Home to the Cleveland Browns football team since being built 20 years ago, the FirstEnergy Stadium in Ohio currently seats almost 70,000. The stadium has spent the past few years incrementally building up its live sound capacity with large renovations in 2014 and 2015. Recently deciding that the sound system was still unable to achieve the desired energy and impact, the management called on ATK Audiotek to address the problem.

Cleveland Browns FirstEnergy StadiumHaving worked on the past 18 Super Bowls – including Super Bowl 50 where Powersoft M-Force drivers were used – ATK Audiotek Senior Design Engineer Kirk Powell turned again to Powersoft’s M-Force drivers and X4 power amplifiers.

As with most outdoor sports arenas, FirstEnergy has a large distributed system intended to spread sound as widely as possible – but this can have the effect of diminishing the impact of sound as opposed to just hearing it. ‘They wanted the sound system to bring a more exciting energy into the stands,’ Powell explains. ‘Any time you have an outdoor stadium you have to move a lot of air, and in this case, it wasn’t able to go as low as it needed to give that nice punch to the audience.’

Several possible solutions were discussed, with Powell’s recommendation tbeing to install Powersoft’s M-Force drivers in each quadrant of the stadium. he had tested M-Force previously at Superbowl 50 after Powersoft had sent him units to try out, and found himself impressed with the results.

‘I’m blown away by how efficient it is,’ he comments. ‘It’s a lot of power in a very small package. In a stadium, side-line space is at a premium, so if we save space while still having that powerful impact, it makes a big difference.’

ATK Audiotek has used Powersoft amplifiers in many systems and installs. When it came to the M-Force subwoofer, the company worked directly Powersoft on its development. ‘We wanted a box that we could use at live events, so Claudio and the team at Powersoft brought us a prototype that we’re still currently using,’ Powell says. ‘It goes incredibly low, but we’ve found that it’s incredibly effective in these types of installs.’

Powell worked with integrator Pro Media Audio & Video to install and maintain the FirstEnergy Stadium system, using two M-Force boxes and two Powersoft X4 Power Amplifiers in each quadrant of the stadium. Once installed, the reaction was positive from the stadium sound crew: ‘The operations people were excited when they started hearing it,’ Powell reports. ‘It made a dramatic impact on the system and they are very happy with the results.’

The system has been in action since the pre-season, with the full impact of it being felt at the opening game in early September. Although the install is currently a rental, Powell says that if the proof of concept works as well as it has been, that the stadium has the option of making the M-Force subwoofers permanent.

‘It totally achieved the effect that they were looking for and when you fire up M-Force with the music between plays you can really feel it as an audience member,’ he says. ‘It rocked the stadium and it really keeps you in the game.’

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