The Britannia Stadium is the home of Premiership Football Club Stoke City. The grounds, which cost £15 million, opened in 1997 by Sir Stanley Matthews.
As a top-flight arena with a capacity of 28,000 spectators, the need to clearly deliver information throughout the venue is of great importance. From safety announcements and music, to team changes and minutes of added time, stadium announcer Steve Buxton is a busy man.
Until recently, Buxton mixed output received via walkie-talkie behind glass—a less than ideal mixing atmosphere. In order to better cater to the needs of a top sports stadium, Stoke City called in Paul Heath director at HSL Entertainment to consult about the best way to remedy the situation. Heath, in turn, contacted POLARaudio who supplied a Mackie DL806 iPad Control Wireless Mixer to allow Buxton to mix from the center of the action.
The DL806 allows its user to combine using a full-featured digital mixer with the ease and mobility of an iPad. Supplying exceptional sound quality with 8 Onyx mic preamps and the performance of 24bit Cirrus Logic AD/DA converters, the DL806, with seamless wired to wireless iPad control, now allows Buxton the freedom to mix from anywhere in the stadium. The power to deliver his choice of content is now instantaneous and quite literally, at his fingertips.
Buxton, who is also head of PR, event and media management at Stoke City, is relishing his new-found mobility:
“Being in every way so much closer to the action makes a huge difference. I’m now physically at the center of things and that allows me to respond to events and convey information without the previous to-ing and fro-ing via the walkie-talkie,” he adds. “Part of my job is also to help build the atmosphere before kick-off, so to be pitch-side rather than high up behind glass really helps me to feel properly part of what’s going on.”
“This was a relatively small scale solution to a major headache and it serves as a good illustrator of how choosing the right technology is the key to a successful outcome,” adds Heath. “The Mackie DL806 is a versatile piece of kit and has more than proved its worth at the Brittania Stadium. Steve can now concentrate on the job in hand from the thick of the action without all the previous hassles.”