Community Pumps Up Boston College Alumni Stadium
Sep 5, 2007 12:00 PM
Boston College (BC) is known for passionate sports fans, and being heard over the roar of the enthusiastic crowds at BC’s Alumni Stadium is no easy task. The 45,000-seat stadium recently completed a seven-month sound-system renovation that included a new, state-of-the-art distributed audio system.
The new system utilizes a combination of nearly 300 Community WET and R-Series weather-resistant loudspeakers throughout the venue, including 60 WET2W8 two-way systems and 28 WET920H three-way cabinets, as well as more than 150 R.25 and R.5 horn-loaded two-way systems to cover the general seating areas, concourses, and restrooms. In addition, the 67 skyboxes located around the stadium received new speaker systems.
“The WET and R-Series speakers are as durable and dependable as you can wish for, and that’s the perfect fit for the harsh Boston winters,” says Patrick Nunnally, project manager for All Pro Sound of Pensacola, Fla. The firm worked with acoustical consultants and system designer Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams (WJHW) of Dallas to deliver the stadium’s new system.
New flagpoles above the North and South end zones were custom built to handle the additional weight of the loudspeakers along with a custom lowering device. These devices securely retain the Community R2 loudspeakers and allow them to be lowered to the top of the seating area via a crank device when required. In addition, a total of 10 gallows poles were assembled and installed for the east and west upper grandstands. Both these gallows poles and the lowering devices mean that any speaker can be serviced without complex scaffolding or other costly structure.
The biggest hurdle to overcome with the system renovation was the need to provide sound quality and speech intelligibility to the stadium seating while minimizing spillover to the surrounding neighborhood. “The distributed system designed by Kevin Day of WJHW does an excellent job of providing coverage to the seating while keeping most of the energy in the stadium bowl where it needs to be in this location,” says John Fuqua, director of All Pro Sound. “The immediate neighborhood around Boston College is very close to the stadium, and we took care to minimize spillage by the aiming of the speakers around the perimeter. This included gate-address speakers that provide pre- and post-game announcement reinforcement outside the gate areas. Our team worked hand-in-hand with College staff to put the sound where they wanted it.”
In addition to the Alumni Stadium system renovations, All Pro Sound also completed upgrades to adjacent Conte Forum Arena as well as both baseball and softball fields. The upgrades to Conte Forum included the addition of Community R.25 speakers in the concourse areas, as well as moving the control booth to the same position as Alumni Stadium so that both systems can be controlled from a central mix position.
“It was a bit of an engineering hurdle, but the results sound terrific,” Nunnally says. “The Community speakers were the right choice for the job. They’ve got the power to cut through the ambient noise and deliver intelligibility to the crowd.” The systems have worked flawlessly and have received gracious reviews from the Boston College fans.
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