Euro 2016 stadium installation uncovered
As the 2016 UEFA European Championships kick off in France, Anna Mitchell takes a look at one of the event’s venues that also lays claim to being the first DIN EN 54 compliant stadium in Europe.
The Allianz Riviera stadium, also known as Grand Stade de Nice, nestles in the hills on the western side of Nice in the Côte d'Azur area of France. It represents the culmination of plans, stretching back for more than a decade, to provide Nice with a new stadium.
Initial proposals were abandoned on two separate occasions before construction on the Wilmotte & Associés designed venue finally got underway, spurred on by France’s selection as host nation for the 2016 UEFA European Championship (Euro 2016).
The stadium is the home of OGC Nice football club and also hosts some home matches of rugby union club Toulon.
Sound system design for the 35,000 seat venue, carried out by EVI Audio France, started with extensive Ease modelling of the venue before installation, commissioning and testing by French system integrator Manganelli.
“The biggest challenge was to fix the cluster correctly to have the correct SPL and good coverage.” Jean Marandet, product and service manager of EVI Audio France, explained: “The invitation to tender for the Allianz Riviera installation stipulated that the sound reinforcement needs of the stadium – from voice alarm to live concerts – should be satisfied by an integrated system complying with EN 54.”
A total of 26 zones were created in the stadium with six covering the grandstand, one for the pitch and the rest for indoor areas. The system, based on EV-Innovation series loudspeakers, was programmed using the Electro-Voice Iris-Net software platform by EVI Audio France and Manganelli with assistance from Bosch Communications Systems. Iris-Net is also used for control and monitoring.
Ninety Electro-Voice horn-loaded EVH1152D loudspeakers were selected and hung above the grandstand in clusters of three units, with a fourth added in some clusters to cover the pitch to meet safety requirements. Sound is usually muted on the pitch with an override in place in case of the need for emergency announcements.
Manganelli custom designed and built bespoke rigging structures for the clusters.
“The biggest challenge was to fix the cluster correctly to have the correct SPL and good coverage,” says Fabrice Leguay, regional director at Manganelli. The situation was made more complicated as the contour of the stand does not follow a straight line.
Units are fed by multi-channel Electro-Voice CPS series amplifiers and controlled with N8000 and DPM8016 digital matrix managers installed in five racks (one main and four sub-rack) around the stadium.
“When we got on site to install the racks the elevator system was not working,” recalls Leguay. “We had to use a pulley system to get the units in place.”
The sound installation in the arena is integrated with the wider evacuation system based on a Dynacord ProMatrix 8016 digital matrix. Five Dynacord DPC 8015 paging consoles plus two DPC 8120 paging console extensions and seven DCS 400 base units, capable of hosting a control module or several relay modules, comprise the full emergency system.
The evacuation system also encompasses loudspeakers in other parts of the venue. Manganelli installed a total of 35 Electro-Voice Zxi-100T loudspeakers in stadium surrounds and approaches and more than 450 Bosch LC1-WM06E8 ceiling speakers in passages, changing rooms and bars as well as 400 Bosch LP1-UC10 unidirectional sound projectors.
Electro-Voice equipment is also deployed in lounge areas where six PWS-4 wall panels allow users to select at the push of a button between different sources, such as mobile CD players, wireless microphones and mixing consoles.
Full redundancy is offered with two optical fibre networks to connect the racks with a “turbo ring” feature designed to ensure that, in the event of a connection failure between the two racks, the integrity of the network will be restored in less than 20 milliseconds. Furthermore two spare amplifiers are included in each rack with auto-switching built in to the system to move to spare amplifiers in case of unit failure.
A digital IP based video security system installed by French integrator Degréane. It encompasses a range of Bosch 1080p HD video cameras. The intelligent system offers functionality that assists with tracking people, picking targets out in a crowd and automatically detecting unusual or suspicious objects or activities. A total of 131 cameras were installed with a combination of Flexidome and Autodome cameras deployed.
Other video systems include two 65m² LED screens built and supplied by S[quadrant] in partnership with Sony.
A main control room houses displays for monitoring, sources and mixing and scaling equipment. A Sony MCS-8M video switcher/mixer and TVOne scaler were included. Extron equipment handles video distribution and signal conversion while video feeds can be viewed on a three-by-two Mitsubishi videowall.
Through Iris-Net, operators can control the sound systems and access rack reports for monitoring. A simple and clear graphic interface indicates if equipment is running properly (green) or if it is out of the specified margin (red). Wireless mic monitoring is also included and operators can select a number of presets for the sound system based on different requirements (such as crowd size).
Here, Manganelli deployed a Yamaha 01v digital mixing desk and monitor loudspeakers. It turned to Sennheiser for a wireless microphone system, ear monitors and induction loop. In a separate conference centre the integrator deployed a second Yamaha mixing desk, Sennheiser wireless microphone system and Televic conferencing and interpretation equipment for simultaneous interpretation of four languages.
Manganelli will provide support to help run and monitor audio systems before and during Euro 2016 with a permanent presence throughout the matches and spare equipment on hand in case of any eventuality.