Since opening in June 1999, the Principality Stadium (formerly Millennium Stadium) has welcomed, on average, over 1.3 million visitors per year. The stadium boasts the first fully-retractable roof in the UK and is a leading venue for multi-purpose, multi-faceted events.
Vaughan Sound has worked with the Principality Stadium historically on a number of installation projects; this includes teaming up with Security Centres to install a new fire telephone system. More recently, Vaughan Sound in conjunction with CUK Audio, Baldwin Boxall and the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) completed a major refurbishment of the stadium’s audio system. Essentially the client brief was to deliver an economic, cost-effective solution with the emphasis on improving the system’s operation and performance.
The WRU chose Vaughan Sound to refurbish and maintain the stadium’s audio system due to our longstanding association with the venue, following on from earlier work at Cardiff Arms Park. In order to deliver best value commercially and technically, Vaughan Sound entered into collaboration with CUK Audio to co-ordinate and integrate the new audio solution. Community loudspeakers are internationally recognised in the arena of sport stadia. As a result of this partnership, audio quality, intelligibility and overall coverage have been vastly improved. Additionally, in the eventuality of an emergency evacuation, Vaughan Sound incorporated the new professional sound equipment into the stadium’s life safety system.
The existing Community M4 and EM 280 horns were reconfigured and reinforced with the addition of R6 Bass bins around the pitch perimeter. Powersoft K Series and DC amplifiers were installed to power the front end, supplemented by the original Crest amplifiers. Powersoft LQ-2804 & Q-4002 amplifiers were utilised to improve the Community WET2V8 under balcony delays.
Behind the scenes, the Baldwin Boxall Vigil EVAS network router and controller monitors distribution between each of the stadium’s six racks and interfaces with the fire alarm system. A new mimic display touchscreen was installed in the stadium’s control room for matchday operation, together with a zoned BVRD microphone in the security room. A new enhanced data network cable links the distributed racks throughout the stadium. Processing within the main stadium bowl is provided by dual BSS Soundweb BLU 80 processors in each of the rack locations. The existing 100v line circuits have all been reconfigured and interfaced with the new system to vastly improve communication throughout.
Along with the new audio system, the Principality Stadium underwent major improvements carried out by the technology services company CAE. These improvements transformed the match-day experience, making the stadium one of the most technologically advanced arenas in the UK. The installation of two 90 square metre LED big screens for each end of the pitch, and over four hundred high-definition LCD screens around the concourse and in hospitality suites, were included.
Control of all communication systems in the stadium were also consolidated to work alongside the latest TV, video and audio production support systems to create a new in-house broadcasting channel. ‘WRU TV’ allows live, behind-the-scenes and pre-recorded footage to be screened around the stadium, enhancing the match experience for fans.
Separately, Security Centres were awarded the contract to upgrade the stadium’s existing fire alarm system and approached Vaughan Sound to design and install the fire telephone system. To this end, an Omnicare system from Baldwin Boxall was specified and installed.
Vaughan Sound, in conjunction with CUK Audio, successfully delivered an audio solution that not only improved the quality of sound but complements the Stadium’s existing communications systems. The new intuitive solution allows the audio to be easily controlled and monitored from a single control point.
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