago’

seamlessly to the concepts that make augmented reality work. We’ve

creates a nice familiar thread. That way, everybody knows the drill of

partnered with some of our friends in LA, The Famous Group, to pull

how shows need to be called, how the logistics need to work and the

off some of the largest AR events. In the past couple of months, we

whole communication of the event. There’s a common language already

worked for the Super Bowl, as well as during the last football season.

built in.

Understanding these types of projects from both the technology side and the content side is what really helps make these type of events possible.

Are you seeing an increase in the amount of esports projects you do? CJ: We’re definitely doing a lot more esports projects. We’re very

Do you think that augmented reality has a big future in sporting

fortunate in that we do quite a bit of work with League of Legends - we

venues?

do a lot of their world tours and we’ve helped them with their studio,

CJ: I think you’re going to see a lot more of it, for sure – the industry

too. We’ve also been involved with a couple of other projects - Rocket

will need to start to get very familiar with it. The challenge with it is

League and Clash Royale being the other main ones. There are so many

that people still think of augmented reality as if it’s really going to be

different leagues that are starting - it’s such a hot space right now,

floating over the audience. It’s still only going to be on the centrehung

with everybody trying to see what they can do to put on the coolest

or wherever the screens are within a venue. However, you can really

competition. And it’s been a lot of fun for us!

take advantage of that – the video screens are getting bigger and bigger,

034

meaning that the audience are forced to look at the screens more,

It’s certainly an ever-growing industry, particularly when you look

despite being at the venue. So, why wouldn’t you take advantage of that

at the number of traditional sports clubs getting involved in so many

subjective viewpoint and do some really cool things with it? Plus, as the

different ways...

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INTERVIEW

CJ: It is and that’s why a lot of people in esports come to us, too,

ahead with the NFL draft in whatever way they could.

because they see the top-level expertise that we bring to some of these

We collaborated with The Famous Group and the NFL on a way to

more established leagues. We help to elevate the quality of these shows

bring fans in and virtualise them - and it’s all using cloud-based video

and, in a way, legitimise the projects. There’s a lot of conversion that

services, the media servers and all the technology we always use. We

they’re trying to make happen in terms of attracting fans to esports and

were ready to go ahead and attack the project as we’d already gone down

these projects definitely help.

that road somewhat – and that led to us helping to deliver the world’s largest, most-viewed virtual NFL draft ever, which was lots of fun. It

Scott: It’s also taken off in North America - the collegiate market, in

was 1,200 fans over two days and we were switching between all the

particular, where you don’t just have college basketball and football any

fans of each club. We were streaming right from our shop in DC; we had

more. There is now a huge opportunity in college esports. One of the

our full broadcast production switcher, all the media servers and so on

unique skills that we can offer is that we’re also an event company and

– and we were feeding that to ESPN and ABC, as well as right into Roger

these esports tournaments and matches are events. It’s about bringing

Goodell’s (Commissioner of the NFL) house.

that event mentality – and CJ touched on it earlier – the communication and knowledge when it comes to the technology that helps deliver and

I know we’ve briefly touched on it, but how are things going for

enhance the overall event.

Quince Imaging during this unprecedented global pandemic?

That has really morphed into analysis and expertise in remote

Scott: Well, that’s sort of a microcosm of what happened, because we

production, which is, of course, a huge part of the sporting industry in

had been well on the road to studying, designing and developing what

the current global environment. Everyone is pivoting towards remote

a master control system would be for virtual and remote production. It

production very quickly until stadiums can allow numerous people back

was a simple task for us to take that next little baby step and dive into

in again. It’s all about keeping fans engaged, which was the purpose

providing virtual production and remote production services at a high

behind our most recent venture in the NFL Draft.

level, helping our professional teams bring in their fans and engage. After all, even when things open up once again, there will still be a

036

CJ: We were already going down the road of looking into remote

virtual component that’s likely here to stay. Just because 50,000 fans

production and virtual production solutions to service the esports

can come into an arena or stadium, it doesn’t mean that you’re now

market - particularly in college to make it so thousands of colleges

going to ignore the opportunity to engage plenty of other fans remotely.

could play together and have a professional-looking broadcast without

So, that’s going to be a huge opportunity for these sports franchises

having to build multimillion-dollar studios. So, when COVID-19 hit and

and ownership groups to engage fans on a broader and wider level. And

everybody was forced to work from home, remote solutions became the

that’s what we’ve been working on, too. Also, we still have a number of

hot topic.

permanent integration projects that are in the various stages of work,

When it came to the NFL, we have to give full credit to them as they

with only a few having just tapped the brakes a little bit, but none have

were just clear – it was a case of ‘we’re the NFL and we put out the

been cancelled, which is really great news for everybody - it’s great news

greatest content no matter what’. So, they were definitely going to go

for us, them and the industry as a whole. We’re actively engaged with

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Architecture by

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INTERVIEW

planning future and additional large sports integrations, particularly in

I just wanted to ask what your favourite sporting venue has been that

North America, so that part of the business and industry is still chugging

you’ve worked on…

along. You know, there may be a slight slowdown in revenue and

Scott: That’s a loaded question! I’m going to say the MLB All Star game

payment schedules and such, but the future looks bright.

– it was a difficult job. I mean, if it were easy, anybody could do it, but it’s a hard task and that’s why Quince Imaging is brought into the fold.

It feels as though Quince Imaging will potentially be playing a big part

When you’re achieving something that’s never been achieved before

as fans are gradually welcomed back into the venues – with reduced

- to be able to deliver that performance in an outdoor environment

capacities at first, you’ll surely be integral in creating an atmosphere…

where you simply can’t control what the lighting will be like - that kind

CJ: Well, that was the reason we got involved with the NFL Draft.

of achievement is a feather in the cap. We’re very proud of that one,

The problem they had was that they wanted a virtual broadcast, but

as it was the culmination of pulling together all these very powerful,

recognised that the involvement of fans and their reactions was what

technological tools, along with the workflow and techniques that our

made the broadcasts exciting. So, that’s why we were there – we were

team had developed. It was a stunning result, so that was my favourite.

virtualising the fan reactions to the draft. Now, when it comes to other sports and leagues also operating virtually, they need to find the

CJ: If I had to pick just one, I would say that my favourite venue – as

solutions when it comes to the fans, too.

in the one I had the best time in - would actually be the Quicken Loans

We’re working on solutions to provide this virtual fan engagement in

Arena (now the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse) in Cleveland, for the sole

a more meaningful way. Being able to bring the fans in and be part of

reason that it was one of the first arenas that we deployed a full motion

the show as if they were there, there’s really no reason why that’s not

tracking system in for the players and for fans. So, myself and some

possible. I mean, if you and I can sit here and talk over a conference call,

of the guys definitely spent a few nights until 2am in a completely

why can’t we have a conference call in a venue? Obviously, I don’t want

empty bowl, just running around on a basketball court playing

to oversimplify it – it’s still quite a technical challenge to manage and

tracking games that we were developing and beta testing. It was such

control hundreds of thousands of audio and video feeds. But that’s what

a surreal experience to be in an arena by yourself, running around and,

we’ve been developing and are now prepping to deploy.

essentially, playing video games that don’t exist anywhere else.

Are there any more sporting projects coming up in the near future?

Just to round things off, what are the plans for Quince Imaging over

Scott: There are a number of college venue activations in North America

the next few years? Any specific goals?

that we’re engaged in. On the professional side, there are a few also in

Scott: Our primary goal is to continue to evolve the technology that

the planning process - and these are multi-use facilities, everything from

brings in fans and engages them across a wide platform. Now, imagery

indoor football stadiums to large hockey and basketball arenas. So, the

is a big part of that, media server technology is big part of that and

ones that are in planning process are looking to use imagery technology

augmented reality is a huge part of that. It all involves the same

on a large scale. And it’s just great that it’s becoming the norm. I mean,

workflows that we’ve been developing for 38 years. So, that is our target

25 years ago, you wouldn’t have thought of building or designing a sports

- to continue to raise that bar. The increased demand for engaging these

arena without a centrehung scoreboard. The same thing is occurring with

fans on a new and exciting level is not going to go away, it’s only going

this technology – it’s been recognised that there’s a field of play that’s

to keep progressing and we’re going to be at the top of that wave of

just waiting there during stoppages that can be activated. It’s going to be

trying new things and bringing in new technologies to this marketplace.

part of these integration installations as it should be.

038

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12 THE FULL PITCH

042 Ascot Racecourse | Ascot, England 060 Amon G. Carter Stadium | Texas, USA 066 New Clark City Sports Hub | Capas, Philippines


THE FULL PITCH

ASCOT RACECOURSE Ascot, England

Images: Ascot Racecourse

T

here aren’t many sporting venues that can lay claim to such a rich history as Ascot Racecourse. Since opening in 1711, the renowned racecourse has been the home of horse racing

in the United Kingdom. Hosting Royal Ascot every June the flagship event and one of the most popular in the sport overall - the venue welcomes around 300,000 people over five days, with more than 163 full-time staff and more than 6,500 temporary staff. Ascot Racecourse is visited by over 600,000 people a year, accounting for 10% of all UK racegoers and it was the first racecourse in Europe to reach the 500,000-racegoer milestone, highlighting its continued popularity. In addition to world-class racing, Ascot Racecourse has also been used as a movie and television filming location, as well as a venue for conferences, banquets, exhibitions, product launches and weddings. Despite its prestigious reputation and traditional charm, Ascot Racecourse hasn’t shied away from embracing the


044

modern era, with the £220 million redevelopment of the

and eventually implemented have become more relevant

Ascot Grandstand, opened in 2006 by Her Majesty The

than ever.

Queen, being evidence of that.

“In my first few months at Ascot, I took a great deal of

However, the venue has gone one step further in the last

time to assess the environment. I think it’s important not

couple of years, upgrading existing audio-visual systems,

to deliver technology for the sake of it, but instead look to

as well as introducing a whole host of new technology to

deliver technology-driven solutions that have relevance

make it one of the most advanced venues in Europe. George

both to the business and the customer. That has been a key

Vaughan joined Ascot Racecourse as Head of Technology

driver in all the upgrades we’ve been doing at Ascot.

in early 2018 and, since then, he has been an integral part

“I never went to visit too many other stadiums - I wasn’t

of that development, leading the project to modernise the

particularly interested in what other venues were doing.

iconic venue.

I’ve always been more interested in what the people who

“When I was brought in, I obviously had a vision of what I

inhabit these spaces are doing in other areas when they’re

thought could be done and fortunately it was aligned with

not with us. Unless you work in a stadium, you probably

the aspirations of the business. This is a very prestigious

spend relatively little time there, so understanding how

venue with a lot of history, hosting one of the world’s big-

your customer engages with technology in areas they visit

gest events in Royal Ascot every year, so it demands global

more frequently - airports, supermarkets, restaurants or

attention. Whilst I recognised that there was an opportu-

gyms – can help to deliver initiatives that people are al-

nity to enhance that experience with technology, I was also

ready familiar with.”

mindful of the responsibility I had to preserve the elements

This has led to an interesting template for Ascot Racecourse

that made us unique.

to, essentially, become a Smart City, which is something

“There is 300 years of tradition behind Ascot – and whilst

many other venues promote, although George believes Ascot

this needs to be protected – we also have to recognise

remains one of the few sporting environments that can actu-

as a business that, in this modern age, tradition doesn’t

ally justify the claim: “If you think about a race day at Royal

necessarily provide safe refuge any longer. Everything is

Ascot, you could have up to 75,000 people here, spending

changing so quickly; you need to constantly keep an eye on

seven hours as our guests – sometimes longer – but they

that evolving horizon. Fortunately, I have a very engaged

only get to see around 24 minutes of sport. So, for the rest

and forward-thinking board of directors who understand

of the time, what are they doing? Or more importantly, what

the expectations of the modern consumer.

can we offer them as experiences to engage with?

