In a project that began in 2018, Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles NFL franchise, has been outfitted with a new audio system to serve the stadium’s 67,590-capacity seating bowl that makes extensive use of loudspeakers from Fulcrum Acoustic.
New Jersey-based system integrator Diversified designed the upgraded system, which was installed in multiple phases during off-seasons starting in spring of 2018. In addition to Eagles football, the stadium regularly hosts the Temple University Owls, the Army-Navy game and many soccer games each season.
“The fan experience across the NFL has been improving for a number of years,” says Jeff Sanderson, Senior Design Engineer at Diversified. “A lot of teams are renovating or building new stadiums. The Eagles wanted Lincoln Financial Field to sound as good or better than anything else in the NFL. Speech intelligibility and musical experience is a critical part of that.”
Diversified proposed a Fulcrum Acoustic-based approach based on experience with the company’s components on other projects. Sanderson employed EASE modeling software in the design, incorporating AH, FH, and GX series models as well as proprietary Passive Cardioid subwoofers. Fulcrum’s ability to provide any model with WR (weather resistant) construction was also a factor.
Rigging structures were pre-fabricated for fast installation. Fulcrum worked closely with Diversified to phase deliveries of products to the Stadium to keep the installation moving efficiently. Where possible, Diversified reused existing loudspeaker locations and wiring, which reduced the amount of new wiring required and added to the overall installation efficiency.
The delay inflicted by the pandemic of 2020 postponed a portion of that year’s work. Nevertheless, Diversified did proceed with installation of approximately 160 customized loudspeakers to provide coverage for seats shaded from the main system.
Upper Seating Deck (Phase 1)
Diversified installed 40 clusters from the sunshade at the top of the stadium to provide audio distribution to the upper deck seats. Each cluster is comprised of an AH65 60 x 45-degree coaxial horns and two GX1226 120 x 60-degree coaxial loudspeakers.
Additional AH96s and AH463s were installed to supplement coverage beyond the extent of the clusters. Individual CS118 subcardioid subwoofers were installed between each cluster and aimed downward for low frequency support.
Club Level (Phase 2)
The Club Level seats are located between the upper seating deck and lower level. For coverage here, Diversified used clusters of FH1565 60 x 45-degree coaxial horns and GX1226 loudspeakers attached to the underside of the upper deck overhang. The FH1565s provide coverage of the lower half of the club level seats while the GX1226s cover the seats near the clusters.
Lower Level (Phase 2)
Loudspeakers for the lower level are mounted to the underside of the club level overhang. Clusters of AH65 and GX1226 are used to provide both long throw and near coverage, similar to the configurations used in the upper seating levels. CS118 subs were again selected for their combination of high-impact performance and low frequency control.
Custom Fill Speakers (Phase 3)
To better match the output and fidelity of the new system, Fulcrum developed the ESB44 and ESB31 horizontal arrays. These provide supplementary coverage for seats shaded from the main system.
While not originally part of the project, the performance of the existing fill loudspeakers was not suitable for use with the new system. Fulcrum developed the ESB enclosure to duplicate the mounting of the original system, and they’re mounted to the face of a partial-height concrete wall spanning the length of the stadium.
Every loudspeaker for the project was constructed using Fulcrum Acoustic’s weather-resistant composite material designed to help maintain strength and durability in the face of inclement weather. All are finished in a custom color selected by the Eagles.
The pandemic forced a realignment of the remaining phases of work. Work planned for 2021 will add new loudspeakers for the end zone seating using DX12 and CX8 series speakers mounted to the stadium’s “Talon” structures. Additional custom ESB44 and ESB31 will be installed to complete the replacement of the existing fill loudspeakers.