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Using the terms “hockey arena” and “exceptional audio” in the same sentence will likely elicit a storm of protests from system designers and audio engineers who have long had to stretch the boundaries of basic physics to combat the lengthy reverb times built into sporting arenas as an intentional tool — not a flaw — to help pump up crowds. However, thanks to Solotech’s recent installation of L-Acoustics Kara and ARCS Wide loudspeakers at the new Complexe JC Perreault in Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan, Quebec, the Montreal-based audio provider has proved that high-energy sports and high-quality sound can, indeed, both thrive in the same facility.

Although Complexe JC Perreault is every bit a hockey arena, boasting two separate NHL-sized rinks, the multipurpose facility was designed from the start more like a theatre than a sporting venue. “The room was acoustically treated to obtain an RT60 of about 2.6 seconds, which greatly contributed to increased intelligibility,” notes Solotech’s Pierre-Paul Gignac, who adds that it is not at all unusual for sports arenas to have a reverb time of more than double that figure.

Seeing that shows and sports have dramatically different requirements when it comes to audio, Solotech designed and installed two separate sound systems — a fixed playback and PA setup comprised of four coaxial 12XTi enclosures covering the ice, plus six hangs of two ARCS Wide addressing the bleachers, and a second main system that is lowered from the ceiling for shows. Designed to deliver full-range sonic reinforcement for a packed house of 3,000 people for concerts and other productions, this second system features two arrays of five Kara enclosures for mains, two hangs of two ARCS Wide for out fill, two more ARCS Wide for front fill and four SB28 subwoofers, all powered by six LA8 amplified controllers plus one LA4X.

In “show mode,” the Complexe hosts everything from fashion shows to concerts to poker tournaments, so the audio system had to hit a number of points. It had to sound good, look good, reconfigure easily, and — given that the facility is also home to the non-profit it is named for, which has a mission of minimising the dropout rate among area high-school students — had to be budget-friendly.

Gignac says:

It is important to note that L-Acoustics is one of the preferred brands used regularly by Solotech, both on tours and permanent installations.

L-Acoustics products have proven to be reliable and respond well to the architectural and environmental challenges presented by our customers. For this project, sound quality and ease of use were the qualities that most influenced us, along with the system being able to be deployed at a reasonable cost.

Complexe JC Perreault can actually be set up in a number of different seating arrangements depending on the nature of events — a challenge that made system flexibility and ease of deployment even more important.

Gignac adds:

When not lowered for non-hockey events, the concert system is mounted on chain engines and rigged as high as possible in order to avoid the arrays being struck by a puck during a game. When switching over for a show, they lower the motorized equipment, install four subwoofers on the floor with front fills placed on top, connect the amps, and that’s it. The changeover is fast, simple, and requires no additional motors or rigging, which is great. Thanks to extensive modelling and audio simulations done in L-Acoustics’ Soundvision software beforehand, we determined that Kara and ARCS Wide were the ideal solutions for this venue, and they truly are.

For additional details on Complexe JC Perreault, visit: Details on Solotech can be found online at:



ARCS Wide and 12XTi systems address the seats and rink.


Another view of the compact ARCS Wide and 12XTi hangs.


115XT HiQ wedges (lower right) serve as stage monitors.


Main pic: Kara arrays provide high-quality sound for the venue’s shows. Courtesy: L-Acoustics.

About L-Acoustics

Founded in 1984 near Paris, France, L-Acoustics is a leading manufacturer of turnkey solutions for the professional sound industry. With 250 team members, 20 percent of whom are dedicated to R&D, L-Acoustics is present in over 75 countries either through subsidiaries or via a network of certified distributors or providers.

Recognised throughout the industry for pioneering the modern line array, L-Acoustics offers a total system approach for both the touring and fixed installation markets, and a product line responding to the needs of venues from the most intimate club to the grandest arena. L-Acoustics sound systems can be heard in places like the Hollywood Bowl, the NBA Houston Rockets Toyota Center, or the Philharmonie de Paris. L-Acoustics solutions have been used at five of the world’s ten top-grossing festivals*, the London and Sochi Olympics, and on the Justin Timberlake 20/20 Experience World Tour, among others.

* According to the Pollstar 2014 Worldwide Festival grosses

For further information, go to:


Our forthcoming Q1 issue of PanStadia & Arena Management will include a feature looking at some of the key audio challenges and solutions for sports venues.