“Those expectations have changed further in the light of

“Customers may not watch any two races from the same

the current global pandemic and though we didn’t realise

location, they visit different places around the venue to

it at the time, many of the technologies we were exploring

eat, drink and bet throughout the day. Plus, a lot of people

WWW.MONDOSTADIA.COM


THE FULL PITCH

might not come here just for the racing – Royal Ascot in

immediately drawn to those similarities and they could see

particular is recognised globally as a huge fashion event.

their potential customer base here at Ascot. They are one

There’s a lot of picture taking and selfies!

of the most recognisable brands of audio anywhere in the

“We have a unique gender split, which makes it quite at-

world. So, for us, I think there was a good synergy and we

tractive when engaging with technology companies. These

see this as the first step in a growing relationship between

companies see something in our venue that they don’t

two like-minded brands seeking to build on the opportuni-

necessarily see in many stadiums. In a stadium, you enter

ties both have to offer.”

– often at the last minute – take your seat and, outside of

With the decision made to go with Bose, their preferred

half time, that is where you’ll be positioned for the duration

systems integrator for this project was SSE Audio who were

of your stay. Our customers are more likely to move around

commissioned to design and install the large scale audio

and explore the racecourse.”

system that would suit Ascot Racecourse’s specific needs.

To achieve the Smart City plan, Ascot Racecourse had to

SSE Audio is part of the worldwide Solotech group. Eddie

begin the process of upgrading the technology in a number

Thomas, Vice President of Integrated Solutions at Solotech,

of areas, with one of those being the venue’s audio system.

takes up the story: “The design for the replacement system

“Audio is extremely important to us throughout the du-

was developed through an in-depth survey of the existing

ration of an event. A football stadium, for example, may

system. We spoke with Ascot to find the issues and identify

use it to play some music or make an announcement, but,

potential operational changes to enable us to provide a

generally, during the 90 minutes of the game, they won’t be

detailed design.

using that system outside of announcing the goal-scorer or

“Even though we had covered most of the system design, we

an emergency request. But, for us, the racing commentary

identified areas where loudspeaker zones had been attached

is all played through the audio system. We also have music

to other zones and areas, along with compliance issues that

and sing-along sessions that take place at the end of each

we had to overcome and upgrade as part of the design and

day at Ascot Royal; we’ll get up to 25,000 people congregat-

proposed installation works. The system is designed and

ing around the bandstand for a sing-along,” said George.

installed to meet with the relevant standards for Emer-

“When we came to look for partners in this area, we had

gency Sound systems that include, but are not limited to

to make sure we chose one that could really deliver on the

BS7827:2019 & BS5839 Part 8, using high-quality equipment

audio enhancement, whilst at the same time being aligned

and loudspeakers to provide the highest quality of audio

with both our values and our customers. In the end, it made

transmission and coverage within all of the public areas.”

choosing Bose a relatively easy decision. When you look at

Andy Rigler, UK & IRL Manager, Bose Professional, added:

us as a brand and you look at Bose, we both inhabit that

“We worked really closely with Eddie and the SSE team.

same sweet spot in the lifestyle space. I think Bose were

We’d informed Eddie that a large, entertainment-quality,

045


THE FULL PITCH

046

outdoor loudspeaker, built for EN54, was coming from Bose.

the design ‘bible’ information to generate the final control

Having had a great experience with Bose ShowMatch loud-

and amplification rack design in each of the five main

speakers in The O2 Arena, Eddie was confident that we could

equipment rack locations. A routing schedule and a control

deliver with our next generation of DeltaQ loudspeakers.

matrix, along with the design development of the new

“ArenaMatch loudspeakers can be configured with dif-

redundant fire rated, fibre-based network infrastructure

ferent horizontal and vertical coverage patterns, meaning

was installed across the site control locations, with control

that the dispersion pattern can be finely focussed to where

locations based in the East, Central, West rack rooms, along

it is needed. Each ArenaMatch loudspeaker features a 14”

with the Pavilion, Security Control Room, Radio Room and

woofer, plus six EMB2S compression drivers delivering

the Broadcast control room.”

full range, high SPL, performance, without the need for

As the new system was to replace the old and enhance cer-

subs. This performance, coupled with the loudspeakers’

tain functionality and loudspeaker coverage, SSE also had

light weight, meant that Eddie and the SSE team had more

to develop electro-acoustic design model and, using Bose

choices on where and how the units would be hung within

Modeller software, they then developed the 3D acoustic

the grandstand.”

model within the software to enable the design, type and

SSE commenced the hardware design works using the

location of the new Bose loudspeakers in the external and

existing rack equipment locations and loudspeaker instal-

internal areas where applicable. The electro-acoustic design

lation as a starting guide position to identify loudspeaker

was mainly focused upon improved coverage of the main

zones and inputs / outputs.

public areas, covering the front course-facing and rear-fac-

Eddie said: “Using this data, we then developed the design

ing public areas of the main stand.

‘bible’ which is a concept spreadsheet of the loudspeak-

“I developed the design at the front of the stand from a

er zones, amplifier type, power and circuits serving each

single high power loudspeaker pointing across the pub-

appropriate zone. It was at this point that we could then

lic area to a more focused dual Bose ArenaMatch design,

provide to the client a broad-brush outline design, to ena-

using a single speaker to provide the nearfield coverage

ble the next phase of progression to a detailed design.

at a slightly lower level and then a second cabinet cover-

“Post project negotiations and project award, we then used

ing the far field area to the edge of the racecourse,” Eddie

WWW.MONDOSTADIA.COM


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THE FULL PITCH

Ascot Racecourse COVID-19 Response NHS Frimley Health Trust Volunteer Drivers Since 13th April, a team which has grown to 20 volunteer drivers comprising employees and colleagues from CSP, the parking contractors, have been driving medical professionals and supplies to and from hospital sites. A fleet of 10 BMW cars has been loaned to the NHS to assist. More recently, driving shifts have increased so as to transport oncology doctors and nurses to a newly-dedicated area in a private hospital based in Windsor. As of 18th May, the team have achieved over 1,000 volunteer hours. Testing Site / Assistance Since mid-April, the racecourse has become a drive-through testing site for NHS workers and family members. Fifteen full-time and eight casual members of catering staff have also been redeployed to assist at NHS test centres located at Gatwick, Portsmouth and North London. In addition to the Ascot test site, packed lunches have been supplied to all staff manning the Newbury and Reading test centres.

added. “This design concept has provided an excellent and even coverage of the public standing area without being too loud near to the front of the stand. I also adopted a similar design concept at the rear of the stand, using Bose ArenaMatch in arrays of three to provide even coverage across the full width of the rear area of the stand. We also interface via the routing matrix, the bandstand PA system into these loudspeaker to provide the additional coverage required during the end of race day event sing-along.” The operational design, including the Fire Alarm Interface and GUI Control system, was developed with consultation with the Ascot and the event operations of the PAVA system. The installation of the new Bose audio system was due to be completed over 12 months, with the finish date originally set for March 2020. Whilst the PAVA system is now on and fully operational, there are still some finishing touches to be completed, however, the current COVID-19 pandemic has seen the team held off site, though it is anticipated that SSE will be back on site sometime in the summer to complete their work. “We are incredibly excited by the audio improvements this new collaboration has brought to the venue. Sound is an integral part of the customer experience and working with a brand like Bose - a brand that shares many of our values

Charities In partnership with Berkshire Community Foundation, Ascot have allocated monies from its annual community fund to local charities: Slough Foodbank - £6,000 allocated to enable them to immediately purchase food via Ascot’s supply chain First Days Charity - £2,000 allocated to provide emergency supply packs for families in financial difficulty Dingley’s Promise - £1,000 allocated to continue to provide support to less abled children and their families ME2 Club - £500 allocated to help support vulnerable families during the crisis and to be able to restart their face to face activities. Thames Hospice - £1,000 allocated to help with their emergency appeal to buy medical supplies Foundation 500 - £500 allocated to support the launch of “The Foundation 500” – an initiative devised by the organisers of the Property Race Day charity event which was due to be held at Ascot. To mitigate the subsequent funding loss, the initiative is appealing to individuals and businesses to make a single contribution of £500 to ensure that those charities can keep up their wonderful work. They are also donating 25% of the funds raised to the NHS to help the coronavirus effort. NHS Charities Together - staff donated £520 to participate in the Virtual Grand National, which was fund-matched by the Ascot Racecourse Directors to provide a total of £1,020, with all funds donated to the NHS Charities Together.

and speaks to a similar audience - represents the perfect marriage of technology and tradition,” said George. “SSE Audio have implemented this system perfectly - the two companies have worked brilliantly together to deliver an impressive solution.” The visual element of Ascot Racecourse was another vital part of the project, with the venue deciding to work with Samsung on a full upgrade of the screens. Paul Tippins, Business Development Manager at Samsung, explained further: “Ascot were looking to replace all existing screens in the venue, from the concourse areas to the hospitality suites, but they had also identified other areas that would benefit from Samsung technology. There were a mixture of high-end hospitality suites, areas with high sunlight and areas that required larger video wall screens. “George became very familiar with the Samsung range of products and solutions having worked with us previously at Twickenham Stadium as well as attending tradeshows - specifically ISE – so, he had a good idea of what he wanted to achieve at Ascot. This was all put together by working closely with Ascot’s system integration partner, Elite AV.” George added: “We worked with Samsung on the 4K television upgrade – and

048

WWW.MONDOSTADIA.COM

Royal Ascot In tandem with the Royal Ascot At Home (RAAH) PR campaign, #StyledWithThanks #RoyalAscot will be the fundraising arm to the campaign and will form the overarching Royal Ascot CSR activity. A dedicated “Virgin Giving” page will be created with weblinks from the RAAH hub. Ascot will be suggesting a voluntary donation of £5 per selfie photograph submitted with donations eventually being split as follows: BENEFICIARY CHARITIES: NHS Charities Together - 40% / National Emergencies Trust (NET) - 40% / The Care Workers Charity - 10% / Berkshire Community Foundation - 10% The final amount raised, together with Ascot’s contribution (tbc) and any other contributions added, will be announced on Saturday 20th June. Once and if racing is given the go ahead, Ascot will also liaise with the Betting Industry to assess their willingness to donate into the fund. Other contributions to the campaign will include the Ascot Shop sharing 50% profit on sales of the 2020 teddy bears and Hallgarten’s 10% of the retail price (ex VAT) of each case of wine purchased from the Ascot Wine Club. www.ascot.co.uk/ascot-racecourse-supports


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THE FULL PITCH

050

that’s still ongoing. We have around 800 screens, but this

“We were successful in our presentation, so, from there,

number increases to over 1300 screens for Royal Ascot.

we went on to provide a fully integrated EPOS & Stock

“We made a decision to utilise the on-chip technology in

Management solution for the venue. This comprises of the

the new panels which meant we were able to dispense with

standard fixed terminals around Ascot Racecourse, but also

the amino boxes for the distribution of the signal. That’s

mobile terminals to be used for fine dining restaurants and

worked really well – we ran it live for the first time across

within the private boxes, coupled with all-in-one POS and

all boxes and open areas of the venue for Royal Ascot last

Payment PAX devices for use all over the estate.”

year and are currently continuing that upgrade. It’s not

For the installation, a dedicated Kappture project team

just been a surface change, it’s a full upgrade of all of those

worked closely with the Ascot Technology Department to

screens to allow us the future capability to deliver 4K con-

plan, configure, install and deliver on site working solution

tent via technologies such as Sky’s Brightbox system.”

throughout April 2019. Key challenges centred around

Paul reiterated the benefits of the new Samsung screens:

network availability, though this was overcome with project

“The on-chip capabilities of the Samsung screens meant

assessments. Overall, it took the Kappture team four weeks

that Ascot had no need for additional hardware to incorpo-

to deliver the working EPOS solution on site for the first

rate the Streamvue IPTV system.”

event. The K- Stock solution was phase two and the mobile

The visual part of the project has been a two-year process

payment solution was phase three – all of which were de-

between Ascot and Samsung, however, additional technol-

livered prior to the main Royal Ascot week in June 2019.

ogy being deployed – due to the success of the new screens

Andrew concluded: “At Kappture, we are all about inno-

- means that it remains very much an ongoing project.

vation and trying to come up with solutions we think our

As George is consistently keen to impress, everything at

clients will need in the future. We have been working with

Ascot Racecourse is built around the customer – and that is

Ascot on two key projects. Firstly, to develop new hospi-

certainly true of the new point of sale system that has been

tality box ordering and payment solutions, and, secondly,

provided by Kappture.

