VANCOUVER’S ROGERS ARENA UPGRADES SOUND FOR PRIVATE SUITES WITH MARTIN AUDIO
A team including Justin Sarris, Audio Systems Technician for Rogers Arena, Fred Michael, System Designer and Project Manager for installer Allstar Show Industries, and Erikson Pro, Martin Audio’s Canadian Distributor, recently upgraded the sound capabilities for private suites at Vancouver’s iconic arena with Martin Audio CDD-LIVE 8 speakers.
The venue, home of the Vancouver Canucks and 11th largest hockey arena in the world with a seating capacity of 18,910, features a number of executive and hospitality suites along with a special Club 500 area that offers exceptional visual access to the hockey action and fine dining for the fans.
Discussing specifics that motivated the upgrade, Sarris explains: “There was nothing in terms of bowl feed fills to the suites prior to this installation. The main PA would catch the bottom two rows of suite bowl view seating, though it wasn’t designed to fire into the suites themselves. Many guests like to sit at the bar seating overlooking the bowl, or stand and watch from the suite, and there was a bit of a disconnect in audio energy/excitement when in the suite interiors. Of course with the new system in place the presence has been improved in those bottom two rows as well. The volume in each suite can be adjusted either locally or remotely, so the experience can really be tailored to each unit.”
Expanding on the overall project, Fred Michaels adds, “Martin Audio and Erikson Pro provided excellent technical and logistics support, so we got off to a timely start.While the audio requirement was relatively straightforward, we had significant challenges with the hardware installation and IT interface within the facility.
The CDD-LIVE 8’s have raised the standard of in-game audio for our suite holders and premium seating.
“In terms of the hardware, we were working with existing TV Mount locations for about 110 of the speakers and had to customize the mounting hardware in order to match up to four different mounting scenarios.
“For IT, we were tasked with supplying network connections across two levels and several hundred meters of the venue.This involved a solution using facility VLANS to create Hop Points that kept us within the network limits while also adhering to the Dante networking requirements for point-to-point versus daisy-chain connectivity.”
Asked why Martin Audio CDD-LIVE 8’s were chosen for the install, Sarris responds, “We had a fairly specific criteria that needed to be met for this project to move ahead as proposed. The capacity for new signal cable to the speaker locations was limited, and we needed to maintain control over each unit individually.
“We also required wide, consistent dispersion in order to cover groups of 8 to 16 seats from close range; and we wanted a high fidelity product that would both enhance excitement for our fans viewing the game from within the suites, and present a smooth frequency response that would blend well with our bowl PA. Fred Michael at Allstar identified the CDD-LIVE 8 as a product that would tick all the boxes. The ability to daisy chain the units via Dante was a godsend in terms of resolving our infrastructure limitations.
“Finally, we had put some time aside to assess and adjust our bowl mix for the suites send that feeds the CDD-LIVE 8’s, as well as to sweeten up the sound with EQ. To our delight and surprise, once each unit was delayed to the bowl PA, everything locked in nicely and no further adjustment was necessary.”
Commenting on the install, Michaels concludes, “Overall, it was a team effort with a high degree of cooperation between the Arena staff, Martin Audio/Erikson Pro and Allstar. Thanks to everybody’s efforts, we achieved stellar results. The system performs exactly as I expected, providing clean, powerful audio support for the 120 suites and upper lounge areas that previously did not have adequate coverage from the main PA system.”
Summing up the CDD-LIVE 8’s performance, Sarris points out, “It’s been a full season now and they’ve performed as we had hoped. We added a couple of units in front of our game presentation area and staff have had nothing but good things to say about the reinforcement of our bowl audio. It’s funny, we didn’t receive much feedback on the project at all throughout the season until a unit would be inadvertently left turned down, at which point it would become immediately noticeable that something was missing. The CDD-LIVE 8’s have raised the standard of in-game audio for our suite holders and premium seating.”