Hull Venue - rendering of preliminary design

Hull City Council has approved plans for the 3,500 capacity Hull Venue, a super-theatre style arena and exhibition centre. The council has committed £36.2m towards the cost of building a complex, including the venue, a hotel and improved retail, on the site behind Princes Quay shopping centre.

Feasibility work already undertaken demonstrates that the proposed venue would attract 240,000 visitors spending £13.8m in the city every year – creating at least 500 long-term jobs.

The purpose-built venue will, for the first time, allow Hull to attract large corporate and association conferences, exhibitions and trade tours as well as major touring concerts, stand-up comedy, family shows and sporting events, complementing what is currently offered at existing venues. Acts like Olly Murs, Paloma Faith and McBusted could be in the line-up after research and consultation with venue and tour operators revealed there is a real market for a venue of its size and flexibility, with visiting acts performing on more than one night.

The council-owned Airco Arena, situated beside the football stadium, has failed to entice leading acts to the city since its opening. The venue is operated by the Stadium Management Company (SMC), which has installed an artificial 3G pitch for the exclusive use of Hull City’s youth academy. The council is unhappy with this conversion, which excludes other sport clubs, whose plight will not be solved by the proposed Hull Venue.

The council expects to have design concepts completed and a contractor appointed by the end of this year, with the venue scheduled to open in 2018. The venue will have 2,000 sq. m of exhibition space, a restaurant, dressing rooms with en-suite facilities and an outside broadcast space.

Portfolio Holder for Visitor Destination, Councillor Steven Bayes, said:

A high-quality, purpose-built events and conference centre is absolutely essential to making Hull a top visitor destination and to secure a long-term legacy from our year as UK City of Culture.

Put simply, a city of Hull’s size needs a facility such as this. We will formally hand over the City of Culture title to another city in 2020, but this development will allow us to continue to attract events capable of delivering a big economic impact beyond that.

Most importantly, it will deliver 500 long-term jobs for our local workforce and young people, which is part of the legacy that we want to deliver for Hull and the economic future we need.

Florida State University invitation to negotiate on the Arena District Hotel & Convention Centre

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Johnson Consulting is assisting Florida State University on a New Urban Development district, including a hotel and Conference Center, in Downtown Tallahassee. Below is further information on this opportunity:




Real Estate Development Opportunities


Florida State University (“FSU“) seeks responses from a qualified Developer(s) to construct and operate various components of a new Arena District development (“The Development”). The Development site is located in the bustling heart of Tallahassee, located between the Florida State Capitol Complex and the campuses of Florida State University (“FSU”) and Florida A&M University (“FAMU“).

FSU and its local partners envision a vibrant, connected, and mixed-use University and City District. This new Arena District will include a conference and convention centre, a full service hotel and restaurants/retail space. The Development will host a wide variety of clientele including residents of the surrounding community, visitors, graduates and friends of the universities, and nationally and internationally renowned figures from the fields of politics, sports, the sciences, literature and the arts.

The proposed site program totals between 700,000 and 800,000 gross square feet (GSF), and could stretch to as much as 1 million GSF. The Development will serve as an enhancement and addition to existing FSU facilities and should reflect a design and ambiance congruent with the campus aesthetic objectives. The Development is anchored by the recently renovated Donald L. Tucker Civic Center and will be soon be co-anchored by the FSU College of Business.

Over the last two years, FSU has worked with a consulting team led by Strategic Planning Group, Inc. and supported by Moore Communications Group, among others, who have prepared the feasibility, programming, financing and predevelopment services for the USD$300m+, 25-acre District.

To review the current proposals and reports, including a proposed Arena District Master Plan, visit: Also, once downloaded, please send an email with your contact information to to register for addenda.

FSU is interested in hearing a variety of creative and financially attractive approaches from Respondents. Qualified developers may submit development proposals for one or more of the planned components:

  •  Hotel: The full service hotel will add a highly desired service component to the community. The number of rooms and suites in this facility will be determined by the overall program developed for this site.
  • Convention Centre: The opportunity exists, if creatively and carefully designed, to construct a truly unique convention center that will attract local, regional and national conference and convention business.
  • Performing Arts Centre
  • Retail Space: Restaurants and retail space will span over 42,000 GSF.
  • Parking: Recommended construction of a 1,250+ space parking garage to satisfy projected demands.