to implement new kiosk ordering and payment terminal in

Andrew Motley, Commercial Director at Kappture, gave

the grandstand, which will help reduce the queues. Also,

MONDO | STADIA some background on how they became

since the recent outbreak of COVID-19, the developers have

involved at Ascot Racecourse: “We responded to a business

worked tirelessly to create our new Scan & Go module -

tender response document in 2018 and went on to present

this will enable retail outlets and customers to shop more

to the Ascot hospitality & Technology Departments. The

conveniently but also safer.”

brief was to future proof, deliver innovation and upgrade

“What has been very exciting is seeing the Kappture de-

the existing hospitality EPOS platform. We had to provide

ployment here at Ascot; we have close to 400 POS units and

greater flexibility for both EPOS users and administrators,

around 50 tablets across the business. We also launched

reduce training time, reduce the speed of customer transac-

mobile payments across retail with Kappture and Ingenico,

tions, provide real time data, reduce support overhead and

utilising the PAX mobile, handheld device and turning it

develop new solutions to improve efficiencies.

into a fully functioning POS. We ran that last year and it

WWW.MONDOSTADIA.COM


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052

proved successful,” George continued.

face environment, giving customers a way to pay, without

“I have good relationships with WorldPay, MasterCard and

the need for a card, being near a payment terminal, or in-

Visa, so we’re working with those payment partners to

teraction with a staff member. Considering the current so-

deliver new initiatives. One specific application we are very

cial distancing and transmission concerns around Covid-19,

excited about is MasterCard’s Pay by Bank solution; in con-

it seems to be a relevant system of payment,” said George.

junction with Kappture, we’ve done the first ever deploy-

When Ascot welcomes back customers to the course, PbBa

ment of Pay by Bank on a tablet and till. Being integrated

will also be available at innovative self-serve kiosks - fu-

into the POS means we can roll it out across the entire

ture proofing payments for everyone’s safety in face-to-

estate and that’s never been done anywhere else before.

face environments and allowing customers to keep their

“What we’re trying to do is drive more people to pay by

distance in the new norm.

card as you then get that speed of service. A cash trans-

George added: “The development doesn’t stop here, and

action can take up to 20 seconds, whereas a contactless

we are now already actively engaged with MasterCard to

transaction can take five or six seconds. So, thinking about

explore the implementation of their new Sonic branding at

the turnover of customers, moving them over from cash to

all point of sale.”

card has given us some real improvements. Operationally,

Ticketing, security and access have always been an impor-

we’re now looking at the development of a new system for

tant part of sporting venues, though the current COVID-19

the boxes, which will allow us to deliver a solution for our

pandemic has put them into sharper focus, particularly

corporate customers, once again based around the Kappture

when it comes to using digital tickets to enter a venue. If

architecture.”

they haven’t already, introducing contactless entry has to

“The pandemic has quickly highlighted cash as a mecha-

be a real priority for venues across the globe.

nism for transmission and having prepared our infrastruc-

This is something that Ascot Racecourse has already start-

ture to operate in many areas without the need for cash

ed, collaborating with a number of companies to provide

means we are well equipped to remove it from the retail

the perfect solution. Pronto-CX had a huge part to play

part of our business should the need arise.”

in this area, as they use the latest mobile wallet technol-

The roll out of Mastercard’s Pay by Bank app (PbBa), which

ogy from Apple and Google to help venues become more

will offer our customers a frictionless, touchless mech-

efficient and effective in both their on-site operation and as

anism for payment, will allow Ascot customers to enjoy

marketers.

events safely by making payments with just their mobile,

Conrad Caplin, Co-Founder of Pronto-CX told us more:

directly from their current account. The added benefit

“When it came to starting the project with Ascot, it was

of PbBa is that they will see the balance change in their

a bit fortuitous. Not only did Apple introduce us to Ascot

current account instantly, giving them the advantage of

Racecourse following our successful contactless tickets

managing their money while paying.

launch at the Los Angeles Football Club in 2018, but also

George is particularly excited about the fact that this de-

George had recently joined as Head of Technology. He and

ployment represents the first time PbBa has been enabled

I had an existing relationship, plus we share a love for

in a physical environment, demonstrating how it can be

practical but brilliant venue technology, so I suppose it was

used both online and offline, offering consumers new

a natural outcome!

channels in which to use their mobile banking app to pay.

“Our platform is built on a light and modern tech stack,

“Ascot will be the first ‘use case’ for PbBa in the face-to-

offering contactless tickets, a loyalty engine, and mobile

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THE FULL PITCH

wallet. In fact, we call it a Modern Wallet because it fea-

merce - communications, information and a secure payload

tures new app-less commerce, not more of the same.

all-in-one. The system works by looking at a fan’s location

“Both Apple and Ascot Racecourse are major global brands,

and event time and will send a notification to a customer’s

so the project required structure and had high standards

lock screen when near the venue at the right time.”

to meet. Fortunately, we had experience launching the

George adds, “In the current situation removing as many

same at professional sports clubs or top-flight university

unnecessary touch and transmission points from site as

programs in the United States, so we were already aware of

possible remains a priority and being able to offer custom-

the process and able to help Ascot accelerate through their

ers digital ticketing not only achieves this but also helps us

implementation. We focused on Apple event tickets first

deliver on our sustainability ambitions.”

and, thereafter, event tickets for Google Pay.”

Another exciting development is digital ticketing being

A lot of things needed to come together to make the con-

embraced even during Royal Ascot at Home. Working

tactless ticketing a success at Ascot, ranging from event

alongside Pronto-CX, Ascot plan to send out digital tickets

ticket pass design and behaviour to pass/ticket delivery,

to members, with a daily draw at a certain time each day to

as well as the tickets being validated by the access control

pick out winners.

system at the venue.

George explained the idea further: “Ordinarily, you’d have

“This required close collaboration with other vendors such

the digital ticket option as an alternative to a physical ticket.

as Vivaticket for the primary ticketing, SKIDATA for access

Obviously, our customers have been using this technology,

control, and Rawnet, who are the app developer,” explained

but I wanted to introduce something innovative into the mix

Conrad. “We always test internally first, then public testing

and encourage direct engagement despite everyone being at

with friends and family, and only thereafter a broader pub-

home, whilst simultaneously promoting digital tickets.

lic roll-out. Optionally, Apple and Google also conduct their

“Together with our marketing team, it was a genuine

own on-site testing.

example of being able to offer a real-time, live engagement

“Because the protocols – Apple Pay Value Added Services

opportunity that went beyond a linear proposal. I think the

(VAS) and Google Pay Smart Tap – used to convey event

initiative has scope to grow, not just for us but also other

tickets are fairly mature, there was little technical risk on

venues across the board that have access to this technolo-

the project. But, in order to support the conveyance of

gy, as it’s such an easy way to communicate with fans and

mobile wallet event tickets via Wallet or Google Pay, the

members.”

turnstile Nearfield Communication (NFC) reader heads had

Conrad is in agreement: “Winners will know they have won

to be upgraded to support the required protocols. That’s a

if their digital ticket in their wallet changes from navy to

pretty significant hardware project and requires a fair bit

gold. It should be great fun and is a good example of how

of work on the software side of the house, including the

digital passes can be used to gamify fan experiences. The

integration of cloud-based systems.”

added bonus, too, is that, for many, this will be the first

It took two months each to setup both Apple and Google

time they will have added a contactless ticket to Apple Wal-

digital ticketing systems – something that didn’t go unno-

let or Google Pay. So, when they go to the racecourse next

ticed at Ascot, as George mentioned: “In terms of having

time, they will know exactly what to do.

both Apple and Google tickets, we’re one of the very few

“Plus, there’s the option to add sponsor logos on the digital

venues in the world that is offering that – there’s a few

passes, too. You can even have different sponsors on each

in the US and Bayern Munich are doing it in Germany, but we’re certainly the first racecourse.” Having both Apple and Google involved has opened up a whole range of possibilities for Ascot - any of the print-athome or paper products, such as parking, meal, drink, or betting vouchers, can be replaced by their digital counterpart. This will lead to huge improvements in terms of lane speed and customer communications, as well as provide a better overall experience for customers and result in more efficient operation for the racecourse. A lot of that is being explored further by Ascot and Pronto-CX, particularly in the context of the historic venue’s COVID-19 response plan and what reopening the racecourse will look like. “‘Tap and go’ via Apple Wallet or Google Pay is simply the easiest, fastest, and safest way to convey event tickets,” said Conrad. “Racegoers are going to love it because it will save them loads of time. Plus, the pass is dynamic, meaning it can be updated in real time to display relevant event or race information and also provide access to additional resources. “Consider Apple Wallet to be like the App Store and passes in Wallet to be like apps. Not only are passes not static, but they can also update in real time and send notifications direct to a user’s lockscreen, all without an app. That’s why we say that passes for Wallet enable app-less com-

053


054

day, which is a great opportunity for venues and their

Ascot experience.”

partners.”

SKIDATA were another company heavily involved in the

One of the key partners of the business has been Ascot’s

new digital ticketing and access system, having been cho-

ticketing provider, Vivaticket, and Sales Manager, Juansa

sen due to its market-leading reader and turnstile hard-

Molina, was keen to impress the importance of that rela-

ware and Handshake.Logic software, which controls entire

tionship in helping with the development of Ascot’s future

facilities. MONDO | STADIA also spoke to Jeff Sheldon, Fan

customer journey.

Engagement & People Access at SKIDATA, about its in-

“We have always recognised the importance of increasing

volvement in the project at Ascot Racecourse and what has

conversion rates for our customers and creating smoother

been delivered in terms of access solutions.

and more intuitive journeys.

“APT-SKIDATA has actually been involved at Ascot Race-

“Ascot as a business has been using different versions of

course from the construction of the new grandstand, which

our software packages for almost 20 years and have al-

opened in 2006. The vision was clear from the start and

ways been a wonderful partner and reference site. I joined

focussed around NFC technology to deliver: a mobile first

Vivaticket three years ago and it became apparent to me

approach; rapid entry; additional biometric security; ticket

that the racecourse would be the perfect organisation to

faud prevention; effective low cost; and low carbon ticket

introduce a more responsive, frictionless, digital engage-

distribution direct to mobile. Given the nature of Ascot,

ment opportunity.

race-goers being able to exit and re-enter during the day

“A year into my position, George joined Ascot as Head

was vital, too.

of Technology and I immediately realised that here was

“To fully enable NFC, we have worked with Janam Tech-

someone who shared the same ideas of deploying technolo-

nologies as they are the global leaders in handheld NFC

gy to transform business and customer engagement and we

readers. As with any new technology, the main challenge

started to plan what that specific journey might look like

to the upgrade project was testing the NFC ticketing. As

for Ascot.”

the whole project has seen some of the very best experts

Ascot is currently going through the final stages of a future

in their respective fields coming together - APT-SKIDATA,

vision strategy that will involve upgrading their ticketing

Pronto-CX, Apple, VivaTicket and Google - the collabora-

platform, which, in turn, will further increase efficiency,

tion has been smooth, effective and successful.”

income and the customer experience.

Accreditation has also been a key part of the upgrade

As Juansa explained further: “A crucial aspect of this pro-

project, with Sweb.Accredit, APT-SKIDATA’s market-lead-

ject is the digitalisation of the ticketing experience. We are

ing, fully-integrated accreditation platform, used with

now working together on creating the optimal sales flow to

bespoke build and branding from Ascot Racecourse. With

make the purchasing of the tickets extremely intuitive for

this accreditation system, visitors, contractors, staff, media

users, whilst simultaneously maintaining, and enhancing,

and VIPs can register via the front-end portal. From there,

Ascot’s unique brand profile as a globally recognised and

accreditations can be sent to mobile, print at home or col-

respected sporting institution.

lected at predetermined areas.

“The ultimate aim is for us to help Ascot develop more

The installation process took two weeks to complete, with

forensically identifiable patron profiles, trends and contact

the Flex.Gate hardware and HandShake.Logic software

points, configure more compelling and content-relevant

completed in that time. The accreditation side is something

campaigns, and offer every patron an almost tailor-made

that continues, as Jeff explained further: “Accreditation

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THE FULL PITCH

is an ongoing and constantly evolving project, delivering

UtterBerry then reached out to Ascot and pitched a sensor

new features and requirements as they arise. As the project

system that created a more efficient method of checking

builds, the key integrations with access and other systems

tickets upon entrance, along with a more thorough system

will deliver Ascot a streamlined connected solution, creat-

throughout the venue that could monitor crowds and track

ing a 360° view of all visitors and staff on site.

the occupancy of rooms.

