Sports stadiums have provided fans with dual entertainment options for many years. Beyond serving as sites for athletic events, stadiums are equally celebrated as exhilarating concert venues. The acoustic demands of these contrasting missions have required stadium owners and designers to pay serious attention to issues not fully considered when older venues were conceived. WSDG has provided many new stadiums with sophisticated audio and videosystems integration for sports and entertainment events. And, many older stadiums are being retrofitted with acoustic designs, treatments and technology to vastly improve speech intelligibility and music enjoyment. For example…
WSDG ’s European team collaborated on the development of four extraordinary 1054+ Sq. Ft. Giant Video Wall installations for Rio’s Maracanã Stadium. The largest video displays built for any 2014 World Cup Stadium, each of these giant, three-story high screens is comprised of fifty individual (50”) LCD screens and weighs 11 tons (including custom built mounting structures, access ramps and interior staircases to permit service). The installation process (including electrical and signal distribution) took three months, and required the individual calibration of each individual 50” module. Audio and video are totally synchronized, and the system is configured with 4 encoders for future expansion and to allow multiple signals to be distributed around the stadium, e.g. Satellite, an Internal Video Channel and two additional sources such as Cable TV, DVD and /or Internet video. The decision to install four huge Video Walls was based on FIFA’s requirement that eight lines of on-screen text be legible for fans in seats as far as 200 meters (656 ft.) from the screens.
Mineirão Stadium was built in 1965, and has 62,160 seats, which makes it Brazil’s second largest stadium. When Belo Horizonte was named a host of the 2014 World Cup, this 49-year-old venue required a substantial Audio/Video and acoustics upgrade to comply with the FIFA requirements (structural, evacuation, public address, security, seating, standing and related regulations, far more demanding than U. S. guidelines). WSDG designed the Acoustics, Audio and Video Systems for the entire stadium and its public areas, covering a total of 300.000m2. The renovation began in 2010 and included: acoustical treatments for all areas, a universal sound system covering the field, audience access and internal spaces e.g. VIP rooms, and offices. Video systems include two large LED video walls (85m2 each) and video displays throughout the stadium. Considered a landmark in the city’s development, which will provide ongoing benefits for all citizens, Mineirão re-opened in Dec. 2012 with a concert by Brazilian Supergroup, Jota Quest. In May 2013, Paul McCartney performed a SRO concert there.
Arena Thun is commonly referred to as the "jewel" of Swiss Super League stadiums. With just over 10,000 seats, the arena’s compact design puts fans closer to the action than most other sports venues. Situated at the foot of a breathtaking Alpine panorama, its location, coupled with its coherent boutique architectural concept, coalesce, to make it an exceptional destination. WSDG’s mandate was to customize the acoustics for the stadium and all its public areas. The ground up project began in 2010 with a series of meetings between the sponsors, architects, and contractors. An extensive list of concerns was outlined, with a special focus on the materialization of the underside of the stadium roof, which plays a major part in controlling the acoustical ambiance. By extending the roof over the entire audience seating area, the stadium provides an intense, inspirational and communal experience, while maintaining a comfortable intimacy, excellent speech intelligibility and limiting noise intrusion into the residential neighborhood. The specified solution consists of a polyester-based, waterproof, self-adhesive material directly applied to the underside of the metal roof panels. The material has particular acoustical absorption characteristics while also controlling humidity and water condensation.
WSDG is currently developing the acoustics, sound and video systems for Barra Olympic Park, Rio’s primary 2016 Olympic and Paralympics Games Competition Centre. The 1.18 million square meter complex will also serve as the city’s largest sporting legacy when the competitions end. The process began with sophisticated electroacoustic and acoustic modeling studies, which determined multiple solutions for each specific sound system. The primary goal was to insure the highest quality Speech Intelligibility and SPL levels. WSDG also designed large-scale Video Walls and Score Board screens and Media Displays. Each unit was scaled to provide optimal visibility from every seat in the stands. Each of the nine Olympic Park stadiums is being future-proofed for active community service long after the games are history. The campus will include a research lab for nutrition, physiotherapy, sports and clinical medicine.