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Installation

Borussia Park Stadium moves forward and upgrades its audio system

RCF has recently completed another notable audio project in one of Europe’s main stadiums, Germany’s BORUSSIA-PARK in Mönchengladbach (BMG), with a capacity of 54,010 spectators. Despite having been built between 2002 and 2004, until 2015 the BMG had not been equipped with a sound system that met the requirements of a modern football stadium, and thus the project marks an important advance in the venue’s technology. The new audio system – developed by RCF in collaboration with Graner & Partner consulting company and Wärtsilla Funa integrator – required a considerable amount of adaptation to standard equipment and installation hardware, involving extensive know-how in acoustic solutions for large sports arenas.

The final design included 12 arrays of 12 x HL20 WP passive speakers – six arrays on each of the west and east long grandstands, four on the north and south short grandstands, and a further on the corners. The HL 20 WP weatherproof passive line array module guarantees high output and dynamics, with a precise coverage of 100°x15° thanks to the especially designed waveguide. The new system at BORUSSIA-PARK also includes four arrays of six HL2290 WP horn-loaded two-way speakers, ideal for mid-to-long-throw applications. Requirements specified in the competitive tender were a direct SPL of 101 ± 3 dB on 99% of the audience seats, and a minimum STI of 0.51 ± 0.02 in the fully occupied stadium. RCF technicians report the system as having an average STI of 0.53 and SPL of 107, with uniform distribution on all seats. Mr. Bernd Muckl, Head of Engineering at the BORUSSIA-PARK, asserted that the results at the stadium marked a brilliant achievement and a significant upgrade in the stadium’s technological equipment.

"The installation points are at the end of the roofs, leaving the system directly exposed to all weather conditions. There are no catwalks, so a passive system was preferred for reasons of maintenance simplicity"

As stated by the technical staff of RCF’s German division, that was charged with delivering the project, the concern with weather conditions had played a significant role in the choice and configuration of the system. “The installation points are at the end of the roofs, leaving the system directly exposed to all weather conditions. There are no catwalks, so a passive system was preferred for reasons of maintenance simplicity,” they report.

In this case concerns with harsh weather and security have not only led to the choice of weatherproof passive line arrays, but also to several customization requirements. In particular, all HL20 WP and HL2290 line arrays installed at BORUSSIA-PARK were constructed from 21 mm plywood, equipped with 5,5 m fixed FRNC weatherproof cable and painted with a fire-resistant self-extinguishing coating. A test of the final equipment was made by the customer together with local firemen.
Furthermore, perhaps the most impressive customised element of the BMG system is the unusual array design, that was inspired by the Dortmund stadium. Expo Engineering developed a special cluster frame with mounting plates on both sides, to support a curved shape that allows the advantages of point source technology with linear distribution to be combined.

The colour white was chosen for the cabinets in both line arrays, resulting in a striking visual impact.

The colour white was chosen for the cabinets in both line arrays, resulting in a striking visual impact. In the last few years RCF has increasingly been involved in the realisation of large projects for stadia and sports arena, such as Baku, Dortmund, Juventus and Konya Torku, just to name a few. The experience gained in customising audio systems with tailor-made features was one of the reasons for the choice of RCF by Graner & Partner, after the competitive tender and a factory acceptance test at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Italy. Mr. Manuel Marx, Planner of Graner & Partner Engineering, and Mr. Bernhard Schönfuss from Wärtsilla Funa system integrator have both express their satisfaction with the choice, that has produced such excellent results.

The new audio system at BORUSSIA-PARK was inaugurated during the Telekom Cup, a tournament with four Bundesliga teams, held on July 12 last year. The Champions’ League and Bundesliga matches currently being played are also enjoying the upgraded power and clarity of RCF’s sound, which meets not only the full satisfaction of the club but also the stadium’s visitors.
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