“This project is all about future expansion and developing

“Additionally, there was development of a payment system

future-proof functionality. The next development we would

using a combination with the UtterBerry sensor which was

like to explore with Ascot is facial recognition. We are

installed in the new Ascot badge. This integrated sensor

already actively testing using face in combination with NFC

linked with an application that both staff and visitors could

passes, delivering highly secure and rapid entry to stadi-

use to make their recurring tasks easier - for customers,

ums and venues. With the camera mounted in the reader

that may involve purchasing food and, for staff, it could

unit, there is no need for unsightly cameras or additional

display room occupancy or if a visitor’s badge was valid.”

gantries / mountings. The modular nature of the Flex.Gate

UtterBerry’s engineers visited and performed bespoke

hardware in combination with the high-resolution screens

design in order to match the sensor with the venue and

creates endless revenue generating and security opportu-

make the sensors unnoticeable. The data collected is secure,

nities.”

encrypted and all contained within a closed network.

Smart badges and people movement solutions have also

“The main challenge was access to the site and trialling.

been trialled at Ascot Racecourse, with the venue enlisting

70,000 people pass through at times amd you can’t trial on

the help of UtterBerry, who provide wireless smart sen-

that scale - you have to commit to the main event and use

sors systems to a huge variety of clientele. UtterBerry use

that as a benchmark. Thankfully, it was an excellent trial

patented sensors with integrated Artificial Intelligence and

for our system as it held up extremely well,” added Heba.

Machine Learning, allowing them to communicate with

“The project took place over a year - we worked on dif-

each other. These wireless sensors self-calibrate to form a

ferent events throughout that year. We had to work on

mesh network and relay data between each other, work-

different sites and scale up the monitoring capacity. The

ing as a family of sensors in any particular area. They do

installation of the system itself only takes one day, howev-

not require line of sight between each other. For real-time

er, making this very convenient for the event managers.

remote access to the sensor data, the sensors are supported

“The feedback has been extremely supportive, our technol-

by a Base Station providing connectivity to the Internet or

ogy has been very effective at Ascot and we have heard that

Local Network.

same sentiment come back from other venues. The people

“We have been trialling smart badges and people movement

counting and crowd sensing tool was particularly praised as

solutions with Utterberry. Their CEO, Heba Bevan OBE, is

it allowed staff to track, in real time, the more congested

a Royal Enclosure member so she provided some interest-

areas of the venue and then adaptations could be made to

ing insights to these pilots from a customer perspective,”

improve the overall customer experience.”

George explained.

George concluded: “This was a great example of how

Heba took up the story on how UtterBerry’s project first

working with a leading-edge technology company and its

began with Ascot: “When we first got introduced to George,

talented team of young minds can help to provide unique

we started discussing the challenges that Ascot faced and

and innovative solutions. The prototypes looked incredi-

we researched what we could do to help with the event.

ble and were indistinguishable from the standard race day

055


THE FULL PITCH

056

swing badges. You would never know they had some of the

porate boxes, with plans to install across the remainder by

most advanced AI driven technology inside them!”

end of 2021. During a typical race day, Ascot and Chargifi

There has also been a refurbishment programme in place

can see frequent use of the service for anything from 15

for Ascot Racecourse’s corporate boxes, with the venue

minutes to a few hours of charging.

having 230 boxes in total – more than any other venue in

“We’re looking at how this could be extended to the public

Europe. The likes of Bose and Samsung have played their

concourse, bars and other areas. Through our software

part in providing the audiovisual element in these boxes,

platform, we’re looking to integrate with other services

though Ascot have also looked at other more specialist are-

like Ascot’s app to deliver location-based information such

as, including rolling out wireless charging points.

as wayfinding or online services perhaps even table side

Anthony Fulgoni, EMEA Sales Director at Chargifi, gave us

ordering,” added Anthony.

some more insight into how they became involved: “We

“The Ascot IT team are very forward thinking and they

had worked with George previously on a similar installation

chose our technology as it offers more than just a conven-

at Twickenham Stadium, so once he’d moved over to Ascot,

ient source of power.”

he asked us to get involved.

Augmented Reality technology is something that has began

“This is very much part of the vision to make Ascot Race-

to be embraced within the sporting venue industry, with

course the technology leader in sports venues. We worked

clubs, brands and rights holders continuing to look for

with the Ascot Technology Department to deploy Chargifi

ways to make messages cut through, as well as create new

mobile phone charging spots in many of the hospitality

experiences for those fans and customers at the venue.

boxes. As well as that, we liaised with Ascot’s furniture

Ascot has taken the idea of Augmented Reality on board by

and installation teams to ensure our technology blended in

working with Looking Glass - an experiential marketing

with the design aesthetic in the box

technology company that markets and sells mobile app-

“The spots allow users of wireless charging capable phones

based AR solutions to tier one brands, venues and events.

- Samsung and Apple, for example - to recharge their de-

Iain Case, Director of Looking Glass, went into further

vice simply by placing it on the spot. The spot itself is ele-

detail when he spoke to MONDO | STADIA: “I have worked

gantly built into the furniture, so there’s no trailing cables,

with George on various projects over the years and, to-

unsightly plug points or a ‘lost and found’ problem.

gether, we have delivered several innovative solutions for

“Each time a user charges their phone, we can collect this

major events and venues across various technology sectors.

usage data - from the spot, not the phone - to show how,

He explained what he was trying to achieve in his role at

where and when charging is used and present this as space

Ascot and, with that in mind, we demonstrated our nascent

utilisation information to the Ascot team.”

solution to him at the beginning of 2019.

The installation of Chargifi’s wireless charging points took

“George – as is his way – immediately identified a number

around six months to complete, which was primarily to

of applications for the technology at Ascot, and we agreed

meet with the furniture construction and project installa-

to trial various approaches and use cases through the sea-

tion schedules.

son. AR is a technology with such a wide range of appli-

There are currently 92 Chargifi spots installed in 40 cor-

cations that we decided on using it in a variety of focussed

WWW.MONDOSTADIA.COM


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THE FULL PITCH

ways in order to gauge its effectiveness in tackling various

in their understanding of our technology. Having said that,

business objectives, specifically.

Looking Glass is designed to be used tactically, so we wanted

“This included increasing consumer awareness pre-event

to demonstrate that a project could be spun up and delivered

and stimulating downloads of the Ascot app; enhancing

in short order to a fixed deadline,” said Iain.

customer engagement on site during events; and stimulating

“The first project took eight weeks to complete, as we got to

engagement with commercial partners and positively shaping

know each other and agreed integration methodologies and

customer behaviour on race days.”

so on. Thereafter, we were able to deliver projects within a

With the plan in place, for Royal Ascot, Looking Glass aug-

three-week timescale, which is much more within our target

mented a pre-event advertising campaign by bringing tradi-

operating mode.”

tional print and outdoor posters to life, displaying marketing

The feedback has been positive, with Looking Glass’ solution

videos and driving app downloads in advance of the event.

providing tangible results for Ascot in terms of additional app

Following the success of this initial project, for the Dubai

downloads, message exposure and customer positioning. How-

Duty Free meeting, Looking Glass created a ‘live’ informa-

ever, Iain insists that this is just the beginning: “We’ve only

tion board next to the statue of Frankel, bringing the horse’s

just begun in terms of developing the solution and its features.

amazing Ascot story to life.

We believe we and our customers are starting out on a journey

George added: “It’s effectively an “experience activation”

into virtual and augmented realities - a journey which will

process, so we did something for Royal Ascot where if you

ultimately result in a fundamental transformation of the way

held the app over the Royal Ascot poster, it would activate a

in which we all interact with systems, entities and people.”

video and then allow you to enter a competition at the end

The result of the technological upgrades and innovations

by entering your e-mail address. We also did something for a

across the board at Ascot Racecourse has certainly put this

couple of other events throughout the year. The Frankel race,

grand venue on the map for more than just its revered his-

for example, as you walked up to a stand with your phone, it

tory. While the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily halted

would play back a video. It doesn’t need WiFi as the video sits

proceedings, meaning visitors haven’t yet enjoyed the full

in the app, so you don’t actually need connectivity to view it,

experience of the new Ascot Racecourse, it’s clear that the

which makes it quite appealing.”

venue is more than prepared for the new reality, too. Digital

Looking Glass worked closely with a cross section of stake-

ticketing, contactless payments, wireless charging – the work

holders across the business to make a design that was rele-

has already been put in and, no doubt, we’ll see Ascot Race-

vant to requirements and fitted into the current physical and

course and its visitors fully benefit in the near future.

logical infrastructure at Ascot, including the provision of con-

The history is woven into the venue, but that’s now been

tent and agreeing a loose integration with their app provider.

joined by state-of-the-art technology. It’s fair to say that

“The main challenges were imposed by time constraints, as

Ascot Racecourse is leading the race when it comes to modern

we worked to a fairly aggressive timetable with partners we

sporting venues – and you get the feeling that there’s more

had not worked with before and were all starting from scratch

to come, too.

BRANDS: Bose, Samsung, Kappture, MasterCard, Pronto CX, SKIDATA, Vivaticket, UtterBerry, Chargifi, Looking Glass | INSTALLERS: SSE Audio, Elite AV | WEBSITES: pro.bose.com, displaysolutions.samsung.com, kappture.co.uk, mastercard.co.uk, prontocx.com, skidata.com, vivaticket.com, utterberry.com, chargifi.com, lookingglassmedia.co.uk, sseaudio.com, elite-av.com 058

WWW.MONDOSTADIA.COM


ALTIS SPORT FOR A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS LIGHTING


THE FULL PITCH

AMON G. CARTER STADIUM Arlington, Texas Images: L-Acoustics

T

exas Christian University’s (TCU) Horned Frogs football team has enjoyed a rich history since its inception in 1896, including national championships in 1935 and 1938, as well as eight former players having been

inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Nowadays, the TCU Horned Frogs compete in Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, which is recognised as the highest level of intercollegiate athletics sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the USA. The Horned Frogs have been members of the Big 12 Conference since 2012, too. This year’s Big 12 conference football season was much improved for the Horned Frogs, with the team’s home ground – the Amon G. Carter Stadium - having been subject to a $118M expansion. The venue has seen a number of improvements, with the first phase of what is a multi-year project welcoming an upgrade of the audiovisual technology.


THE FULL PITCH

This project saw a new L-Acoustics K1/Kara loudspeaker system designed and installed by local integrator, Electro Acoustics (EA), for the 50,000-capacity stadium. According to EA Account Manager, Ryan Walker, who has been with the firm for 20 years, the project actually marked the second L-Acoustics system to be installed on TCU’s campus. In 2015, the company installed a highly effective Kara loudspeaker system paired with SB18i subwoofers at the school’s Garvey-Rosenthal Soccer Stadium, home to the popular Lady Frogs women’s soccer team. “After discussions with Ryan and Chris [Jordan, EA President], as well as our own experience with L-Acoustics at our soccer venue, we knew it would be the right choice for our football stadium,” said TCU Senior Associate Athletic Director, Ross Bailey, who also oversees Facilities & Operations. When the university revealed that it would be installing a much larger 5,500 sq ft video display at the top of the north end-zone seating section at ‘The Carter’, the EA team reached out to L-Acoustics’ Sports Facilities Application Manager, Gino Pellicano, for product guidance and Soundvision design assistance. “Working to maximum height requirements, the new video board - a massive 100 plus ft wide and nearly 50 ft tall took most of the space, leaving less than 12 ft to hang our loudspeaker arrays in the area above the display,” Ryan

062

recalled. “With such tight space constraints, we needed a

On the underside of the display, six short-throw X12

fairly compact loudspeaker system that could still throw

enclosures provide downfill coverage to the areas in

500 ft and push 95 to 98dB at that distance when needed.

the shadow of the video board. Furthermore, 12 LA12X

Gino suggested that we use the K1 which, to my knowledge,

and seven LA4X amplified controllers power the entire

is the only solution on the market that could check each of

loudspeaker complement, which is also networked via a

those required boxes for us.”

new Milan-compliant P1 AVB processor.

