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Minsk Arena enRobed

Ice hockey is a big deal in the Eastern European countries, and Belarus is no different. No surprise, then, that it's attracting significant AV investment.

Robe moving lights and DigitalSpots have been installed at the brand new Minsk Arena in the Belarus capital. It is part of a complex of buildings that includes the flagship 15,000 seater ice hockey arena, one of the largest in Europe, which is also utilised as a concert hall.

This is the first installation for the DigitalSpot 7000DT series in Belarus. The fixtures were specified by Robe’s Belarus distributor Art Ramos – also a technical design & build specialist – to the installers as part of a government contract. Main contractor Belcultproject was responsible for supplying the products to the venue.

Art Ramos’s Anton Streltsov explains that the 12 x DigitalSpot 7000DTs were specified as the best and most cost efficient product of their type available, and that the 16 ColorSpot 700E ATs also supplied were chosen for the brightness-to-size ratio of the unit and the general reliability of the Robe brand.

The DigitalSpots are rigged in the roof onto two horizontal spans of overhead trussing running down both long sides of the Arena, and together with the ColorSpot 700E ATs, they form part of a set of mobile ‘house’ concert lights.
Many top bands and live artists have played Minsk Arena already, including Linkin Park, Rammstein, Elton John and Sting. The venue hosted the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2010 at the end of last year, which utilised the house lighting rig to great effect.

The DigitalSpots are also used for all the pre-game shows hosted by local ice hockey team, Dinamo Minsk, in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). During the games, they are positioned about 16 metres above the ice. The pitch is the standard European size of 58 metres long by 30 wide.

This, according to Robe, is why they were selected for the job – because of their ability to create bright, dynamic, high impact effects on the ice, and also to project logos and special promotions, easily facilitated by uploading new images and artwork to the heads of the unit or content being fed via media servers.

The house rig also features other moving lights and numerous generics, all of which are controlled via a grandMA full size console, plus MA VPUs for storage and playback of video materials.

For the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, the DigitalSpots were fed content from Catalyst media servers which were integrated into the system for the event.