Petco Park, home to Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres, recently took a step toward delivering on its dedication to “Creating Major League Memories” with systems integrator Daktronics performing an audio retrofit headed by Harman Professional components.
The facility, which opened in 2004, seats 42,445 and calls itself “The World’s Best Ballpark in America’s Finest City,” is now equipped with JBL Professional loudspeakers, Crown Audio amplifiers and BSS Audio processing.
Audio project engineer David Sturzenbecher and the Daktronics Audio team’s first step in the extensive Petco Park audio retrofit was evaluating the state of the previous system by testing every amplifier’s voltage gain and frequency response. Petco Park has two large amplifier rooms, each with 80 amplifiers, and up to 30 amplifiers in each of six smaller rooms.
Daktronics Audio replaced each of the older amplifiers in the smaller rooms with Crown DCi amplifiers; the upgrade to the Crown DCi amplifiers in the larger rooms is ongoing. Outfitted with proprietary DriveCore technology, DCi is powerful yet energy efficient in a package just 2RU high.
For loudspeaker testing, Sturzenbecher along with field engineer Doug Dodge took impedance measurements of each unit run from the amplifier rooms and listened to every passband of every loudspeaker. Once the needs were determined, JBL loudspeakers were selected.
“The stadium is located only a quarter mile from the ocean, and the loudspeakers on the upper deck are quite exposed and only accessible via scaffolding,” Sturzenbecher says. “So in addition to superior sound quality, we selected the JBL PD and AM weatherized boxes because we knew they would be able to handle these conditions without the need for additional service.”
While the sound requirements for most of Petco Park are on a large scale, the facility does have a number of restaurants and bars that called for a lighter touch. To accommodate those areas, Sturzenbecher augmented the BSS Audio BLU-800 processers already installed throughout the venue by adding BLU-320 devices in the park’s more compact sections.
“The BLU-320 provides the preamps for local audio input, but also provides the BLU link source for each local amplifier room,” he notes. “The Soundweb London processors were programmed so that mix engineers can monitor any audio signal in the park from the control room.”
In the Bud Patio area, Daktronics installed three JBL Control 29AV-1 loudspeakers and, for Hodad’s Restaurant, eight JBL C29AV-WH-1 70V loudspeakers. The lodge, restaurant, pier and Hall of Fame bars use Crown DCi 2I600N amplifiers.
The equipment inventory of Harman products that Daktronics installed in various areas of the park is extensive. On the Toyota Terrace, 19 JBL PD5322/95-WRX-WH weather-protected loudspeakers were installed. For the outer concourse, Sturzenbecher selected 30 JBL AWC129 all-weather loudspeakers with 70V transformers and two Crown DCi 2I1250N amplifiers.
To fill in gaps in the concourse, two JBL PD5322/43-H-WRX weather-protected loudspeakers, two JBL AM5215/66-H-WRX weather-protected loudspeakers, powered with four Crown DCi 2I1250N amplifiers.
On the park’s upper deck, Daktronics installed a complete replacement, including 26 JBL PD5322/64 WRX-H-WH weather-protected loudspeakers, 26 JBL AM5215/26-H-WRX weather-protected loudspeakers, 26 AM5215/95-H-WRX weather-protected loudspeakers and 23 JBL AM5215/00-H-WRX weather-protected loudspeakers.
T he Right Field Budweiser Scoreboard and Budweiser Patio Addition is outfitted with four JBL PD5322/64-WRX-H-WH weather-protected loudspeakers, five JBL AM5215/26-H-WRX weather-protected loudspeakers, one JBL PD5215/95-WRX-H-WH weather-protected loudspeaker and, for the right outfield rear fill, seven JBL C29AV-WH-1 loudspeakers; the area is powered with a Crown DCi2I1250N two-channel amplifier. For the owners’ suites, Daktronics installed 12 JBL C29AV-WH-I weather-protected loudspeakers.
This deployment is also one of the largest to date of HARMAN HiQnet Audio Architect audio system design and configuration software, which retains the workflow-centered philosophy first introduced in HiQnet System Architect but also incorporates the BSS Audio Soundweb London DSP functionality.
By uniting HiQnet System Architect and Soundweb London, Harman believes that HiQnet Audio Architect represents the next stage in the evolution of audio systems design software. Sturzenbecher agrees: “HiQnet Audio Architect lets us combine programs and provide intuitive custom panels on a large touchscreen for the operators. We have more than 200 HiQnet devices on the network, and the status of all of them can be seen by simply glancing at the software.”
The Harman lineup also helped address one of the unique acoustic challenges of Petco Park, which is the “Park at the Park” area just outside the stadium where fans can watch the game with their pets. “The main complaint from people in that area was that the sound was unintelligible,” Sturzenbecher says. “So we replaced about a dozen loudspeakers with two JBL CBT 70J+E column loudspeakers. The coverage throughout the park is great and the vocals are very clear.”