EA Systems Designer, Steve Burge, worked with Gino on

With the new audio system commissioned and ready for

the design of the football stadium’s new system, which

the Horned Frogs’ season opener in late August of 2019,

currently features three centrally positioned K1 arrays, each

Ryan noted that the sonic improvement was immediately

comprised of six enclosures firing down the field to cover

apparent, even to untrained ears: “Everyone notices the

the far southern half of the bowl. To address the fans on the

clarity of the L-Acoustics system, which is so much better

closer northern half, a total of 16 smaller Kara enclosures

than what was in there previously.

were also flown directly above the video board. These were

“The funny thing is that everyone thinks that this system

divided into arrays of seven, five, and four enclosures,

is louder than the old one. It’s certainly capable of being

tailored to the unique heights of the nearby seating stands.

much louder, but they’re now averaging between 88 and

Dual hangs of five SB28 subwoofers are flown behind the

90dB for games, which is actually quieter than they ran

centre K1 array for low frequency impact, and all of the

their old rig. Plus, the comment that I’ve heard over and

arrays are visually concealed behind a scrim emblazoned

over is, ‘I can finally understand what the announcers and

with the home team’s moniker.

refs are saying!’”

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THE FULL PITCH

Ross from TCU echoed Ryan’s sentiments: “I would say that the sound

“From there, we installed our new Click Effects PRIME system, as well

is clearer without having to be louder, and that’s a big improvement for

as reconfiguring and updating what we had previously in the stadium.

our fan base.”

They use that as their graphics content management system, so that is

Although Gino confirmed that the Soundvision model predictions very

what’s driving what is being display on those new LED displays.

accurately matched the performance of the real-world system, Ryan also

“The ChyronHego system is also going to feed the statistical data, too,

verified those results with his own ears.

so, headshot data, out of town scores and so on – that is fed through,

“I was very surprised and impressed with how even and consistent the

with the ability to for live video as well. They’re using our system for the

sound is throughout the entire stadium. The transition between the Kara

complete run of show.”

and K1 coverage areas is so smooth that it’s almost imperceptible, even

With the new Click Effects PRIME system in place, Amon G. Carter

when you’re listening for the changeover.

Stadium has shown that it can fuel the main video displays without

“We had a very similar positive experience when we installed a K2

doing a complete overhaul.

system at the new Dickies Arena here in town last year, and now two of

“They have been long-standing customers, which is huge as they

Fort Worth’s premier venues have premium L-Acoustics solutions for an

really value our products,” added Jennifer. “It’s a good representation

enhanced audience experience,” added Ryan.

of utilising existing equipment, while also upgrading to our latest

The visual element of Amon G. Carter Stadium was in the hands of

equipment. Also, the benefit in the future is that when they do decide

Southpaw Sports & Entertainment, who oversaw the completion of

to upgrade those existing systems, it will be an easy transition for us.”

the main videoboard in the north end zone. With the 5,500 sq ft video

With the new, larger LED displays, and an upgraded ChyronHego

display in place, there was a transition in terms of the style of content

system now offering much more dynamic, striking visuals, paired

that would be shown on the new board, which is where ChyronHego

with state-of-the-art audio from L-Acoustics, Amon G. Carter is a

came to be part of the project.

totally different prospect for both the home fans and travelling teams.

Jennifer Paonessa, Senior Account Executive at ChyronHego, takes up

The atmosphere has been elevated, creating an incredible experience

the story: “Southpaw has been the LED screen provider and integrator

that will only get better as the venue completes its various phases of

at TCU for a very long time – and we have been involved as part of that

development in the future.

as well. They have actually had our old Click Effects system throughout the years. So, when it came to this project, with the new, much larger screens in place, we were asked to come in and help.

SYSTEM INTEGRATORS: Electro Acoustics, Southpaw Sports & Entertainment | BRANDS: L-Acoustics, ChyronHego | WEBSITES: www.eavi.com, www.southpawlive.com, www.l-acoustics.com, www.chyronhego.com 064

WWW.MONDOSTADIA.COM


THE FULL PITCH

NEW CLARK CITY SPORTS HUB Capas, The Philippines Images: Outline & Daktronics

N

ew Clark City Sports Hub is a multisport complex located in Capas, The Philippines. The 22,000-capacity facility, which includes an athletics stadium, an aquatics centre and an athletes’ village, was built in 2018, and has provided

the city with a one-stop sporting shop for local athletes to train and compete. The venue has accommodated prestigious sporting events, too, including the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, which saw the venue play host to the athletics and aquatics championships, as well as the phenomenal closing ceremony. A multipurpose sporting hub of this size is, of course, matched with stunning architecture, as the athletics stadium, designed and implemented by Budji + Royal Architecture + Design, takes inspiration from the crater of the country’s Mount Pinatubo volcano. The technology across New Clark City Sports Hub also lives up to the high expectations of the venue, with an array of manufacturers involved, including Outline, Daktronics and Finish Lynx. Focussing on the audio side of the project, the athletics stadium now hosts an impressive new Outline STADIA PA system, composed of 30 loudspeaker enclosures powered by eight Outline GTA Otto (Dante) power amplifiers. The system was installed by Amigo Entertainment Technologies, Outline’s distributor for the Philippines. Amigo was also responsible for installing an Outline STADIA PA in the leading-edge New Clark City Sports Hub’s IAAF-certified Class 1 Aquatics Center. “We have an established reputation and leadership in the audio, video and lighting industry here in the Philippines, after being in operation for over 40 years now,” explained Amando Nieva Zamora, CEO of Amigo Technologies. “With the New Clark City Sports Hub, we were responsible for installing the Outline audio system, as well as the scoreboards and LED lighting systems across the entire venue. We installed the latest Outline STADIA mid to long throw loudspeaker system for excellent SPL, directivity, coverage, high clarity and definition. We also utilised the Dante digital audio design for minimising signal losses.” Amigo has been delivering results since it was established in 1979, under the name First Audio Resources & Management Corporation, providing audio and visual technology for commercial and industrial


068

applications. To this day, the company continues to lead

Regarding the choice of brand for this high-profile

the field with innovative ventures, including ongoing major

installation, carried out just in time for the Games, Amando

projects such as the SM Group of Companies, Okada Casino

continued: “To handle this key project, which featured

Resort Hotel, Alloy MTD Philippines and the Department of

some challenging aspects, such as the fact that the building

Tourism Philippines. The company’s impressive portfolio of

consists almost entirely in acoustically reflective products

projects in a wide variety of fields now extends beyond the

such as steel and glass, we decided to install an Outline

Philippines to include Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives,

rig for the Italian manufacturer’s proven leadership in

Singapore, USA, Guam and Vietnam.

the audio field and the fact that we are familiar with the

A respected and renowned specialist in various aspects of

system’s superior quality.”

entertainment operations, Amando furthered: “Throughout

Amigo also revamped the facility’s LED display system

our years of intensive research and growth in our industry,

and installed four Daktronics 10mm displays – two for the

we have developed a premium line of products and services

stadium and two for the aquatics centre. The stadium LED

to suit every client’s needs, and now supply audio, video,

displays measured 8.64-metres high by 13.44-metres wide

lighting, SFX and sports facility equipment, as well as

and the aquatics centre boards measured 4.8-metres by

providing services such as AVL integration, software

7.68-metres.

development and electrical design and installation.”

“We were only given 120 days to complete the installation

The stadium’s PA system is formed by Outline STADIA

from scratch, which proved difficult,” furthered Amando.

100 LA enclosures, a range that comprises three two-way

“We had to work with work-in-process civil, mechanical

loudspeaker modules with similar dimensions, identical

and electrical contractors, when the usual practice is for the

horizontal directivity (100°) and either 10°, 20° or 30°

audiovisual work to start after all the civil, mechanical and

vertical dispersion, enabling them to ensure ideal coverage

electrical works are completed. However, we completed the

for any location, as system designers can deploy them to

project with ease and the whole complex is now looking

create sound reinforcement solutions that have excellent

and sounding really great!”

long-throw accuracy, thus keeping audible reflections and

New Clark City Sports Hub needed timing systems and

reverberation to a minimum.

scoreboards that provided the venue with accurate records

WWW.MONDOSTADIA.COM


THE FULL PITCH

for high-class events and games. Finish Lynx, a sports technology company that specialises in fully automatic timing systems, line-scan cameras and athlete tracking technology for sports markets across the world, was brought in to equip the venue with the precise technology it needed. “For this project, we supplied timing and results equipment for the athletics stadium,” explained Doug DeAngelis, President of Lynx System Developers. As some of the vendors weren’t familiar with this kind of sports technology, we also had to provide them with proper consultative suggestions and recommendations to meet and

provide a reverse angle view of close finishes. Both of the

exceed to the bid requirements.”

cameras include EasyAlign video alignment mode, remote

Finish Lynx uses digital line scan technology to produce

control lenses, and high-resolution captures up to 2,000

more accurate and precise photo-finish results for sport.

frames per second. The primary Vision camera also has

Founded in 1992 by Doug, the company has supplied

premium features like LuxBoost low-light capture mode, an

powerful results technology at major sporting events across

electronic level, an internal battery backup, and electronic

the globe, including the Olympic Trials and Tour de France.

filter control. The package also provides a mounting pole,

For New Clark City, Finish Lynx supplied customisable

remote camera and lens adjustments, and the network COM

solutions for the venue that aimed to improve athletes’

port plug-in to interface with multiple serial devices.

results, Doug furthered: “As the first and largest worldwide

Also installed was the the LaserLynx electronic distance

provider of digital photo-finish and timing connected to

measurement unit with handheld computers running the

scoreboards and databases, we have 28 years of experience

FieldLynx event management programme. The FieldLynx

creating solutions for customers in this space. It is also

software is pre-programmed with the offset radii for all

our only business, and we have experience using our own

the standard events, including; shot put, discus, javelin,

equipment in the field, which makes it easier for us to

hammer, etc. The unit has the ability to measure, calculate

understand the needs of the customer.

and display an athlete’s mark in a matter of seconds. All of

“For this particular project, it was an iterative process

this information was displayed on Lynx’s Infield displays,

that started by providing the vendor with technical

which are available in one, two, or three-sided units

and budgetary information for a variety of standard

and integrate seamlessly with FinishLynx photo-finish

configurations. The customer was then able to confidently

technology to display live results throughout the venue. The

customise these by selecting a combination of equipment

video scoreboards are perfect for indoor or outdoor venues

that meets the needs of the competitions they are planning

with a sturdy weather-proof design and bright LED panels.

to hold but still fit their budget.”

The new installation at New City Clark Sports Hub has

Finish Lynx carried out a smooth installation in New

made sure that the venue is full of innovative technology

Clark City Sports Hub without any major challenges. The

that will provide athletes and onlookers with an enhanced

innovative two-camera, photo-finish system works to

gameday experience, whether they’re on or off the pitch.

