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Home to the Washburn University Ichabods men’s and women’s basketball teams, and women’s volleyball team, Lee Arena is a 4,150-seat indoor sports venue that draws some of the largest crowds in NCAA Division II. Lee Arena was the first in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association to have a video scoreboard and a digital scorer’s table and, in 2015, it received a new, high-performance audio system.

Sound Products, Inc. of Topeka, KS, provided the new audio system. The company had upgraded Lee Arena’s audio in 2001 and the university told them, “Now, we’d like you to take us up to the big time!”

Lee Arena hosts graduations and other non-sporting events along with its basketball and volleyball games and it can be set up with a stage in the arena’s centre or at end court. To support this wide variety of configurations, Sound Products’ Monty Ehrlich chose a distributed system design for the arena using Community’s I SERIES loudspeakers.

Ehrlich used an Ashly Protea DSP to implement push-button presets for each of the arena’s different configurations. Each preset adjusts the delay and level on different loudspeaker zones to optimise the system for a particular event type. He added Community D5 ceiling loudspeakers in the Ichabod Room, which is used for victory celebrations and press conferences. The system is powered by a combination of Ashly and Crown amplifiers and includes a Roland digital mixer, which also has presets (known as “scenes”) for different event types.

Shure announce microphones are used in the sound booth for volleyball games and at courtside for basketball, and the arena has a variety of wired and wireless microphones for non-sporting events. The mixer includes inputs for audio from the scoreboard and from a Denon solid state music player.

Lee Arena’s new system was completed in July of 2015 in time for the university’s volleyball season and an annual “Coaches Athletic Dinner” in August. Ehrlich said that, after this event, an alumni booster told the athletic director, “this is always a wonderful event but it’s never been like this!” And, the university’s facility director commented, “It sounds like a concert in here!”

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Znojmo’s sports venues turn up the noise

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Two venues for the town of Znojmo, located in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic close to the Austrian border, have transformed the audio experience for their visitors. The venues hired Dancefloor, s.r.o. to install new systems built around Community loudspeakers.

The Winter Stadium, the 6,000+ seat capacity home of the Orli Znojmo hockey club, is also used for international matches, hockey camps, figure skating training sessions and competitions, skating courses and public skating, but had long suffered with poor sound levels and intelligibility, lacking the ability to inform and involve visitors and produce an exciting atmosphere for events.

Libor Klemenc, Dancefloor’s Managing Director, explained the choice of loudspeakers:

For high intelligibility and overall sound quality we chose Community R.5 12-inch, two-way loudspeakers. Sixteen R.5s were required and we used a combination of 60 x 60 degree and 90 x 40 degree versions to give us perfect coverage. The R.5 is both compact and discreet. Engineered for all-weather applications, it is also ideal for the environmental conditions of an ice venue.

With an MC2 Audio Ti1048 integrated audio management system providing delay and equalization, and the audio dynamics maintained by four MC2 Audio T1500 amplifiers, we achieved excellent speech intelligibility, which was a primary requirement of the venue.

The operator can simply choose from pre-set modes according to the event; hockey match, public skating, training, social event and so on. The system can additionally be controlled from two separate locations. Prime events and hockey games are operated from the main control booth using a Dateq Onyx mixer, whilst public skating, skating courses and other social events can be controlled from the rink side penalty timekeeper box using a Cortex MIX-R1U mixer. The system also provides control from both locations simultaneously as, for example, may be required during a hockey game where the main booth is used by commentators and the penalty box for reporting penalties. Additionally, a Shure SLX24E/SM58-P handheld wireless system enables live commentary to be made from any location in the stadium.

The Znojmo authorities commissioned Dancefloor to provide an equally high performance system for the town’s nearby Sports Hall. The Znojmo Sports Hall is a complex used mainly for indoor sports including basketball, floorball, futsal, handball and rhythmic gymnastics clubs.

For optimum coverage of the Sports Hall, Dancefloor used a combination of Community R.5 and R.25 loudspeakers, both with 90 x 40 degree format. A Community dSPEC226 Networked Loudspeaker Processor provides delay and equalization and MC2 Audio T1500 and T1000 amplifiers are used to power the Community loudspeakers. The combination again provided the high intelligibility and dynamic audio quality the venue required. As with the Winter Stadium, Dancefloor provided pre-sets on the dSPEC226 to enable the operator to simply select the mode required for the event, including match, training, social event and so on. The Sports Hall audio system is also controlled via a Dateq Onyx mixer from the timekeeper’s location, with a Shure SLX24E/SM58-P handheld wireless system enabling live commentary from any location in the hall.

Dancefloor employed acoustic CAD modelling for both venues to verify the designs before tender and both installations were completed to the highest standards using Klotz cables and Neutrik con-nectors. Entertainment requirements in both venues are met with Gemini CDMP-1400 CD/MP3/USB players.