As one of the largest confederations of FIFA, UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) is arguably the most influential, and its Championship Games make headlines across Europe and beyond. An estimated 1.3 million international fans packed stadiums across Switzerland and Austria to watch 16 nations compete in the month-long countdown, culminating with Spain claiming the title in Vienna on June 29.
More than 800 Meyer Sound loudspeakers were used in five stadiums, provided by Geneva's Skynight Sound & Light and 19 other Meyer Sound rental partners, with support from Niveau 2, Meyer Sound Spain and Rental Multimedia Systems. While the coordination with the various system providers was essential, it was the consistency and linearity of Meyer Sound systems that made this mammoth collaboration possible.
According to system designer Martin Reich of ZA¼rich-based Tonstudios Z, aesthetics played a major role in creating the designs as the loudspeakers were facing off against the sightlines of more than 35 TV cameras per stadium. "European soccer stadiums are often built by famous architects, and they have a strong visual appeal," Reich explains. "Their finished roofs are an integral part of their design, but often result in height and weight limitations. Hanging an array of ten, sometimes 16 loudspeakers without obstructing the view of the cameras - or worse, the spectators - is a major challenge."
Aside from the typical coverage issues of any large stadium, the systems' performance also had to be versatile enough to present a program spanning opera and oom-pah, techno and TV announcers. The complicated logistics that would have been created by lengthy cable runs made self-powered systems the only viable option.
To cover more than 40,000 seats at Basel stadium in Switzerland, Reich specified 20 hangs totaling 200 Meyer Sound M'elodieâ„¢ line array loudspeakers and 20 600-HP subwoofers, driven by a Galileoâ„¢ loudspeaker management system featuring six Galileo 616 units. Berne and Klagenfurt stadiums, each with more than 30,000 seats, were covered by 178 M'elodies and 18 and 16 600-HPs respectively.
"The M'elodies' small size and sheer power helped us stay out of the sightlines but still deliver full bandwidth at 35 meters," says Reich, who also gives high marks to the MAPP Online Proâ„¢ acoustic prediction program in helping to design and configure the systems for both coverage and sightlines.
Meyer Sound products were also on hand at other venues, including more than 200 M1D line array loudspeakers and M1D-Sub subwoofers outfitting the Tivoli-Neu Stadion, Innsbruck.
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