INSTALLER: Amigo Entertainment Technologies | BRANDS: Outline, Daktronics, Finish Lynx | WEBSITES: www.amigoentech.com, www.outline.it, www.daktronics.com, www.finishlynx.com 069


WFS LIVE POWERED BY OCTAGON he sport industry is facing its biggest challenge in history due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. All major competitions have been forced to pause for over two months and it is highly likely some of them will not resume at all, enforcing multi-million losses across the industry. Among others, the UEFA Champions League, the NBA and the NHL have had to postpone their respective plans to restart several times over the past few weeks and it remains uncertain when and under what conditions they will be able to resume. Until a vaccine is available, travel and restrictions on large public gatherings will remain in place all over the world. This ‘new normal’ will inevitably lead to a significant decrease in some traditional revenue streams, forcing all stakeholders to rethink business models and pursue new opportunities. This will require the industry’s major players to come together and join forces like never before in order to overcome these obstacles and explore new opportunities. That communal response will begin at WFS Live powered by Octagon – the first virtual event that will bring together the entirety of the global football industry’s leaders in one place. Top executives from clubs, leagues, federations, broadcasters, agencies and sponsorship brands from every continent will band side by side to lay sound foundations for the sport to continue growing into a new era. From 6-9 July, more than 50 leaders will address crucial issues such as; how to adapt mass events and venues to the new sanitary context, the need to enhance digital tools to further monetise fan engagement, the best strategies to capitalise on the growing eSports industry, and how to develop new non-linear content formats to engage fans and add value to sponsors while competitions are paused. WFS Live powered by Octagon will include all features that make the WFS Series the largest and most appreciated networking events in the global football landscape, attracting key decision-makers over the years such as Fatma Samoura, Secretary General of FIFA; Andrea Agnelli, Chairman of Juventus and the European Club Association (ECA); Peter Moore, CEO of Liverpool FC; and Javier Tebas, President of LaLiga; as well as leading partners like Amazon, Banco Santander, Budweiser, and Facebook. This time, however, to the top speakers and the premium networking it will add an entire new range of opportunities powered by the latest AI-driven tools, as well as unprecedented participation from a truly global audience. WFS Live powered by Octagon is the result of a unique partnership between three global benchmarks in the sport industry: World Football Summit, football’s leading networking platform and event organiser; Octagon Brasil, global leader in sports and entertainment management and marketing; and Ronaldo Nazário, one of the best players the game has ever seen, President of Octagon Brasil and owner of LaLiga’s Real Valladolid. Ronaldo is at the forefront of the new wave of

T

070

young executives storming the industry thanks to both a deep knowledge of the game and their solid training in the field of management and administration. “The importance of World Football Summit for the global football industry is irrefutable. It provides a multi-stakeholder dialogue; encourages networking; fosters discussions about technologies, innovations and the future of that market; and generates business opportunities. I have been to the summit with Real Valladolid and now I am honoured to promote the event with Octagon Brasil,” explained Ronaldo. “We are in a pandemic scenario and there are many social, economic, cultural and political impacts. Unsurprisingly, football has not escaped the effects of the outbreak and, therefore, the event is even more necessary. WFS Live powered by Octagon has already confirmed the participation of big names in the industry and will have an unprecedented reach – from home, everyone will be able to follow, contribute and enjoy a whole world of possibilities.” WFS Live powered by Octagon aims to contribute to the growth of the industry, but also to support those communities that have been most severely hit by coronavirus. That’s why all net proceeds will be donated to Fundação Fenômenos, created by Ronaldo in 2012, which promotes social projects aiming to improve living conditions of communities across Brasil, and the Common Goal COVID-19 Response Fund, which will help deliver essential support to more than 200 communities across 90 countries and continue supporting vulnerable youth post-crisis. Jan Alessie, Director of WFS, commented: “At World Football Summit, our goal has always been to provide the industry with the best possible platform to come together and explore new growth opportunities. We believe that in the current context this role is more important than ever. Unprecedented challenges call for unprecedented action. That’s what this unique partnership is all about. Combining Octagon’s enormous prestige and unmatchable network, the unrivalled leadership of Ronaldo and our experience hosting and managing events, we are sure that WFS Live powered by Octagon will kick off a new era for football.” Eduardo Baraldi, CEO of Octagon Brasil, added: “It is very important for us at Octagon Brasil to be involved in an event of this magnitude, especially at a time like the current one. It is a unique opportunity to connect the market, share content and, of course, contribute to the debate about what the world of football will look like in the coming years. Besides, of course, the unique opportunity to form a partnership with World Football Summit, a reference in football congresses in the world, and to be side by side with Ronaldo, with whom we share so many projects at Octagon.” Tickets for WFS Live powered by Octagon will be released in the coming days. In the meantime, you can register your interest at live.worldfootballsummit.com.


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12 VENUE FOCUS

LIGHTING 074 Opel Arena | Mainz, Germany 078 DW Stadium | Wigan, England 082 Fairground Speedway | Nashville, Tennessee

SEATING 084 Vaudoise Arena | Lausanne, Switzerland

FAN EXPERIENCE 088 Advent Round-Up | USA


LIGHTING

OPEL ARENA Mainz, Germany Images: Zumtobel Group

O

pel Arena, Mainz, was built in 2011 as the new home of 1. FSV Mainz 05. The distinctive, red-arched stadium has recently held various games as part of the 2020 Bundesliga championships, as well as becoming an

event venue and a new figurehead of the city. It was constructed to provide panoramic views of Mainz and its surrounding nature with four steep one-tier stands and open corners – these features making Opel Arena a standout venue in German football stadium design. The 34,000-capacity arena aims to unite the spirit of traditional football, while providing a modern functioning sporting venue for fans. More recently, the venue’s lighting was renovated to fully enhance the fan experience and implement the modern mantra that FSV Mainz 05 is focussed on. Thorn Lighting – a member of the Zumtobel Group – was tasked with the installation of the new LED floodlight system and main stand lighting addition. The progressive lighting upgrade, which was implemented as a turnkey solution, fulfils the raised requirements for the German Football League (DFL) in time for the 2019/2020 season as well as UEFA Elite Level A. For Thorn, the challenge involved designing and implementing a lighting solution that would serve the club well into the future. As an experienced and trusted global supplier of professional, as well as recreational sports lighting solutions, Thorn specialises in customised illumination systems for virtually all types of indoor and outdoor facilities – from large-scale stadiums and event arenas to small-scale practice fields. Its modern lighting solutions are designed for low energy consumption and easy maintenance as well as aesthetics and optical performance, highlighting the action on the pitch and the stadium experience as a whole.


A key factor that influenced the club’s decision was the

resistant luminaires were installed to provide additional

turnkey service offering of the Zumtobel Group. As a result,

brightness to the stand lighting system.

all of the project steps and deliverables were managed by

DMX interfaces that use the existing IT infrastructure

a single point of contact, including the initial assessment

as a backbone enable real-time control of the floodlight

of the floodlight installation and facility, development of a

system, including dynamic lighting effects and activation

tailored lighting concept, the project planning, installation,

of individual luminaires from any point within the stadium.

coordination with other contractors, control programming

The DALI controls used for the Aquaforce stand lighting

as well as the commissioning. It also meant that the club

system are integrated with the floodlight control system via

could be assured that the project would be conducted

gateways. They allow for brightness dimming to any level

smoothly, cost-effectively and quickly.

and on/off switching.

“Although it was the first project that we undertook

As Jens Lohse, Sales Office Manager at Zumtobel Frankfurt,

together with the Zumtobel Group, the cooperation was

pointed out: “Given our extensive experience with stadium

very smooth,” explained Stephan Bandholz, FSV Mainz

lighting systems, our industry expertise and broadly

05 Deputy Director Organisation / Head of Security. “We

diversified portfolio of advanced lighting solutions, we’re

signed the contract in June and switched on our new light

able to offer customers complete turnkey solutions. More

installation in August. We’re very pleased with the result.

and more of them are taking of advantage of these.”

The Zumtobel Group assured us that they would handle

The new installation at Opel Arena has provided the club

of all of the project details, and that’s precisely what they

with a top solution that more than satisfied the DFL

did. The installation was handed over to us fully tested and

illuminance requirements. Thorn finished the entire

operational. It doesn’t get any easier and more convenient

installation within the given time frame and to the

than that!”

complete satisfaction of the customer.

The future-proof lighting system provided by Thorn had

“We opted to take advantage of Zumtobel Group’s turnkey

to meet the requirements of UEFA Level A lighting, which

service,” concluded Stephan. “And we’re glad that we

calls for illuminance levels greater than 1,500 lux horizontal

did. They coordinated everything and made certain that

and greater than 1,250 lux vertical. As well as this, lighting

the project was conducted smoothly, efficiently, cost-

guidelines for high cameras specified by the DFL required

effectively and on time.”

levels of 1,600 lux and more. Forming the backbone of the

For Thorn, the Opel Arena in Mainz provided an excellent

installation are 220 high-powered Thorn Altis floodlights,

opportunity to, once again, demonstrate its stadium

all of which combined far exceed the new illuminance

lighting experience and capabilities – as it already had at

level requirements of the German Football League for the

venues like the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, Germany,

2019/2020 season. The brilliant colour rendering (CRI

the stadium Estadio Alberto Jacinto Armando – usually

86, TLCI > 80), uniform light distribution and flicker-

called ‘La Bombonera’ in Buenos Aires, Argentina and

free operation make the 5,700K LEDs ideal for HDTV

others. New projects are already planned for Thorn, but, for

broadcasting. They also support super slow-motion camera

now, its focusses are on the successes of stunning projects

images. In addition, 163 Aquaforce Pro moisture and dust-

such as the Opel Arena.

INSTALLER: Zumtobel Group | BRAND: Thorn | WEBSITES: www.zumtobelgroup.com, www.thornlighting.co.uk 076

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LIGHTING

077


LIGHTING

DW STADIUM Wigan, England Images: Robe

E

vent production specialist, Leisuretec UK, headed by Phil Jameson, has utilised imagination and resources to light up Wigan’s DW Stadium in a variety of vibrant colour combinations to show support for the National Health

Service (NHS), essential workers and various community initiatives, as everyone pulls together to beat the COVID-19 pandemic. The venue, home to both Wigan Athletic Football Club and Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club, counts Leisuretec UK as the preferred event technical supplier, which entails providing kit, services and crew for numerous corporate activities – often around two to three events per week throughout the year. With those events and other projects on hold, the idea of utilising lighting fixtures started at the Leisuretec UK warehouse in support of the UK’s weekly ‘Clap For Carers’ action, which Phil illuminated with their 12 Robe Pointes. The warehouse is in a mixed industrial / residential area, so it was a surprise when local residents began to notice the lighting and came out for a better look.


LIGHTING

During the COVID-19 crisis, light and luminescence have

The following week, Phil suggested leaving the lights in place

become a sign of hope, resilience, and unity as everyone

with a view to devising a red, white and blue lighting scheme

battles to flatten their curves and control infection rates

for the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

across the world.

Phil, along with Programmer, Gareth Whittle, also created

The positive reaction to the display led to Leisuretec UK

some other variants, including gobos and prisms in swirling

proposing a pilot to DW Stadium’s Venue Manager, Andy

geometric shapes and effects, covering the pitch, which

Birch, to see how the lighting would look in place at a local

brought a totally new dimension to the large flat surface.

landmark.

Leisuretec UK’s Pointes were purchased around six years ago

For the first week, the 12 Pointe fixtures were positioned on

after being highly recommended by several other people in

the roof of the stadium’s retail area, blasting beams into the

the industry. Since then, they have been in constant use on

sky to spectacular effect.

Leisuretec UK’s normally busy work schedule, which includes

For the second week, Leisuretec UK decided to take the lights

supplying concerts and shows with audio, staging, rigging

inside the stadium and shot beams in the air, as well as

and power distribution, as well as lighting.

projecting a rainbow and other colouring onto the roof gantry

“They have been an absolutely excellent multi-purpose

of the East Stand. Phil said that he is “always impressed”

fixture and a great investment,” added Phil. “Even now, after

by the sheer power and resonance of the Pointe beams, no

six years, I’m not running out of things to do with them.”

matter how many times he sees the lights in action.

BRAND: Robe | DISTRIBUTOR: Leisuretec | WEBSITES: www.robe.cz, www.leisuretec.co.uk 080

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LIGHTING

NASHVILLE FAIRGROUNDS SPEEDWAY Nashville, Tennessee Images: AEON LED

T

he Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway finished

said: “In past seasons, we’ve had to redirect lights from

its install of AEON LED Luminaires on the

the turns and quarter-mile to compensate for the poor

front stretch of the site. It is preparing to

lighting on the main straight. Now, with these new

start on its 63rd season of asphalt racing and

LEDs, we can properly illuminate the front straight away

when the track opens this year, drivers and spectators

and aim some of the corner lights back to their originally

will notice a difference. The speedway completed

intended positions”.

and installed 40 of the 520W AEON LED Luminaires

Not only does adequate lighting ensure the safety of

across the front edge of the canopy covering the main

drivers and their crews, but it provides security to

grandstands.

spectators and makes the overall experience more

AEON’s patented design and proprietary glare-free

enjoyable. That was the goal that Track Enterprises and

illumination makes the facility pop. AEON LED offers a

D&D envisioned when they made the lighting upgrade to

high colour rendition showing true colours with a CRI

AEON LED.

>85 that makes colours appear how they were meant to

“The new lighting project is designed to not only

be seen.

enhance the spectator viewing experience, but it is yet

With the unified glare rating (UGR) <19, the Luminaire

another measure towards the drive for a safer speedway

is easy on the eyes, with no uncomfortable sensation or

initiated by Track Enterprises and D&D Events,”

visual discomfort for drivers and spectators.

explained Scott.

