Mandalay Baseball, parent company of the legendary Dayton Dragons Minor League Baseball team, contracted integrator Alpha Video Sports & Entertainment Group to completely renovate the video control and broadcast room at their Fifth Third Field Ballpark. The new setup now comprises two Soundcraft Si Expression 3 consoles, significantly expanding the digital capabilities of the broadcast and production team.
The ballpark holds the record for consecutive sold-out games, which include all American professional sports teams. As a multi-use facility with seating for 7,800, it’s used for baseball as well as various specialty events. Thus, the new digital system is fine-tuned to be flexible and expandable: the Si Expression 3 was installed in the production control room, feeding live signals to the audience, while the console in the broadcast room is responsible for broadcasting 25 games every season to local CBS affiliate networks.
“We wanted to move away from complex analog structures, and decided that the Soundcraft Si Expression 3 was the best choice,” says Scott Rohrer, creative technologist for Mandalay Baseball. “When compared with a Yamaha LS9 console, the Si Expression blew it out of the water, in terms of digital options and what we could do with it. From my experience with the Si Compact line and this console, Soundcraft has earned a well-deserved reputation.”
Given the limited size of the booths where the operations take place, the Si Expression 3 consoles fit the bill by providing great power in a reasonable form. Also, both consoles are configured with a Dante option card, which adds huge expandability and provides a 64- x 64-channel interface to any Dante-compatible device from Harman or other third-party manufacturer.
“The new consoles allowed us to play around with many digital options; MADI links, and the functionality of the Dante card was a big advantage,” according to Rohrer. “Having 10 games under our belts so far with the Si Expression, the digital flexibility has been simply amazing. Our system now has a much more simplified integration of networks and gear than before, without compromising the audio quality.”
Darren Whitten, account executive with Alpha Video Sports & Entertainment, adds, “We are honored that Mandalay Baseball chose us to provide the integration services for their new control room. Even though they’ve never had problems filling seats at Fifth Third Field, the new control room will definitely enhance the game day experience for their fans.”