When Grand Canyon University’s Antelopes men’s and women’s basketball teams joined the Western Athletic Conference this summer and upgraded to Division I, GCU Arena was in need of a sound system retrofit worthy of the new division level.
To accommodate, GCU turned to the local Phoenix office of Clearwing Productions, which provided two independent L-Acoustics ARCS WIDE and KARA loudspeaker systems for the 5,000-seat multipurpose venue.
Installed in late June, the arena’s fixed audio system for athletic events, commencement ceremonies and other general assemblies now features 32 ARCS WIDE enclosures.
These are divided into four clusters of three cabinets spread across each of the long sides of the arena and complemented with a single center cluster of four at each of the far ends.
Two arrays of four SB28 subs are centrally hung back-to-back for LF reinforcement, while two six-enclosure KIVA arrays horizontally down-fire onto the court for floor coverage.
Seven LA8 amplified controllers positioned up in the catwalk area power and process the system.
“With the ’Lopes’ upgrade to a new division, GCU was looking for a sound reinforcement system that provided a truly immersive game experience for its fans, so we recommended L-Acoustics,” says Clearwing Productions Project Manager Andre St. Pierre. “The university was looking for something that performed more like a concert sound rig, and the ARCS WIDE platform provided that at a price that fit their budget.
“One of the other nice things about the ARCS WIFO series is that the enclosures are passive, which allowed us to put so many more boxes on each amplifier.
“To deliver concert-level audio to every seat in the house would have cost much more with a competitive system. ARCS WIFO offers tremendous performance at an extremely affordable price point.”
GCU Arena’s other new system is a portable touring rig featuring left and right arrays of four SB18 subs flown above 12 KARA enclosures per side that can be quickly installed and removed as needed.
Eight SB28 subs for ground-stacked LF, six ARCS II for out-fill, five 8XT for front-fill and four LA-RAK for power round out this setup, which can be configured as either a full-house or half-house system for high-profile contemporary Christian and secular touring artists, worship services and other events.
According to GCU Arena Audio Engineer Ian Schell, the university was already a fan of L-Acoustics before investing its new equipment.
“Clearwing has been providing concert sound for most of our touring events and larger productions over the past two years, and they’ve frequently brought in KARA,” he notes. “So when the time came to upgrade our basketball audio system, it made good financial sense to invest in our own in-house KARA system.”