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The PA People updates Sydney Showground Stadium

The PA People updates Sydney Showground Stadium

The PA People updates Sydney Showground Stadium

Australia:

The PA People has completed a long-term project to design and install a new sound system at Sydney’s Showground Stadium. The two-year upgrade culminated with the opening celebration for the T20 Women’s World Cup cricket tournament, for which The PA People also delivered an audio and communications package.

The stadium underwent a major refurbishment in 2013 that added two new grandstands; however, replacement of the original grandstand sound system was outside the approved scope of works. But given the profile of the T20 World Cup, the RAS Capital Works and Assets teams sought options for the upgrade. The PA People was engaged after submitting an acoustic model and preliminary design to meet performance criteria and structural loading requirements of the existing grandstand roof.

The design is based around the Bose ArenaMatch constant curvature line array consisting of 11 clusters of three 100° x 40° cabinets, plus two fill cabinets to cover the area between the new and old grandstands, powered by Bose PM8500N eight-channel amplifiers connected to an existing Biamp Vocia DSP system, with a Yamaha QL5 console for FOH and two RIO1608 Dante I/O boxes.

Each cluster is suspended from a custom bracket fabricated by The PA People so speakers can be lowered for maintenance without special equipment. ‘Each cluster hangs vertically from a beam which is inclined in two directions; every mounting bracket for the clusters is unique,’ commented Ross Ford, project manager for the RAS upgrade.

The PA People was also appointed as audio and communications supplier for the T20 opening ceremony, with event Producer Michael Cassel Group looking for an audio system to provide low-frequency performance and even coverage to the stands, in combination with the elevated clusters in the new installed system. Each of the 10 carts distributed in front of the grandstands featured a three-element Bose ShowMatch array with two 18-inch subwoofers, powered from an on-board Linea Research 44M20 amplifier. In-fill between the carts was provided by Bose LT9702 cabinets, and the entire system was time aligned with the two upper cabinets in the installed arrays, providing even coverage and a focus on the field of play.

The FOH system was controlled on a Yamaha PM10 and Genelec monitors, with a pair of Mac Mini-based QLAB machines for playback. ‘The Linea Research amps and Yamaha consoles all feature native Dante connectivity,’ commented Sam Dodds, systems engineer for the project. ‘Apart from the use of Yamaha’s RPIO stageboxes and its TwinLAN protocol, pretty much all of the system used Dante.’

A Yamaha PM7 console was used as monitor console, with inputs from eight Shure UHF-R Beta 58 radio mics as well as tracks from FOH, generating mixes for two channels of Shure PSM1000, six channels of PAP Level 2 IEM systems and a feed for the mass cast dancers using proprietary FM packs. A comms system to cover the arena and rehearsal space comprised of a Clear-Com HX Matrix intercom system with 12 key stations across all three locations, 10 Clear-Com HelixNet partyline beltpacks, 20 FreeSpeak II full duplex packs across the arena itself, eight channels of interfaced two-way radios with 50 handsets and a time code display system. The HX Matrix was fitted with a Dante network audio card to share sources between the FOH system, monitors and comms. The entire audio and comms infrastructure were built on a common 10GB Ethernet backbone, which also provided a connection point for the FreeSpeak II IP Transceivers at any network switch.

The PA People also provided a secondary LED scoreboard for the venue, working with specialist supplier TDC.

‘The PA People listened to our requirements and have come up with a solution that has already met, and we trust will continue to meet, our needs for the next 15 years,’ concluded RAS head of project development, Jonathan Seward.

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