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All posts tagged Baku 2015

In the fifth part of this weekly series highlighting the latest sports venue developments from across the Asia Pacific region, we highlight the brand new 68,000-capacity Baku Olympic Stadium, which was the centrepiece of this year’s inaugural European Games that were held in the Azerbaijani city back in June.

Baku was awarded the inaugural European Games at the 41st EOC Congress in Rome. The ceremony was attended by Azerbaijan President, Ilham Aliyev, who is also President of the Azerbaijan National Olympic Committee and the President of UEFA, Michel Platini. Azerbaijan was subsequently awarded four matches in UEFA’s pan European EURO 2020 soccer tournament – three group games and one quarter final.

For Baku 2015, there were four clusters and eighteen competition venues, twelve of which were permanent venues, of which five were new builds, namely the National Gymnastics Arena, BMX Velopark, Baku Aquatics Centre, Baku Shooting Centre and the Olympic Stadium. There were then six temporary venues, namely: the Water Polo Arena; Beach Arena; Basketball Arena; Mountain Bike Velopark; Triathlon; Cycling road race and time trial.

602867-IMG_7035__2015-05_mb General Views of Venues for Baku 2015 Baku Aquatics Center (14)

Baku Olympic Stadium hosted the spectacular Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

In terms of the timeline behind the Olympic Stadium’s construction, in late 2012, the Turkish firm, Tekfen Construction and Installation Co. Inc., was awarded the Design & Build contract, which was financed by the Azerbaijan national oil company SOCAR. The foundation construction then commenced in January 2013.

The initial stadium design by the Turkish company was then transitioned to the current design by the worldwide architectural and construction service provider, Heerim Architects and Planners, based in Seoul, Korea. Heerim led the entire design team and also provided construction management services.

International engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti provided structural design services for the stadium.

To meet an aggressive eighteen-month design and build schedule, the project team performed design and construction simultaneously. To maximise design flexibility, the structural design used piled raft foundations, a system more typical of high-rise buildings than stadiums.

An advanced modelling approach, i.e. BIM, also supported the accelerated schedule. The engineering team developed an automated design routine to check beam and column reinforcement against seismic code provisions, greatly speeding the design process. Precast reinforced concrete, main and secondary steel structures were all modelled using Tekla Structures 19.0 and full fabrication drawings were delivered to the contractor’s fabrication facility in Turkey.

Construction of the six storey, 65.7m-high, 225,000m² venue – that sits on a 650,000m² site – was completed in February 2015. The 68,000-capacity stadium is now a prominent landmark in the city.

It has been designed to meet the highest international standards for stadiums set by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

With the European Games now over, the Azerbaijan national football team has taken up residency at the Baku Olympic Stadium, which is now their ‘home’ ground. The stadium will also host a number of major events in the coming years, including the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games and EURO 2020 matches.


An extended version of this article, including comment from the Organising Commitee, State representatives and others involved in the project’s delivery, will feature in our forthcoming Q3 edition.

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World’s largest Ceremonies Communication system used for Baku 2015

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Delivering the world’s largest Ceremonies Communication system for the inaugural European Games that took place in Baku this June, was Sydney-based company, The P.A. People.


In the run-up to Baku 2015, The P.A. People won the contract to provide ceremonies communications (comms), providing two-way radio, intercom, CCTV and technical services. For the Ceremony proceedings, The P.A. People selected Clear-Com intercom systems to handle production communications during rehearsals and both Ceremonies. Clear-Com also provided two support engineers on the ground.


Chris Dodds, Managing Director of The P.A. People, advised:

The scale of the project was pretty remarkable. In many ways it was a bigger undertaking than Sochi. The other particularly notable aspect of the project was the use of the Clear-Com FreeSpeak II [DECT-based wireless communications] system to cater to the Moving Stage. The production crew did not include full duplex on the original specification, but as the artistic component of the event developed – and after we had been appointed as contractor – it was determined that a full duplex solution would constitute a significant advantage for the Ceremonies.


Ultimately, the call was for a capacity of 80-plus packs to be put in place. With 50 or so packs generally constituting the maximum for a single-location FreeSpeak II deployment, as Dodds confirmed:

We designed a configuration using two systems in two different frequency bands, and with the support of the Azerbaijani authorities, we were able to operate one system in one local license band and the other outside of that. With the two systems co-located, we could achieve the desired 80 packs in one physical RF space to the satisfaction of all. It was a great achievement.


Other elements of the Clear-Com Moving Stage comms specification included a single Eclipse HX Median Digital Matrix Platform, nine HelixNet Master Stations and 70 HelixNet Beltpacks. Comms for general main stadium usage included two Clear-Com Eclipse HX-Omega digital matrix systems and more than 200 IP-enabled intercom panels. Clear-Com V-Series Intercom Panels were also to be found in the rehearsal tent and remote cauldron areas.


Bob Boster, President of Clear-Com, commented:

The P.A. People have highly trained and knowledgeable personnel who know exactly how to get the most out of the systems.


A spokesperson for Sports Video Group Europe, added:

A brand new addition to the global sports landscape, the European Games ran from 12-28 June in Baku, Azerbaijan. Sydney, Australia-based firm, The P.A. People, is a stalwart specialist in stadium audio installations and event communications. Examples of large venue systems projects include Stadium Australia, Sydney Cricket Ground and Brisbane Cricket Ground, to name just a few.


Dodds reported a highly positive” response to the performance of the comms systems on the night, while Boster reported “another in a long line of great collaborations with The P.A. People. We really have a great partnership with them. They have highly trained and knowledgeable personnel who know exactly how to get the most out of the systems – as the deployment at Baku demonstrates.”


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Baku 2015 will be featured in our forthcoming Q3 (formerly Autumn) ’15 edition of PanStadia & Arena Management – the world’s leading magazine for the business of stadia, arenas, sporting events & venues.


More facts about the Baku 2015 Closing Ceremony:

  • 250m: length of aerial lines across the stadium, with a capacity to carry 7.5 tons
  • 450m2  of LED floor tiles used on the three stages
  • 500+ truckloads of freight and 100 tons of airfreight from 20 countries to create the Ceremony
  • 800 speakers and 25km of cabling for the sound system
  • 2,000+ lighting fixtures
  • 12,000+ ear pieces and 180,000+ recycled batteries used by the cast and crew
  • 20.5 million man hours spent building the new Olympic Stadium since work began in June 2011
  • 10,000 pyrotechnics
  • 5,000 hours of preparation on-site have gone into creating the evening’s spectacular pyrotechnics displays
  • 200 hours of programming to sychronise the fireworks with the music
  • 120 pyrotechnic launch pads on the stadium roof


To find out more about the developments at sports venues across the Asia Pacific region, make sure to attend our ‘live’ event, the Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015 conference & exhibition, where all of the top sports architects & designers will be in attendance, along with top-level representatives from sports federations, as well as venue owners & operators. To guarantee your place at this must-attend event, simply visit the website at: