The Calgary Stampeders’ defeat of the Ottawa brought the Canadian Football League’s 2018 season to a close at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta. As well as a great game, fans in the stands of the largest open-air stadium in Canada (seating capacity of 55,819) were entertained by live music delivered by a uniquely deployed L-Acoustics K1 sound system, loaded on custom-fabricated carts that were brought onto the field for the performances, and then wheeled out during game play.

Commonwealth Stadium Brother-sister country duo The Reklaws got the audience fired up during the pre-kick-off show, and then Canadian songbird and Grammy Award-winner Alessia Cara rocked the half-time show. The sound system used by FM Systems ensured that all sounded fantastic.

‘The deployment was incredibly smooth,’ says Josh Burnett, General Manager at FM Systems, the Calgary, Alberta-based rental company and L-Acoustics Certified Provider distributor (CPd) that designed and handled the field and stage sound systems. ‘We had the aluminium carts custom made to be both strong and light, so we were not limited in terms of the amount of sound we could get on the field. We literally covered the stadium with K1.’

Each of the eight carts were loaded with five K1 enclosures, with a KS28 subwoofer placed vertically next to the K1 stack. These carts were towed into place for the opening and halftime entertainment events, four per side, along the venue’s sidelines. Each cart was connected to one L-Acoustics LA12X-loaded LA-Rak II amp rack via a multipin.

Custom L-Acoustics cartControl and signal distribution were handled at front-of-house by an L-Acoustics P1 processor, controlled via L-Acoustics Network Manager software. Signal to the amplifier racks was distributed to each side of the field via AVB over fibre.

Two Luminex GigaCore10 switches at front-of–house accepted AVB from the P1 processor and sent the audio to two additional GigaCore10 switches on each sideline to drive all of the LA-Rak II. Both the P1 and LA12X accept AVB natively, so there were no extra conversions needed.

One key reason the L-Acoustics system was chosen, along with its sonic qualities, was for reliability in the anticipated intense weather conditions during Canada’s version of the Super Bowl. The temperature at game time was reported to be a ‘balmy’ 30° F (-1°C). The LA12X amplified controllers were kept running continuously during the entire event, assuring that they were ready to roar for the music performances, and neither the performers nor the amplifiers skipped a beat.

‘The K1 system was the perfect solution for a critical game and entertainment event because it met so many of the requirements, including AVB compatibility, real-time monitoring, performance in cold weather, and SPL capability to cover the seating areas consistently,’ says Burnett, who was also the system tech onsite for FM Systems. ‘It performed perfectly.’

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