The AEON difference is noticeable: “The front straight

The Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway also had broadcast

has taken on a whole new look,” exclaimed D&D Events

in mind, so there was another added benefit of switching

CEO, Randy Dyce.

to AEON LED as the company’s luminaires exceed

Even on social media, people were taking notice of the

4K broadcasting standards. With DirTVision.com and

upgrade to the Historic Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

Speed51.com broadcasting tracks is made easy. The

Most notably was the American driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

lighting upgrade to Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway

Scott Menlen, General Manager of Nashville Fairgrounds

makes broadcasting from the track ideal.

Speedway, said: “The Speedway had dark spots in turns

AEON LED is proud to partner with Nashville Fairgrounds

one and four of the five-eighths mile and the back

Speedway and be a Lighting Solution for the facility.

straight of the quarter mile.”

The AEON Luminaires are available in five different

AEON LED offered a solution that had multiple NEMA

LED delivered Lumen Packages: 33,100lm, 44,100lm,

beam spreads for even light distribution and for equal

62,100lm, 73,500lm & 105,000lm.

coverage of light. Light Uniformity makes it easier to

AEON also delivers an industry-leading 140 Delivered

see, increasing the Speedway’s safety. The Fairgrounds

Lumens per Watt. The AEON Luminaire also has Multi-

Nashville Senior Maintenance Manager, David Lewis,

Voltage Options: 100-277VAC and 347-480VAC.

BRAND: AEON LED | WEBSITE: www.aeonledlighting.com 083


SEATING

VAUDOISE ARENA Lausanne, Switzerland Images: Insitual

V

audoise Arena is a new multisport indoor arena located in Lausanne, Switzerland. It was built to host the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics, with the large-scale complex

including three ice rinks (the main ice rink, a training field and an outdoor ice rink), four swimming pools, fencing and table tennis centres, as well as conference and seminar rooms. For all of these spaces, Insitual designed, manufactured and installed different arena seating solutions, including the equipment for press areas, which were designed and customised specifically for this venue. This project was a challenging installation for the Insitual team for many reasons. Insitual is a brand of Daplast, a well-known specialist company involved in stadium seating for sports facilities. Insitual offers turnkey project management comprising integral solutions, managed with own resources, from the analysis of the project to the installation itself. The Vaudoise Arena hold 8,000 arena seats, a press area with 61 places and a press conference hall comprising 28 VIP Energy chairs. Insitual installed its own series of Avatar seats throughout the venue, which consisted of Avatar Basic, Avatar Suite, and VIP Energy chairs. Tables for the designated press areas were also specially designed according to the limited space available: with two seats rotating 360ยบ, allowing free movement in a narrow space. The Insitual team worked proposing technical solutions to the construction management team from very early on in the project, collecting requirements from the client, and providing alternatives and economical


SEATING

proposals. Its technical department worked on different

essential to guarantee the quality and durability of the

proposals during several months until the project was

products. The client then received samples of each new

finally accepted in May, 2018.

product to evaluate them and give their approval.

The main aim of the installation was to design seating

In this case, as may occur with projects under construction,

audiences responsibly, according to current regulations and

the work underwent several changes in its completion

in a comfortable and safe way for spectators. The seating

deadlines, so the Insitual team adjusted the manufacturing

solution also had to be in line with the best aesthetic

and installation schedules several times, which meant it

configuration for the whole venue. Insitual’s focus in this

also adjusted schedules with other ongoing projects. It is

project was predominantly on seating but it also had to

a challenge that teams solve frequently, however thanks

make sure the best seating was distributed well in each

to experience and control of its own production resources,

area.

Insitual is flexible when faced with unexpected changes

Because of this, part of Insitual’s technical team travelled

thrown its way.

to Switzerland to verify the exact measures of each

The first stage of the installation began in December

grandstand. In July 2018, its team developed all the

2018 and ended in July 2019, as it was carried out in

technical drawings of the spaces where seats were going to

several phases during those months. As arena seating is

be installed, alongside the press areas, and press conference

an equipment that must be installed almost at the end of

hall. Securing all the detailed information that it needed,

construction works, Insitual worked to the installation

the team began the design of all the solutions in seating

planning schedule according to construction.

and complements.

The company’s legal and personnel departments also played

Insitual designed a new set for the press area with various

an important role at this stage, since Swiss regulations

functionalities: cabling spaces, 360º rotating seats, two

require a workplace to open during construction. This

seats per table, and two pivot points on tables 60cm deep,

allowed the Insitual team to develop its installation works.

which adapted to the existing space and allowed freedom of

Vaudoise Arena is a multipurpose venue so, in addition to

movement even in a very narrow area.

hockey games, the arena hosts Lausanne HC of the National

Once the definitive solution was confirmed by the client,

League, as well as playing host to concerts and other

all the necessary processes were planned to carry it out:

shows. One of the most important requirements for Insitual

production, installation schedule, etc – all this developed

was making part of the fixed seats easily removable. The

in continuous communication with Insitual and the client,

installed solution is Avatar Basic seats, fixed on Halfen

taking into account deadlines in each phase.

metal rails, which means they are very easy to install and

For example, in the engineering phase, product prototypes

remove in case the audience capacity is standing according

were developed, as well as materials and final products

to the event. The installation at the Vaudoise Arena has

being tested in Insitual’s laboratories and external

been a success and looks to serve and accommodate the

laboratories (Aidimme Laboratory). Every process was

diverse range of shows and events for some time.

BRAND: Insitual | WEBSITE: www.insitual.com 086

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CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR ARENA AND STADIUM WINNERS!

ARENA WINNER

COCA-COLA ARENA

SPONSORS

STADIUM WINNER

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR STADIUM


ADVENT ROUND UP Nashville, Tennessee Images: Advent

W

088

ith over 20 years of industry experience and more than

is web-based, meaning guests are not required to download an app to

2,000 projects to refine its process, Advent, an experience

connect to the controls, simplifying the user experience. Furthermore,

creation firm based in Nashville, is a company at the core of

the screen has three ‘phone-control’ stations so three guests are able

a variety of stadium-based projects across the US. Creating

to navigate content at once. When not in use, a motion graphic overlays

unique, engagement strategies through the use of inventive, interactive

the entire screen, appearing as one large video wall, which can be

displays, Advent can change the fan experience, incorporating elements

programmed for non-gameday events.

of engagement through motion-sensory technology, video tunnels and

Advent’s Vice President of Strategic Solutions, John Downie, noted:

interactive digital screens.

“Fans expect a connected, digital experience that goes beyond

Diving deeper into some of its recent projects, Advent believes connected

what they’re used to. In a world with increasing interactions and

technology is a focal point for the evolving fan experience within

fleeting micro-moments of attention, we are constantly focussed on

stadiums and arenas. Donald W. Williams Razorback Stadium, home

using technology in unexpected ways to make an interaction more

to the University of Arkansas football team, recently installed a digital

memorable.”

experience aimed to further engage the fan and features first-to-market

Originally installed as a static digital screen, the University of Arkansas

technology.

needed the Hall of Honor to be a destination for fans. With static

Within the Arkansas Hall of Honor, positioned in the South Endzone of

displays throughout, the university desired a level of interactive

the stadium, is a 23.6-inch x six-inch interactive digital screen. The

technology. Directives for the digital experience were to be unique, easy

screen invites guests to scan a QR code using their smartphone camera

to operate, informative and engaging.

to control the screen’s content, with options to search bios, photos and

Advent has also introduced motion-sensory technology in the form of

videos of 287 inductees and view championship videos. The connection

interactive games at the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters, The Star –

WWW.MONDOSTADIA.COM


FAN EXPERIENCE

another example of engaging technology the company has created.

ground in the Dr Pepper Ring of Honor Walk. Part shopping centre and

Beyond being the organisation’s home for the other 355 days of the year,

part museum, the entire experience contributes to a significant increase

the headquarters needed to be open to the public, to offer amenities, and

in retail foot traffic.

to raise the bar on fan experience. And none of that comes for free. The

Inside the building, the history of the Cowboys is interspersed with team

Cowboys engaged Advent to envision experiences that would impress

messaging, player spaces and team offices. Along the public tour route

sponsors and create viable revenue streams.

Advent devised, fans learn that the results are inseparable from the

The Cowboys planned the 91-acre campus to allow fans of all ages to

culture and the process.

engage with the franchise in a variety of ways. Throughout the facility,

Two displays in particular create ‘wow moments’ for visitors and

Advent created experiences to serve each audience member through

players alike. The player touchstone, the Cowboys Star that players tap

graphics and displays, digital experiences, strategic walk paths and

as they leave the locker room for the practice field, includes a three ft,

sponsor partnerships.

500-pound Cowboys logo. Elsewhere, a key moment in NFL history is

Even without entering the building, visitors can gather and interact with

immortalised through a sculpture suspended by 18 individual aircraft

the Cowboys brand. At interactive kiosks in Tostitos Plaza, fans compete

cables. Clips of quarterback Roger Staubach throwing what he dubbed

in games as NFL running backs and quarterbacks via motion capture.

a “Hail Mary” pass to win a playoff game for the Cowboys are shown

They can leap, dive and juke like a running back and hit receivers in

on acrylic panels in the primary staircase. The experience typifies the

stride with pinpoint passes like their favourite Dallas quarterback. And in

directive within The Star, to allow fans to walk through history at every

other kiosks, fans can challenge each other with up to 300 questions of

point in the building.

Cowboys trivia. Meanwhile, the outdoor retail environment comes alive

The LA Rams Premiere Center was another exciting project for Advent.

with Cowboys history, as dimensional jersey numbers emerge from the

A sales centre for potential luxury suite buyers and corporate sponsors,

089


FAN EXPERIENCE

the Premiere Center opens to a 20-screen video tunnel with a higher

guests into suiteholders, and to turn VIPs into lifelong fans.

definition than IMAX. From there, guests are taken to a 30-inch x

The massive acrylic model is designed to grow and evolve with the

40-inch white campus model of the LA Stadium and Entertainment

campus. As new architecture comes into play, pieces of the model can be

District (LASED). Projection mapping overlays the model with fans in

replaced to suit and the projection mapping can be adjusted.

the stadium, cars on the street and a realistic model of the layout of the

The model room provides the visitor with a giant’s aerial view of the

district.

entire 298-acre campus, complete with interactive projection mapping

The Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District is a landmark

controlled by the host

complex that is home to both the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles

Finally, Advent worked closely on the Stanford Home of Champions,

Chargers. Team representatives, as well as the site developers, needed

creating media displays that allow a deeper fan/player interaction. Inside

to sell luxury suites, corporate partnerships, real estate and naming

the hall of fame for Stanford, built in an existing basketball gym, is a

rights in a sales centre that met everyone’s needs with efficiency, style

bookshelf with names of more than 15,000 lettermen and women. The

and a finish level worthy of Hollywood royalty - and without branding

athletes are broken down by sport, by name, by decade within a tactile,

specifically to one team.

analogue book that can be set on an interactive table. The table displays

The VIP experience begins immediately, at a swooping, curvilinear

the info in the book on a flat touchscreen where guests can read bios of

desk echoing the wave shape of the stadium roof. Guests pass through

athletes and are linked directly to their social media profiles.

a dramatic video tunnel that builds anticipation until the walls behind

With more than 120 years of history, as well as numerous championships,

them open and reveal a massive solid white model of the stadium and

Olympic athletes and trailblazers among its 36 varsity sports, Stanford

its surrounding campus. 12 projectors are aimed at this model, and

University required much more than a room packed with NCAA trophies,

projection mapping provides a colourful and interactive experience,

Directors’ Cups and memorabilia. The Cardinal needed a living,

allowing hosts to show differing kinds of gameplay on the field, the

constantly evolving space to reflect the work ethic, commitment and

location of suites and parking, the effects of seasonal sunlight and traffic

scholarship that define Stanford Athletics.

and more.

The 18,000 sq ft Home of Champions tells the Stanford Athletics story

A virtual suite experience replaces the standard physical floor model,

through areas dedicated to the thrill of the win, the hours put into

with a set of screens processing more than 2.3 billion pixels per second.

training and study, the firsthand stories of student-athletes and alumni,

While guests are treated to a custom tour of a life-size virtual suite,

and the multitude of sports innovations born on the Farm. Reflecting the

they can also touch physical samples of the luxury materials, keeping a

innovative Stanford spirit, the space features cutting-edge interactive

tangible connection.

elements including the hall of fame table, where visitors place printed

From a rooftop garden, to futuristic interactive displays, to a Hollywood-

books of student-athlete rosters to activate a touch-controlled surface

style exclusive ‘swag’ room, Advent delivered a space designed to turn

with photos, stories and more.

