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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.

Chizhovka-Arena in Minsk, Belarus

Art Ramos Studio a.l.c., Community’s partner in Belarus, has recently overseen the installation of the audio systems at the Chizhovka-Arena in Minsk, featuring Community loudspeakers. The arena is a multipurpose complex for ice hockey, sports, leisure and entertainment and is the home ground of HC Yunost-Minsk.

Chizhovka-Arena was built for the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Ice Hockey World Championship that took place in Minsk in May. In addition to the tens of thousands of fans that travelled to see the event live, the IIHF’s flagship event was televised to 115 countries with television audience around the 1,000 million mark.

Chizhovka-Arena is located in the southeastern part of Minsk in a picturesque nook of a park named after the 900th anniversary of the city. Designed by Marat Grodnikov, the arena resembles two drops of water flowing into each other. The modern design fits well into the landscape of the Chizhovka Water Reservoir.

Chizhovka-Arena in Minsk, Belarus

Community loudspeakers in Chizhovka-Arena in Minsk, Belarus

The main building, an ice hockey arena with multipurpose use for concerts, basketball and other events, seats 10,000. The second building consists of a small ice hockey training arena with 500 seats and a multipurpose sports hall with 740 seats, used for basketball, handball, gymnastics and other sports. This sports hall is also frequently used by television companies for filming TV shows. The two buildings are connected by a junction with conference and press rooms, shops, restaurants and cafés.

An original proposal was modified with a system design by Art Ramos Studio engineers, Alexey Sayganov and Alexandr Malets and the project was awarded by tender, complying with the obligatory procedure for all governmental purchases. Anton Streltsov, Deputy Director of Art Ramos Studio, commented:

Our proposal was chosen as it offered excellent value to the customer and met the requirements of the arena with a very modern approach.

The installation was handled by BelElectroMontazh, with supervision and support from Art Ramos Studio. Throughout the complex the system uses 238 Community Distributed Design Series ceiling loudspeakers and 432 Distributed Design surface-mount loudspeakers, supplied in a combination of black and white finishes to best complement their locations. In addition, eight Community R.5HP three-way coaxial, 12-inch loudspeakers were used to cover the ice hockey pitch in the main arena.

All loudspeakers are part of the EVAC/fire alarm system, for which separate certification was made in Belarus. The loudspeaker lines and loudspeakers are all controlled by QSC Q-SYS which monitors for loudspeaker, cable and short circuit faults.

Five separate Q-SYS systems are used to cover all areas of the complex, including the large arena seating, corridors, foyers, halls, cafés and restaurants, the small arena’s ice hockey area, the small arena’s sports hall, the small arena’s corridors, foyers and halls and the junction between the two arenas. The system includes a DiGiCo SD11 mixer, QSC amplifiers and Beyerdynamic microphones.

Anton Streltsov concluded:

Our team was extremely satisfied with the system’s results. With Community we know we can always deliver outstanding sound quality and reliability. Our engineers were particularly impressed by the uniformity of the SPL we achieved on the ice hockey pitch using R.5HP speakers, which is really important as players move so fast under adjacent loudspeakers. It was the best result of any similar installation.


Ken Noakes hired as GM of St. Catharines Spectator Facility

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Ken Noakes has taken over as General Manager of the in-construction ice arena, the St. Catharines Spectator Facility in St. Catharines, Ontario. The facility broke ground in December 2012 and is in construction. The design/build project involves PBK Architects and Ball Construction and is due to complete in Fall 2014.

Noakes was recently the General Manager at the K-Rock Centre in Kingston, ON and has been in regional position with SMG Canada, supporting business development and consulting efforts in the region and throughout Canada.

Harry Cann, Senior Regional Vice President of Operations at SMG, said:

Ken is a valuable member of our team and has done a great job leading our efforts in Kingston and with other assignments throughout Canada. He is a seasoned industry veteran and we look forward to Ken contributing to the success of the new venue in St. Catharines which we are all very excited about. The City will benefit substantially from Ken’s expertise and leadership.