The information requested in the ITN is required by 1:00 PM EST on Tuesday, July 14, 2015. A copy of the ITN 5750-1 and other related project information can be obtained online at:

No telephone enquiries will be accepted.



Sincerely,Charles Johnson IV

C.H Johnson Consulting, Inc.

6 E. Monroe St. 5th Floor
Chicago, IL 60603


Arena Group unveils Glasgow 2014 plans

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Official provider to Glasgow 2014, Arena Group has revealed the plans for transforming the Commonwealth Games venues with its temporary overlay, structures and seating products.


As an official Overlay and Temporary Structures Provider, Arena Group, including the Arena Structures division, has been working closely with the Organising Committee to design and install over 230 structures; totalling more than 20,800m2.


Meanwhile the company’s seating division, Arena Seating, has been liaising with each venue in Arena Group’s capacity as the Exclusive Temporary Seating Provider. The team has been tasked with delivering every single temporary seat at the Games – around 22,000 in total – across 10 venues. The seating team will also be installing camera platforms, wheelchair access platforms, press positions and commentator platforms.


Installation times vary for each venue, with the first project due for completion – the official merchandise shop in a Glasgow city centre location – commencing at the beginning of June.

Birmingham City Council seeks the sale of the NEC Group

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Birmingham City Council has resolved to seek offers for the NEC Group to secure an investor who shares the vision and strategic ambitions of the NEC Group and to maximise the proceeds for Birmingham City Council. The council believes that bringing the NEC Group under private ownership will enable the business to take full advantage of its growth opportunities and reach the next stage of its development.

The City Council will invite potentially interested buyers to participate in a pre-qualification process while sale preparations are finalised. In structuring a transaction, the City Council intends to ensure that the existing uses of the exhibition centre, International Convention Centre and two arenas (LG Arena and National Indoor Arena) are preserved. This will secure the profile of Birmingham and the broader West Midlands as a world-class home of a broad array of live events.

The City Council also intends to retain claw-back rights over certain land at the main NEC site, so ensuring that it preserves potential future development value from a highly attractive site that will be adjacent to the Birmingham Interchange HS2 station.

The NEC Group has developed under a highly-experienced management team, led since 2006 by Chief Executive Paul Thandi. Securing and enhancing this economic impact of the Group is a key objective for Birmingham City Council.

The council believes that a strong NEC Group attracts further economic activity to the region. This has been evidenced strongly through securing the £140 million plus investment into Resorts World Birmingham by Genting UK. The NEC Group’s position would be strengthened through private sector ownership, and this should act as a catalyst for further investment in the region.

In addition to its four venues, the NEC Group has successfully established a number of related businesses. These include a national ticketing agency (The Ticket Factory), a catering business (Amadeus) and NEC Group International which is taking its venue management expertise into the operation of third party-owned venues.

Martin Angle, Chairman of the NEC Group, said:

The NEC Group comprises four of the best-known and most well-established venues in the UK, located at the heart of England and boasting unrivalled accessibility by all modes of transport. The Group has weathered the challenging economic environment and has a clear vision for its future growth.

We look forward to working with Birmingham City Council in preparing the NEC Group for this major step forward and believe that its iconic status and portfolio of venues and businesses is likely to attract strong interest from potential buyers, from both the UK and overseas.

Birmingham City Council and the NEC Group have retained Gleacher Shacklock LLP as financial advisers and Wragge & Co LLP as legal advisers in relation to the sale process.

Gwinnett gains AEG Facilities boost

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Gwinnett Center has partnered with AEG Facilities to provide support services, including event programming, sponsorship and premium seating sales, purchasing, vendor venue services, advertising and event-day operations to the three anchor venues of the facility. Terms of the multi-year agreement were not disclosed.

Located in Duluth Georgia and operated by the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau, Inc., Gwinnett Center is a collection of venues for live sports and entertainment events including The Arena at Gwinnett Center, a 13,000-seat venue for sports and entertainment; a 702-seat Performing Arts Center ideal for dramatic stage productions, as a concert hall for musical performances or as a civic auditorium for corporate presentations and a 125,000 square foot Convention Center.

This collaboration is a big step forward for Gwinnett Center. AEG is a leader in the industry, and we couldn’t be happier to grow our relationship with them,

said General Manager, Joseph Dennis.

Being located in the heart of one of the nation’s most vibrant sport and entertainment markets has positioned the Center as a must play arena for sport, concert and family show content,

said AEG Facilities President Bob Newman.