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Livestrong Sporting Park: Wired for Action in Kansas City

Apr 5, 2011 2:35 PM, by Dan Daley

Intricate coordination among audio, lighting, IT, and architecture gives Major League Soccer a new jewel

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The two videowalls at Livestrong Sporting
Park are comprised of Panasonic 16mm JL16
LED modules.

The two videowalls at Livestrong Sporting Park are comprised of Panasonic 16mm JL16 LED modules.

The contractors weren’t the only ones who felt the time pressure. EAW had to expedite the fabrication process in order to meet the early January installation deadline for the canopy speakers. This was in order to allow the field grass to be installed with enough time to take root. Progressive had a small window of time from the delivery of the speakers until they were to be installed. For the audio system, coordination of the exact speaker locations was just the first step in the process. Next was properly matching the colors to maintain the aesthetics of the seating canopy. Speakers that were set in front of the canopy had to be a light bluegray color, while speakers mounted on a truss needed to be a matching dark blue.

The third step in the speaker installation process required Progressive to create solutions for mounting in some of the more difficult locations. For the clusters that consisted of three EAW AX366-WP enclosures, that meant creating a steel mounting bracket that would straddle the 14”x6” purlins (horizontal structural members in a roof that support the loads from the roof deck or sheathing and are supported by the principal rafters and/or the building walls, steel beams, etc.) that support the roof structure. A steel saddle was developed that sat astride the purlins, offering hangars for the front and rear elevations of the mini-line array clusters.

Weather Issues

Workers assemble the 84’x24’ videowall on the south end of the stadium.

Workers assemble the 84’x24’ videowall on the south end of the stadium.

As if the accelerated schedule was not enough, the soccer stadium was under construction during one of the worst winters on record in the Midwest. In fact, Craig Metzler, president of Progressive, figures it was to Progressive’s advantage to adhere to the mid-January timeline for speaker installation, since it helped get them in before the worst of the snows hit well into February. Using a 130ft. crane to lift PA segments into place, rather than manpower and pulleys, was a smart decision. “At that time the roof was not complete, so we were able to drop things into place instead of having to push them up into place,” says Metzler. “We had gravity working for us instead of against us.”

Another tactic that helped in the face of inclement weather was Turner Construction, the project manager on the stadium, to let Progressive store its fiber cabling in heated storage areas around the work site, rather then leave it out to the elements before installation. “Otherwise, it would have been brittle and harder to work with and that would have slowed us down,” he says.

Sporting Kansas City’s $200 million stadium, along with other planned construction on the site, is expected to generate 8,300 jobs, attract 2.5 million visitors a year, and have an annual economic effect of $500 million, according to the Kansas City Business Journal. But by some of its systems contractors it’ll be remembered as one of the most detailed and tightest-deadline projects they’d ever worked on. “Every bit, down to the screws and the nuts, were modeled and shifted before we were done,” Elwell recalls. “And everything ultimately ended up in the right place.”

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