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Cleveland Browns Boost Sound All Around the Dawg Pound

Sep 01, 2015
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Cleveland Browns Boost Sound All Around the Dawg Pound

Football, fun and food, it’s safe to say, have always been a winning combination. Nowadays, we’re in a golden age for all of the above, as teams reinvent their stadiums to boost the fan experience from an entertainment, dining and drinking perspective.

Case in point: FirstEnergy Stadium, home to the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, saw its game-day experience ratings soar last season with the addition of massive new sound systems and video boards in Phase I of a massive renovation project. A season-ticket holder survey conducted by the NFL revealed that FirstEnergy Stadium moved up from 31st to 14th among NFL teams in overall game-day experience satisfaction, and the Browns also made gigantic strides in in-game entertainment and technology ratings, leaping from 26th to fourth place.

As Browns President Alec Sheiner has pointed out, Phase I was all about “making the stadium loud.” Next up, Phase II improvements for the 2015-2016 season guarantee more of the same big audio treatment, with sound system builders and live sound powerhouse Pro Media / UltraSound (PM/US) returning for a second round of the sonic treatment that made the Dawg Pound rumble last season.

Working alongside system installers Zenith Systems and Turner Construction, PM/US boosted music and PA playback in new concessions areas featuring Cleveland celebrity chefs and also the grand opening of Club 46, a field-level hospitality suite that provides the VIP treatment to select season ticket holders.

PM/US senior project engineer Jim Kinkella provides an overview of what the upgrade entailed: “It’s an interesting mix of loudspeaker technologies, amounting to a hybrid of conventional ceiling speakers and directional column speakers throughout the venues.”

In addition to complete music and paging coverage, PM/US went one better on the club levels, which have several high-ceilinged sections, selecting JBL Professional’s Intellivox column loudspeakers to provide greater clarity and intelligibility in the cavernous spaces. “Some of these spaces are two stories tall,” Kinkella points out, adding that the JBL Intellivox provides a steerable sound to help aim the audio and direct it away from reflective surfaces.

Such high-tech, digital technology makes coverage of the various spaces more efficient, adds Ted Leamy, COO of PM/US. “When you look at the total cost of installation, multiplying the comparatively low number of devices we need to use by factors of how quick and easy it is to install those devices on a digital infrastructure, the project has turned out to be way more cost-effective than one where conventional ceiling speakers are used.”

Of course, football fans will be too busy enjoying themselves to get out their calculators and count speakers, but PM/US definitely has the sense of sound covered just as well as those celebrity chefs have handled the infusion of new tastes in the modernized FirstEnergy Stadium.