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RCF makeover upgrades rugby match-days

Kingston Park Stadium recently underwent a complete upgrade of its main sound system in a bid to transform the match-day experience for fans. A new RCF Acustica P-series purpose-designed stadium system has replaced an ageing PA that was not IP-rated.

Although billed as a multipurpose stadium, its main focus is rugby, and the 10,200 capacity venue is the home ground for both Aviva Premiership rugby union side Newcastle Falcons, and rugby league side Newcastle Thunder.

Part of a complete RCF solution, the equipment was supplied by Ed Gamble at local RCF partner Nitelites, who also assisted with the design. The installation carried out by the R&B Group under the project management of Steve Brown. The install team consisted of Chris Tolley, Phil Marshall and Dan Johnson.

We chose P series because of the dispersion pattern, the bandwidth capability for music and the IP55 weatherproof rating

Steve Brown, R&B Group

AV specialists R&B Group had staged numerous corporate events there in the past. “They recognised the need for a new system and approached a number of companies including us,” said Brown. “We built the relationship during a tender and design process which started last September.

“The system needed to work with the existing big screen, and it needed to provide longevity and operate alongside the emergency system already in place. There were also issues of containment to address as the stadium is surrounded by residential buildings.” The Bowl system is fed by two handheld mics, two background music sources and VT. And so in view of the large music content requirement, and the fact they have limited spill, Ed Gamble recommended the 15in P3115T as the ideal solution.

R&B Group specified 28 of these two-way lightweight coax enclosures, offering 90° x 60° dispersion; the West stand has been equipped with 14 P3115; the South stand with eight P3115; East stand with four P3115 in the stand and a further pair radiating onto the pitch. Meanwhile, the shorter North Stand (and each end of the East stand) equipped with P4228 (two 8in) which provide the necessary wider 110° x 60° dispersion.

“We chose P series because of the dispersion pattern, the bandwidth capability for music and the IP55 weatherproof rating,” Brown confirmed. “In addition, they have a proven track record in stadiums and fitted the budget.

R&B Group provided an end-to-end signal chain using a Yamaha processing and distribution matrix over fibre via Dante. This has ensured that a low-latency signal is maintained over long distances from three control rooms (situated in South, West and East stands).

The corporate boxes in the west stand are also serviced by RCF loudspeakers, with 13 compact DM61 speakers each serving two boxes. These were driven 100V line by three RCF UP 2321 amplifiers 320W power amps.

Brown summarised: “We received great technical support from both the stadium’s onsite technical team and Nitelites – in fact one of the reasons we opted for RCF was the assurance of after sales service and the fact that the brand has a great heritage in stadiums.”