Albuquerque, NM - For nearly 60 years Milne Stadium has been home to generations of Albuquerque's local sporting events. Recently the 6500-seat arena received a wide-ranging makeover, including a new playing surface, new paint and stucco, and a new audio system featuring Community R-Series loudspeakers.
As Sound and Signal Systems' William Hartley explains, the stadium's previous sound system had been problematic for some time. "A few years ago they installed a new scoreboard behind the end zone, complete with a long-throw, single-point line array system. A lot of sound was reflecting off the concrete and glass press box. The problem is, the stadium is surrounded on three sides by the city and the freeway, but the side opposite the press box faces a residential area."
One of two municipal stadiums serving the Albuquerque School District and surrounding community, the park is busy throughout most of the year. "Sometimes they've got two or even three events in a single day," says Hartley. "So they were getting a lot of noise complaints. It got to the point where they had to turn the system down so low it could barely be heard in the park. It was a compromise that served no one." It eventually became a safety issue as well when stadium officials tried to evacuate fans during a lightning storm. "A lot of people couldn't hear the announcement," says Hartley. "That's when the city approached us to find a solution."
Hartley continues, "We decided to put the speakers on the press box, closer to the audience, and direct the sound down toward the seats and the field." A pair of R.5-94Z loudspeakers and an R.5SUB subwoofer are mounted on either side of the press box, covering the main seating area and the field. A single R2 long-throw loudspeaker covers the smaller visitor side bleachers. "We took an R2 with a 50 by 20 coverage pattern and flipped it on its side to give us 20 degrees of horizontal coverage and 50 degrees of vertical. We angled it down the field so it's hitting just the top of the bleachers and none of the houses behind it." Another R.5SUB augments the R2's coverage area.
"They've got a separate volume control for the R2," adds Harley. "So they can turn it down if they've got a small crowd and don't need coverage to those seats." The system is powered by a Bose Power Match amplifier, with a Bose Control Space DSP unit handling system processing.
Hartley says the new sound system has virtually eliminated the neighbors' noise complaints, while offering a dramatic improvement inside the stadium. "They just love it. They can play music and they can hear the announcements without bothering the neighbors. They're able to run the system at 100 or 110 dB and you can't hear it outside the stadium. It's a really, really full sounding system."