Noakes brings over 20 years of facility management experience to the job, with his most recent position being General Manager of the 5,000-seat K-Rock Centre in Kingston. He has served as General Manager of the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, B.C. and the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, and also held positions at the Corel Centre in Ottawa, and the SkyDome in Toronto.

Sochi Test Events season successfully completed

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Fans at the Bolshoi Ice Arena in Sochi during a test event.

Fans at the Bolshoi Ice Arena in Sochi during a test event.

The Sochi 2014 Organising Committee brought the series of 2012-2013 season Test Events to a close with the final matches of the Ice Hockey U18 World Championship. The organisers staged 20 international Test Events at the 10 venues that are going to host the XXII Olympic Winter Games and the XI Paralympic Winter Games.

At a press-conference at the Bolshoi Ice Dome, the President of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, said:

We have efficiently overcome all the trials and can now say with confidence that we are ready to host the Games even in the most challenging conditions. The test events were organized by a large team, and I would like to thank everyone who took part in hosting them: Organizing Committee, Olympstroy, Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation, administrations of the Krasnodar region and the city of Sochi, contractors and of course our numerous volunteers who have become an integral part of our united team.

The Test Events of the 2012-2013 season set a new record in terms of the number of people involved: with more than 3,000 competitors, approximately 5,000 volunteers, over 1,500 media representatives and roughly 130,000 spectators visiting venues over the last six months.

During the Test Events, the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee successfully tested out all of the functions and services at the different venues. The Ticketing Programme was put into operation resulting in a total attendance that was almost double the original forecast.

Test events covered 15 Olympic sports and four of the five Paralympic sports.

Rene Fasel, President of the International Ice Hockey Federation, added:

We have two very good arenas. I like especially the small one, it is a really typical hockey arena with seven thousand seats, it’s deeper. For sure, the big arena, the Bolshoi, is a typical multi-purpose arena. It’s very nice, very convenient, big, with a lot of space and very good dressing rooms. There are small details to correct but that’s why we make the test event.

Lanxess Arena and Palais Omnisport de Paris-Bercy will host the 2017 ice hockey worlds

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A joint bid from France and Germany will take the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship to Paris and Cologne, the latter a well-known venue for international hockey fans. The Lanxess Arena played host to the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships in 2001 and 2010. It’s the largest venue for indoor sports by capacity in Europe offering 18,500 seats for hockey. Uwe Harnos, President of the German Ice Hockey Association, said:

Both countries have a long hockey history and the federations are working closely together. A World Championship in Paris and Cologne offers a great chance to develop our sport in France, Germany and Europe. We are looking forward to create an outstanding event for all teams and their fans with a unique atmosphere.

France has hosted the event twice, in Chamonix 1930 and in Paris 1951. 2017 games will take place in the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy, where the French Ice Hockey Federation started to host the French Cup Final seven years ago, and now this event sells out with 13,362 spectators. The arena will be renovated and expanded by 2015 so that it can offer seating for 15,000 fans for hockey games.

Franz Reindl, the General Secretary of the German Ice Hockey Association, who is set to assume the same role in the Organizing Committee as he did in 2010, said:

We want to have low prices and more spectators in big venues.. Tickets will be available for as little as €9 while the average price over all tournament stages and seat categories will be €39. Local transportation will be offered for free to ticketholders and participants.

Tickets will be sold centrally by CTS Eventim, which also owns the arena in Cologne. The committee calculates an attendance of 600,000 fans, with a capacity of 886,000 fans for all games.

During the 2013 IIHF Annual Congress, Latvia showed interest in bidding for 2018. Switzerland, with new arenas in Zurich and Geneva, and Slovakia, announced their intentions to bid for 2019.

Lanxess arena will host 2017 world champs.

Lanxess arena will host 2017 world champs.