Because of the extended timescales associated with major stadium projects, they can grow in significance while they are being built. This happened with Lille’s Stade Pierre Mauroy, which broke ground in 2009, but in 2010 became a symbol of France’s successful bid to host the UEFA Euro 2016 football championship. It will host four of the group matches of Euro 2016, beginning with Germany versus Ukraine on 12 June – as well as one of the group playoffs and one of the quarter-finals.
The stadium is the home of LOSC Lille Métropole, who play in French football’s first division; inaugurated as the Grande Stade Lille Métropole in 2012, it received its new name in 2013 following the death of Pierre Mauroy, a former mayor of Lille who had also served as French prime minister.
The stadium impresses before one has even stepped inside. The exterior features a media façade measuring 20m high and 120m wide, made from Imagic Weave LED mesh from Traxon. This contains 70,000 pixels and features three different resolution areas: a high-resolution area for playing videos, medium for a scrolling ticker display, and low for displaying graphics or creating lighting moods. A Traxon e:cue Lighting Control Engine fx and 25 e:cue Video Micro Converters are used to drive the façade, which can be controlled wirelessly using a smartphone or tablet.
More unusually, it has a retractable roof, consisting of four panels, which can be closed in 16 minutes. And, uniquely among European stadiums, one half of the pitch can be raised on hydraulic lifts and stacked on top of the other half. This exposes a lower level area, with additional seating, that can be used for other sports such as tennis (the venue has hosted the Davis Cup) and basketball (including part of EuroBasket 2015), as well as for concerts: Rihanna performed a sell-out show here in 2013 and is set to return next month after the Euros have finished.
The stadium seats 20,500 people at the lowest level, 7,400 in the middle section and 22,500 in the top section. The total capacity of around 50,000 makes this the fourth largest of the ten Euro 2016 stadiums. However, it has a more intimate ambience than some smaller grounds – possibly thanks to the surprisingly steep rake of the top section.
The AV installation was carried out by Lille-based Manganelli Technology, with the wiring handled by Forclum, a subsidiary of main contractor Eiffage.
The main sound system around the stadium bowl comprises Electro-Voice weather-resistant Sx600 PIX loudspeakers. These are high output speakers that provide high intelligibility. Each cabinet features a dual-element 12in vertical line array, and an integrated 600W internal transformer for running on low-voltage systems. According to Oliver Sahm, director, marketing application design at EVI Audio, this model has been installed at six other stadiums in France.
These are situated around the bowl in groups of three to provide the necessary coverage of the seating areas and the pitch. Consultant Eric Grandmougin from Grandmougin Conseils carried out an EASE simulation to achieve the optimum positions of the loudspeaker clusters.
Many indoor locations feature models from the Electro-Voice EVID two-way surface mount range, and Dynacord DL 96 high-power ceiling speakers. Dynacord DL 800 weatherproof horn speakers are also deployed in some of the aisles and gangways.
EVI Audio was one of the pioneers of the approach of combining public address and voice alarm into a single system. This saves money on equipment and cabling, but requires a more sophisticated approach to how different types of audio signals are managed and prioritised.
At the heart of the PA-VA is a Dynacord ProMatrix 4000 system, comprising DPM 4000 matrix managers, DMM 4650 digital message makers and DPP 4004 matrix managers. These are under the control of an Electro-Voice NetMax N8000 digital matrix, which provide system routing, digital signal processing, EQ, and remote control and supervision. This equipment is replicated across a total of six rack rooms around the stadium. Networking is via CobraNet, and the audio runs on its own dedicated network. The audio is centrally controlled with EVI’s IrisNet software, via a customised GUI.
The loudspeakers are powered by E-V Contractor Precision Series (CPS) power amps. Sahm comments: “With our multichannel amplifiers and pilot tone supervision to the individual loudspeaker lines, we can monitor the individual speakers in the stadium bowl to make sure they are working correctly.”
Because of the safety-critical nature of the PA-VA system, there are many redundant features built in. “Adjacent clusters are not powered by the same amplifiers, to be in conformity with EN 60489,” comments Jean Mandaret, technical director of EVI Audio France. “Each side of the tribunes is powered by two remote rack rooms so in the event of a complete failure of one remote rack room, half of the speakers would still be powered.”
Inside the stadium bowl, the two scoreboards are 60sqm Barco LED displays, with a 10mm ‘virtual’ (20mm actual) pixel pitch. On match days this runs its own content created live by the LOSC technical team, but during corporate events it can play content from the Barco digital signage system.
An Exterity IP video solution – comprising receiver set-top boxes, TVgateways and HD and SD encoders, all managed by Avedia Server – delivers tailored content to nearly 400 Samsung displays around the stadium, including the hospitality areas, VIP suites and press rooms.
A total of 218 cameras from Bosch Security Systems are used in the stadium’s CCTV system, which runs on the main stadium network and was installed by Eiffage.
The Bosch Autodome HD1080p IP camera is a PTZ model that can be used to locate, track and zoom in on objects of interest. Its 1080p resolution means that legible images can be produced even when zooming across the pitch to the other side of the seating area. It also has an Intelligent Tracking feature, whereby it can follow moving objects (including people) based on predefined alarm rules, or with a single mouse click.
Other Bosch IP cameras installed are the Flexidome HD720p Day/Night model, which gives non-blurred, non-speckled images in low light conditions; the vandal-resistant Flexidome HD1080p; and the Dinion HD 720p Day/Night model for outdoor surveillance.
Fabien Sirondelle, who is in charge of information and communications technology at the stadium, explains: “When we are not hosting a match we use movement detection for each camera, and specific cameras are recording permanently. During the match days, all cameras are recording. We store the images for 10 days.”
The CCTV system is integrated with the stadium’s access control system. Sirondelle explains that if an incident is detected on camera, it is possible to roll back the recording in time, and track all the people involved via the access control system: “We have the exact time when they went into the stadium, we have their names, numbers and addresses. We have had no incidents with no identification. It’s very important for the locality to have this system.”