Fort Myers, FL - For sunbirds and residents of Arizona, Florida and other warm-weather environs, baseball’s spring training is a special treat. It’s a time to catch an intimate pre-season game and view a team’s favorite and newest players, in a casual, up-close and personal environment.
Boston Red Sox fans are particularly pleased these days, thanks to the opening of the new Jet Blue Park in Fort Myers, Florida. The 11,000-capacity venue is a striking bit of architecture that affords great views from virtually every seat in the house, and excellent sound thanks to a high-end audio system that includes a selection of Community WET and R-Series weather-resistant loudspeakers. The audio system, designed by WJHW’s Gary White and installed by Jupiter, FL-based Peerson Audio, was a relatively routine project, though as Peerson’s President Allen Peerson explains, the new venue’s architecture presented a few minor challenges.
“The asymmetrical roof covering the seating areas is ornamental, rather than structural,” he says. “It’s designed to be a sun shade. So we had to go above the roof and rig the loudspeakers to the structural steel instead. That meant working off the warning track with a lift to install them 80 to 85 feet high.”
Needless to say, that height also affects coverage patterns, all the more critical in spring training venues. “Unlike modern major league stadiums, spring training parks are typically located fairly close to residential areas,” says Peerson. “Achieving a tight coverage pattern is important in keeping the sound away from neighboring homes, and the Community WET Series offers an excellent coverage pattern. We did a pretty good job of it – even out in the parking lot, it’s pretty quiet.”
Audio for the main covered seating area is provided by a selection of 39 WET W2-228T loudspeakers, with a single R1-66Z and R2-52Z loudspeaker firing out into the bleachers and berm areas. Crown CTs-series amplification powers the system, and Biamp Audia units handle system drive and processing.
“South Florida gets quite a bit of extreme weather, including wind, rain and monsoons,” says Peerson. “The WET and R-Series loudspeakers also offer excellent weather resistance, making them an excellent choice for this project.”