Bose Professional RoomMatch line array components have replaced an aging sound system at the Coors Events Center (CEC) on the campus of the University of Colorado Boulder.
Built nearly 40 years ago, the CEC has been through major upgrades in the last eight years, including a new playing surface, expanded practice facilities, a new video production room, and large video boards and ribbon displays. Yet, even though the venue opened at the beginning of November 1979, the original PA system had never been replaced – until recently, when the new Bose system was installed.
UC-Boulder’s Athletics director, Rick George, tasked Steve Pizzi, assistant AD, Coors Events Center and Game Day Operations, and Jason DePaepe, associate AD, Facilities and Game Day Operations, with finding and evaluating a replacement audio system solution for the venue. Pizzi and DePaepe selected a Bose Professional RoomMatch DeltaQ loudspeaker system after being introduced to the technology at a college facilities conference.
The CEC is home to the NCAA Pac-12 Colorado Buffaloes basketball and volleyball programs. The 23,000-square-foot facility, which can seat over 11,500 fans, has hosted presidential primary debates, presidential addresses and major music acts.
Bose Professional personnel worked with Englewood, CO-based AV solutions provider AVI Systems and the school to design a system that would accommodate every type of event that the multi-purpose venue might be called upon to host. Using Bose Modeler software, the design team tested a variety of loudspeaker configurations, and even different seating layouts, in preparation for any potential future changes.
Bose Auditioner software further enabled the designers to hear what any prospective loudspeaker arrangement would sound like from any seat in the house. The final design at the CEC incorporates 15 arrays of RoomMatch modules configured from nine different combinations of horizontal and vertical waveguides.
Ten arrays arranged in a rectangle above the court cover the audience seating bowl with two downward-firing arrays providing on-court coverage. In the main system, two arrays facing each side of the court are configured, from top to bottom, with two RM7010 RoomMatch modules to cover the upper seating and with an RM9020 and an RM9040 module below to extend coverage to the courtside seats.
At both the north and south ends of the court is a single array configured with an RM9010 cabinet at the top and three RM9020 modules below. Above each corner of the court, covering the wedge-shaped seating beneath, is an array consisting of an RM7010, an RM9020, an RM7020 and an RM5520 module. Two hangs each of two RM9010 modules directly above the free-throw lines deliver audio to the players and officials on the court. A single, centrally located line array of six RMS215 dual 15-inch subwoofers provides low-frequency extension.
A separate five-box array and a small delay array are intended to provide voice reinforcement for events taking place on the stage area at the arena’s north end. The single array is positioned directly above the north end basket and includes two RMS215 subs at the top, with one each of RM9020, RM12020 and RM12040 array elements below. A delay array of two RM9020 modules is flown toward the south end of the venue.
A total of 40 RoomMatch Utility RMU108 two-way surface-mount loudspeakers on a 70V distributed network are installed on the concourse level, in the restrooms, and at the building’s entrances. In addition to the loudspeaker systems, UC-Boulder opted for an Audinate Dante-based audio-over-IP system for the entire building. Within the arena, wall panels around the court are networked over fiber to the control room located on the upper level.
Additional input panels are located at the halfway line and at the north and south ends of the court, and connected to the facility’s digital audio console in the control room via Dante. All together, this setup provides what the university required: smooth coverage throughout the seating area, even tonal balance, a consistent mix and a high level of intelligibility.
The transition from the previously installed stereo power amplifiers to the more efficient and compact eight-input Bose PowerMatch PM8500N configurable 4000 watt amplifiers freed up a lot of space in the control room by reducing the number of racks from five to three. The system is managed and processed using a Bose ControlSpace ESP880 eight-channel digital signal processor fitted with a Dante card.
The PowerMatch class D amplifiers are similarly fitted with Dante network cards, as well as ESPLink cards for bidirectional communication with the processor. Using ControlSpace software, engineers can monitor and manage the system from a touchscreen in the control room. By simply touching the relevant icon, they can turn speaker arrays and zones on or off, allowing them to control how much of the arena is energized by the RoomMatch system, depending on the function and attendance.
As part of the audio upgrade, the school purchased a pair of portable Bose F1 Model 812 two-way flexible array loudspeakers and subwoofers for easy deployment when the facility is used for applications like testing and children’s camps, and for use by the lacrosse and soccer teams on Kittredge Field.
Since the venue first opened 37 years ago, not only has audio technology evolved but so, too, have sports events. Pizzi has commented that he and the staff are pleased with the improved SPL and clarity of the system, as well as the capabilities afforded by the new loudspeaker zoning and announcement delivery system.
But more importantly, now that 21st-century sports fans expect more from an event than simply watching the game, the upgraded sound system can finally deliver on those expectations. As Pizzi said, “We’re in the entertainment business now.”