MVSU – Harrison HPER Complex
A Small-Town Mississippi College Arena Gets Big-Time Sound
Deep in the Delta, the vibrant, rural college town of Itta Bena is no stranger to sound that moves the soul. Birthplace of blues legend B.B. King, it’s also the proud home to a historically black college, Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU), where the aging R.W. Harrison HPER Complex is home court to the NCAA Division 1 Delta Devils basketball and volleyball teams. Before uttering the word, “sound system,” the university spent $17.5 million to modernize, which included a new health and wellness center and technology classrooms.
Faced with feedback from all sides that their sound system was “vastly inadequate for a Division 1 program competitive in NCAA basketball,” the school’s administration added a last-minute sound upgrade. With their funding depleted on a renovation that had gone into overtime, and their first NCAA basketball game just weeks away, the budget was tight, and the timeline, tighter. The arena had a low ceiling, which meant the system had to be just powerful enough to bring concert-grade sound to every seat, but not in a way that overpowered the space.
The AV designer, integrator, and provider initiated a full-court press starting with a room acoustics and noise control analysis that would meet the school’s budget, schedule, and accommodate the low ceiling. They decided on a medium-throw ARCS Wide system, because it checked all the boxes, offering performance, a quick setup, and excellent value. For one, the ARCS Wide subwoofer can be stacked right on the array, which saves cost by removing the need for third-party rigging. It helped that it’s designed as a plug-and-play package for quick set-up and easy flying, so once the L-Acoustics order arrived, MSAudio installed the entire system in just four days.
Now dubbed “the premier arena on campus,” everyone, from stakeholders to students, has said how great the new system sounds. The multi-purpose complex and is home to the Devils NCAA basketball and volleyball have become a true entertainment hub for concerts, step shows, events, and more. Enrollment has increased for the third year in a row. A University that invests in its facilities and is forward-thinking enough to include premium sound in its arena is a draw for students.
On the choice to use ARCS Wide, Will Rolan of RWA says, “I’m pleased to say that the results have more than exceeded our initial expectations.”
We chose ARCS Wide enclosures because they represented an excellent value in terms of performance versus cost. And I’m pleased to say that the results have more than exceeded our initial expectations.
Principal Consultant, Roland, Woolworth & Associates
- 22 ARCS Wide enclosures total, with four horizontally arrayed above each basketball hoop to address the endcourt seating areas
- Two ARCS Wide flown directly above the court
- Six SB18m subwoofers flown above six vertical arrays of two ARCS Wide, three on each side along the length of the court to cover courtside
- LA4X amplified controllers