Larimer County, owners of the Budweiser Events Center (BEC), home to the Colorado Eagles of the American Hockey League, recently took advantage of the Covid-mandated downtime to integrate a new L-Acoustics A Series loudspeaker system, which was designed and installed by Denver-based Brown Note Productions (BNP).
The setup comprises a total of 37 A10 Wide constant curvature enclosures, which are split into nine three-enclosure arrays and two dual-enclosure arrays flown around the centre scoreboard to address the bowl seats, plus two three-enclosure arrays mounted beneath the scoreboard to cover the ice rink. Two hangs of four L-Acoustics SB18i subs deliver the system’s ample low end, while two coaxial X12 short-thrown enclosures supply fill coverage to the farthest corners of the arena.
The entire system is powered and processed by one L-Acoustics LA4X and four LA12X amplified controllers, racked in a remote closet in the southeast corner of the arena, behind the broadcast booth. These are being fed via analog from a QSC Q-SYS Core 110F configured with the L-Acoustics plugin to provide operators with direct control and monitoring of the amplifiers.
The Spectra-managed BEC, situated at The Ranch Events Complex in Loveland, Colorado is a 7,200-capacity multipurpose arena that hosts everything from hockey, basketball and indoor football to concerts, rodeo, family shows and more. Less than an hour drive from both Denver and Cheyenne, Wyoming, BEC has become the focal point for sports and entertainment in Northern Colorado, offering approximately 200 events each year, including the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Loveland Regional Tournament held there in late March.
Although the facility is only 16 years old, the arena’s original loudspeaker system – a distributed point-source design – was no longer meeting BEC’s clients’ and patrons’ needs. “The main issues with our former system were coverage deficiencies, poor intelligibility and the lack of availability of replacement parts,” said Spectra director of operations Tom Manning. “With increasing numbers of dead spots throughout the bowl seating areas, trying to equalise volumes was very difficult. In fact, in all of the customer satisfaction surveys that we did following sports or concert events, sound was the number one complaint, so it was time for us to find a better solution.”
BNP Director of Integration Zach Richards added: “BEC knew that they wanted to enhance the fan experience throughout the arena and provide high-impact audio for all of their events. They identified some basic performance requirements and a target budget but did not request any specific products. When we at Brown Note decided to submit a design proposal for this project, we knew that we would have to deliver exceptional performance and output with a minimal number of loudspeakers and amplifiers to stay within the required budget.
“It was this directive that steered us toward the L-Acoustics A Series, knowing that we could cover sizable areas of seating with relatively small array clusters while still delivering clear and consistent audio. Working closely with the L-Acoustics sports venue team, we used Soundvision 3D modeling software to develop a system featuring A10 Wide enclosures with SB18i subs. Moreover, with LA12X and LA4X amplified controllers, the entire system could be powered on just five amplifiers.”