COMPANY: Advent | WEBSITE: www.adventmovespeople.com 090


12 EXTRA TIME

PRODUCT FOCUS 092 Yamaha 093 AJA 094 BroaMan

EVENT DIARY 095 Conferences & Exhibitions 096 Venue Tech Directory

FULL TIME 098 David Lewis, Everton FC


EXTRA TIME

YAMAHA | REMOTE CHEERER emote Cheerer powered by SoundUD allows fans following a game remotely – via TV, radio or live stream – to have their cheers, clapping and other sounds of support broadcast at the venue. By tapping buttons on a smartphone application, their chosen sound is delivered via speakers placed around the pitch, court or course, with fans able to choose the part of the venue where their audio is delivered from. For this first test, the system’s usability was tested by placing 58 loudspeaker units around Shizuoka Stadium, Japan, with testers in multiple remote locations outside the stadium sending cheers, applause, booing, club chants and more via the app. It was the first time Remote Cheerer powered by SoundUD had been trialled at an outdoor venue. In a situation without spectators, it proved the usability of the system and its ability to create an atmosphere similar to that of a real match, by using separate audio transmission zones for each club. The system can be used to enhance the interactivity of any event, as Yuki Seto of the SoundUD Group, Cloud Business Department at Yamaha Corporation, explained: “As well as spectatorless matches and those with reduced seating, the system’s new patent-pending technology means people enjoying live concerts, sport, lectures and other events via TV, radio and live streams can use compatible apps to provide their sounds of support at the venue – even if, for example, they live overseas. “Yamaha will continue developing the system, to help create an

R

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environment in which people can enjoy events safely during both normal circumstances and unprecedented times, like those we are in today. We look forward to continuing to work with not only leagues, clubs and stadia, players and supporters to further improve the system.” “I think this revolutionary technology will really encourage players on the field, by making them feel like their supporters are present,” said Hiromi Yanagihara of the Business Strategy Division at Jubilo Co Ltd, the company which administers Júbilo Iwata FC. “We look forward to further collaboration to implement the system at future events.” Junpei Takaki of the Sales Division, S-Pulse Co Ltd agreed, adding: “As a former professional football player, I know how emboldening the support of the fans is to the players on the field. We are eager to continue assisting with the development of the system.” www. yamahaproaudio.com


AJA VIDEO SYSTEMS | KI PRO ULTRA 12G JA Video Systems has announced Ki Pro Ultra 12G, a new single-channel 4K/UltraHD recorder and player, or fourchannel HD recorder, featuring 12G-SDI connectivity with a host of unique and powerful features. Ki Pro Ultra 12G offers single-channel 4K/UltraHD up to 50/60p recording and playback to and from Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHR, with flexible connectivity options including 12G-SDI, HDMI v2.0 and optional fibre input and outputs. Alternatively, Ki Pro Ultra 12G provides up to four channels of simultaneous HD recording up to 1080 50/60p with independent ProRes profiles per channel. “Demand for 12G-SDI solutions is soaring as production professionals strive to create more streamlined workflows with enough bandwidth to carry higher fidelity HDR, high frame rate and 4K/UltraHD signals over a single cable,” said Nick Rashby, President, AJA Video Systems. “Building upon the same framework of the production-proven Ki Pro

A

Ultra Plus, we’ve developed the next-generation Ki Pro Ultra 12G to offer recording and playback of the highest quality video signals with 12G-SDI connectivity to streamline recording and playback – whether on set, in live venues or within a broadcast studio.” Suited for a range of production environments, Ki Pro Ultra 12G includes a host of powerful features including; Flexible HD recording options: one, two, three or four-channel HD recording at up to 1080 60p with independent ProRes codec profile support for each channel, multi-matrix HD video display for up to four channels during record over SDI Monitor out, HDMI out, and on the built-in display, and broad video connectivity including 12G/6G/3G-SDI, HDMI 2.0 and 12G compatible fibre and HD-BNC SFP+ options, as well as much more. www.aja.com

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EXTRA TIME

BROAMAN | MUX22 roaManâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s multipurpose fibre extender for video, audio and intercom, Mux22, is a universal interface, supporting all broadcast industry signals in just a 1RU chassis. By combining HD/3G/6G/12G-SDI I/O with Ethernet, Optocore and SANE digital audio networks, Mux22 provides a compact and highly efficient solution for transporting video, audio and data on just a duplex fibre. Mux22 provides many options: redundancy, frame synchronisation, 10G Ip support and even the option for bespoke, making it suitable for a wide variety of applications. It is an essential device in any OBVan and the perfect fit for all types of high-profile installations. In 2019, BroaMan further extended its successful Mux22 series of devices, with the announcement of the Mux22 FrameSync8, which provides a superior upgrade to traditional frame sync technologies. By using revolutionary advanced timing and transport techniques, the new FrameSync option allows zero-delay frame syncs and auto-adjustment of

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its embedded audio. This addresses a number of problems that began with the use of digital equipment â&#x20AC;&#x201C; notably the infamous lip sync issues and highly irritating delays for actors and conductors in live situations. These are now a thing of the past. Since May this year, Mux22 has been at the cutting edge of technology, with 12G SDI and 10G IP. The 12G addition to the existing 3G support means that BroaMan will not only continue to support 4K SDI transport formats but also routing and transport of high-bandwidth data streams, such as 10G IP traffic for SMPTE 2110. Uniquely, the company offers not only single-mode but also multi-mode options for 12G fibre transport. www.broadcastmanufactur.com


EVENT DIARY 2020/21

World Stadium Congress 1st, 8th, 15th July, Online www.iqpc.com/events-worldstadiumcongress

TheStadiumBusiness Summit 29th - 30th September, Manchester, England www.stadiumbusinesssummit.com

SVG Summit 14th - 15th December, New York, USA www.thesvgsummit.com

Major Events Summit 7th July, Virtual Summit www.majoreventsinternational.com

ALSD International 12th - 13th October, Liverpool, England www.alsdinternational.com

ISE 2021 2nd - 5th February, Barcelona, Spain iseurope.org

Coliseum Europe 2nd - 3rd September, Ascot, England www.coliseum-online.com

Next Generation Audio Summit October, London, England www.svgeurope.org

PLASA Show 6th - 8th September, London, England www.plasashow.com

TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Summit 30th Nov - 2nd Dec, London, England www.stadiumdesignsummit.com

WFS 2020 23rd - 24th September, Madrid, Spain www.worldfootballsummit.com

FutureSPORT 2020 November / December, London, England www.svgeurope.org


VENUE TECH DIRECTORY A closer look at some of the latest, state-of-the-art technology for sporting venues.

CLEAR-COM FREESPEAK EDGE www.clearcom.com • • • • •

High-quality 12 kHz audio with ultra-low latency Utilises the 5GHz band allowing optimal bandwidth for audio and data Designed to work in the most challenging high multipath environments Highly scalable to accommodate the largest productions Customisable and user-configurable for the most complex workflows

DIGITAL PROJECTION SATELLITE MODULAR LASER SYSTEM www.digitalprojection.com • • •

MARSHALL ELECTRONICS CV226 HD LIPSTICK CAMERA www.marshall-usa.com • • • • • 096

New sensor technology improves colour, clarity, and lowlight, and a new ultra-flexible 3GSDI cable Ideal for capturing discreet, all-weather video in professional broadcast television applications Features industry-leading low power consumption and ultralow light technology. Offers focal length and field-of-view flexibility with interchangeable lenses, remote control over RS485, and the convenience of a full-sized coaxial 3G/HD-SDI connection Utilises a brand-new sensor technology with 2.5 million pixels and improved pixel depth to capture clear, crisp, color-accu rate video

WWW.MONDOSTADIA.COM

Suitable for single projector installs to complex, multichannel domes, caves and simulators RGB laser illumination at a cost-effective price point Compact, quiet, light-weight and low power consumption projector ‘head’ offering huge benefits at every stage of a system design, from transportation and installation to serviceability and lifespan By separating the projection ‘head’ from the light source and linking the two by robust and flexible fibre-optic cables up to 100-metres long, space and access are freed


VENUE TECH DIRECTORY

LIVEU LU800 www.liveu.tv • • • • • •

Combines multi-camera production, video and audio capabilities with mission-critical transmission Supports up to four fully frame-synced feeds in high resolution from a single unit Offers high-quality video performance, with up to 4Kp60 10-bit HDR transmission for optimal colour depth Equipped with 16 audio channels for high-end productions Combines superior 5G performance with up to eight 5G internal, dual-SIM modems, supported by high-efficiency internal antennas Managed by the LiveU Central cloud-based management platform and automatically fed into the LiveU Matrix IP content management and distribution workflow

PRONTO CX CONTACTLESS MOBILE WALLET PASS AND LOYALTY SOLUTION FOR APPLE WALLET & GOOGLE PAY www.prontocx.com • • • • • • • •

Faster, easier, and safer conveyance of any credential Convey loyalty/vouchers and payment together in a single tap Surprise and delight your customers with instant rewards Deanonymise your customers and identify your most valuable ones Leverage native tech and bring app-less commerce to your venue Creative, fresh content channel you can use to engage fans at home and fulfill partnership inventory Onboard new customer profiles with validated data in seconds Give it a go using your own iPhone: scan the QR code

EVS LSM-VIA www.evs.com •

Allows simple workflow integration, unique operational macros, and semi-automated functionalities The integrated touchscreen offers fully contextual menus to give operators what they need, when they need it Users can easily organise network records, running order clips and playlists, with direct access at the touch of a button Interacts seamlessly with all VIA-based products to open up exciting new workflows and provide faster and direct access to all the content on the live production network

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F ULL TIME DAVID LEWIS | EVERTON FOOTBALL CLUB Everton FC modernised the video security system at Goodison Park. The club opted for a Dallmeier solution, with the patented Panomera multifocal sensor system. David Lewis, Head of Security and Stadium Safety at Everton FC, looks back on the challenges and reflects on the systemâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success. Why did you upgrade your video surveillance system? The main problems we face on match days in football stadiums are throwing objects, burning pyrotechnics, and other forms of vandalism. We were frustrated that our old video surveillance system was not able to identify offenders so we could impose a stadium ban on them. We had two main risk areas where we wanted to identify offenders and take countermeasures in the event of an incident: One was the guest area, where away fans have regularly thrown objects in the past, and the other was the stadium corner where our supporters and guest fans meet. Why did you choose Dallmeier? We invited a total of five CCTV manufacturers, including Dallmeier, to Goodison Park to present us with a suitable CCTV solution in the form of separate test setups. During the

selection process, Dallmeierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Panomera cameras were able to deliver the highest quality images in both normal daylight and low floodlight, not only live but also recorded at the highest resolution quality in all areas of the image. Another decisive advantage was that the Panomera cameras enable us to capture large areas with only a few systems and zoom into detailed areas even during recording, while maintaining the high-resolution overall view at all times. How have you utilised the Dallmeier Panomera system at Goodison Park? First of all, the Panomera cameras were used to cover the two risk areas mentioned above. This solution was a complete success, so we decided to gradually cover the rest of the stands in the stadium with Panomera in order to be able to penalise less serious incidents such as minor skirmishes, smoking in the stadium, etc. Today, we are able to identify offenders in every single seat in the stadium with only six Panomera cameras. What concrete successes have you achieved with the Dallmeier solution so far? Overall, with the Panomera cameras we have been able to significantly increase our stadium security and reduce the number of incidents. The fans now know that they can be identified and punished if they do something wrong and endanger the safety of their fellow human beings. Nevertheless, there are of course always people who attract negative attention, but with the help of Panomera technology, we can bring them to justice in a timely manner.


Redefining the Stadium Experience


It’s here and it changes everything. FreeSpeak Edge works in the 5GHz bandwidth— beyond what you know about wireless intercom. It extends the entire FreeSpeak™ range, giving you the freedom to think bigger.

Profile for Mondiale Media

mondo | stadia - Issue 12  

The International Publication For Technology In Sporting Venues

mondo | stadia - Issue 12  

The International Publication For Technology In Sporting Venues

Profile for mondiale

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