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Germany’s Borussia Park Upgrades To RCF

Graner & Partner consulting collaborates with Wärtsilla Funa to deploy HL20 WP arrays and HL2290 WP loudspeakers in 59,000 seat arena.

RCF has recently concluded another notable audio project in one of Europe’s main stadiums, Germany’s Borussia Park in Mönchengladbach, with a capacity of 59,000 spectators.

Despite having been built between 2002 and 2004, until 2015 the BMG was not equipped with a sound system up to the requirements of a modern football stadium, so the project marks an important advancement in the venue’s technology.

The new audio system – developed by Graner & Partner consulting company in collaboration with Wärtsilla Funa integrator and RCF – required a considerable amount of adaptations to standard equipment and installation hardware, involving extensive know-how in acoustic solutions for large sports arena.

The final design includes 12 arrays of 12 x HL20 WP passive speakers – 6 arrays on the west and east long grandstands, 4 on the north and south short grandstands, and 2 on the corners. The HL20 WP weatherproof passive line array module guarantees high output and dynamics, with a precise coverage of 100°x15° thanks to the especially designed waveguide. The new system at Borussia Park also includes 4 arrays of 6 x HL2290 WP horn-loaded two-way loudspeakers, ideal for mid-to-long-throw applications, and 4 arrays of 2 x HL2290 WP speakers for the playing area.

Requirements specified in the competitive tender were direct SPL of 101 ± 3 dB on 99% of the audience seats, and a minimum STI of 0.51 ± 0.02 in the fully occupied stadium. RCF technicians report the system as having an average STI of 0.53 and SPL of 107, with uniform distribution on all seats. Bernd Muckl, head of engineering at the Borussia Park, asserted that the results at the stadium marked a brilliant achievement and a significant upgrade in the stadium’s technological equipment.

As stated by the technical staff of RCF’s German division that was charged with delivering the project, the concern with weather conditions has played a significant role in the choice and configuration of the system.

“The installation points are at the end of the roofs, leaving the system directly exposed to all weather conditions. There are no catwalks, so a passive system was preferred for reasons of maintenance simplicity,” they report.

In this case concerns with harsh weather and security have not only led to the choice of weatherproof passive line arrays, but also to several customization requirements. In particular, all HL20 WP and HL2290 line arrays installed at Borussia Park were constructed from 21 mm plywood, equipped with fixed FRNC weatherproof cable and painted with a fire-resistant self-extinguishing coating. A test of the final equipment was made by the customer together with local authorities.

Furthermore, perhaps the most impressive customized element of the BMG system is the tailor-made array design. Expo Engineering developed a unique cluster frame with mounting plates on both sides, in order to cope with the special climate challenges from weather and wind.

In the last few years RCF has increasingly been involved in the realization of large projects for stadia and sports arena, such as Baku, Dortmund, Juventus and Konya Torku, just to name a few. The experience gained in customizing audio systems with tailor-made features was one of the reasons for the choice of RCF by Wärtsilla Funa. Graner & Partner Engineers followed and confirmed the chosen RCF system from the initial planning to the choice of products and construction management.

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Andreas Simon, procurator and Manuel Marx, planner of Graner & Partner Engineering, and Bernhard Schönfuss from Wärtsilla Funa system integrator have all expressed their contentment with the choice, that has produced such excellent results.

The new audio system at Borussia Park was inaugurated during the Telekom Cup, a tournament with 4 Bundesliga teams held on 12th July last year. The Champions’ League and Bundesliga matches currently being played also enjoy the upgraded power and clarity of RCF’s sound, with great satisfaction of the club and even more so of all the stadium’s visitors.

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