Ahead of the Euro 2020 soccer tournament, where the Allianz Arena in Munich will be the only German venue to host matches, it has installed a brand-new audio system to respond to UEFA stadium standards.
The audio overhaul at the 75,000-seater stadium, home to German soccer team Bayern Munich, was specified to provide optimized, uniform sound level distribution across all three seating tiers, improve of the transmission quality for music playback, as well as increase speech intelligibility for announcements.
Since the Arena opened, Wilhelm & Willhalm event technology group has been the infotainment technology service provider to the venue, and won the upgrade project when Müller-BBM launched a tender for the new sound system.
In cooperation with the engineering and planning office Müller-BBM, L-Acoustics Certified Provider System Integrator, Wilhelm & Willhalm event technology group, have installed an extensive Kara system from L-Acoustics.
The Allianz Arena, which was designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron, famously features a membrane construction made of EFTE, which is made from translucent air-filled cushions. While the material offers engineering flexibility, it causes a number of considerations when it comes to audio design.
“The membrane roof of the Allianz Arena creates considerable reverberation in the spectator area. For this reason, care was taken to design a system that delivers sound to the spectators, minimizing reflections,” explains Thomas Dürrbeck, who was responsible for planning and construction at Wilhelm & Willhalm event technology group.
Weight restrictions also played a decisive role: “Due to the static restrictions in the roof area of the stadium, only an eight-inch array system was considered,” adds Harald Frisch, sound engineer at Müller-BBM. “L-Acoustics’ Kara system offers an almost ideal ratio of weight, precision of coverage, achievable sound pressure level and sound quality.”
In total, the L-Acoustics installation in the Arena comprises 266 Kara line source elements as well as 54 SB18 subwoofers for the main PA, with 48 ARCS WiFo as delay arrays in the curved areas and 70 5XT coaxial compact loudspeakers under the balconies. The system is driven by 110 LA4X amplified controllers with a system output of 440,000 watts, which are distributed over ten central amplifiers, each with two 40U system racks.