AT&T Center Calls On L-Acoustics
WJHW and LD Systems bring “game-changing” sound to home of NBA’s San Antonio Spurs
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - April 2016 -- Built in 2002 at a cost of $175 million, San Antonio, Texas’ AT&T Center underwent a massive $110 million revamp following the NBA Spurs’ 2015 season that expanded entrances, renovated concourses and replaced more than 18,000 arena seats. Also included in that price tag was a serious overhaul of the facility’s technical amenities, including the installation of a new HD main scoreboard and countless video displays, high-density Wi-Fi infrastructure and a full L-Acoustics sports entertainment sound system package designed by Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams (WJHW) and installed by LD Systems.
“The previous sound system featured an exploded cluster design, and integrated amplifiers in the loudspeaker cabinets made maintenance a challenge; in order to service them, the entire self-powered cluster needed to be lowered to the floor,” recalls LD Systems Sales Engineer Kevin Broussard. “Also, it did not adequately cover every seat in the house, and the sonic difference from one section to the next was quite noticeable, so the venue really needed a system that could provide power and punch evenly to every seat in the house.”
To achieve this, project consultant WJHW followed a proven design by patterning AT&T Center’s sound system topology after the L-Acoustics K2 system design for Houston’s Toyota Center, home to the NBA Houston Rockets, a few years prior—this time specifying L-Acoustics’ Kudo WST line source system, which streamlined costs while maintaining excellent performance characteristics.
In addition to Spurs NBA games, AT&T Center also hosts major concert tours and, every February, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s annual three-week San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. “LD Systems has been the rodeo’s production services provider for numerous years and many members of the Spurs organization have had the opportunity to enjoy the Toyota Center’s sound system at Houston Rockets games and various concert events, plus during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo at NRG Stadium,” says Broussard. “So everyone at AT&T Center in San Antonio was very comfortable from the start with the idea of an L-Acoustics solution.”
With support from the manufacturer’s US Application team, LD Systems flew and calibrated the new sound system, which is primarily comprised of 72 Kudo flown in six arrays of 12 enclosures plus 24 SB28 subs flown in six cardioid arrays of four enclosures and located directly behind the main arrays. Each main/sub array pair was flown using a custom-fabricated rigging beam that reduces the four hang points for the main and sub arrays down to only two points, allowing the Kudos and SB28s to be “locked” together as single arrays and fully retract into the roof structure to accommodate touring events if necessary.
In addition to the Kudo and SB28 arrays, 15 L-Acoustics ARCS WiFo speaker arrays are positioned around the upper perimeter of the arena for fills behind obstructions to the main arrays, while a dozen 12XTi coaxials are mounted to the underside of the scoreboard to address the courtside and floor areas. A combination of 34 LA8 and four LA4X amplified controllers power and process the arena’s entire loudspeaker system for seamless integration.
“Reviews of the new rig have all been remarkably positive, both from the client and venue event-goers,” Broussard adds. “Everyone is just elated with its performance, and the primary goal of providing concert level and quality audio throughout the space has been totally achieved.
“The ability to ‘cut off’ or zone parts of the system when the house seating area is reduced has also been a huge game-changer for the venue. They are now able to control where sound is going in the room and prevent unnecessary reflections when only portions of the venue are in use. From the ability to accurately predict coverage with L-Acoustics Soundvision software to how easy the system is to handle and install to its clearly superior quality of audio, L-Acoustics proves time and time again that it is the winning choice for major sporting venues.”
“The new version of Soundvision is fantastic and made the modeling of AT&T Center’s new system a breeze,” notes WJHW’s Scott Bray. “When walking the space and comparing the model to the final results, it was incredibly accurate. Consequently, the fans are now enjoying concert quality sound and levels throughout all the seating areas. The game experience has definitely been elevated and it’s a party from start to finish.”