Śląski StadiumA complete rebuild of Poland’s most famous venue has made it one of the most modern football and sporting facilities in Europe. Opened in 1956, Śląski Stadium (Silesian Stadium) in Chorzów was a symbol of Poland’s post-war rebirth, and has hosted some of football’s most important and memorable matches, as well as concerts by U2, AC/DC, Iron Maiden and The Rolling Stones.

In 1993 the stadium became the official home of the Polish national football team.

The rebuild of Śląski Stadium has been a long and sometimes difficult project. Begin in 2009, the new 43,000sq-mroof proved the biggest hurdle and its partial collapse during construction lead to long delays and a re-design. Despite the problems and additional costs, the national importance of the venue ensured the project would succeed and it was finally completed in late 2017.

Śląski Stadium

In addition to the new roof, the modernisation includes stands, lighting, video screens and sound systems. Other facilities include a restaurant, food vendors and VIP boxes, and the stadium’s original speedway track has been replaced with a traditional track to host international athletic events.

An system design was put together by Dr Piotr Kozłowski of Acoustic Laboratory Pracownia Akustyczna, who subsequently approached Polish distributor Tommex for equipment selection. Local company Noma2 carried out the installation work under the guidance of manager, Janusz Konopka.

Measurements determined the specification, which included an STIPA speech intelligibility of not less than 0.45 in an empty stadium. With a bandwidth of 60Hz to 16kHz, the system was required to deliver 105dB at the stands and 95dB on the playing field, each exceeding the estimated level of the fans by 10dB.

Meeting the design criteria required loudspeakers that would not only match or exceed the acoustic specification, but also handle the severe weather conditions. Śląski Stadium is an all-year venue so the sound system had to meet IP55 and, above all, the loudspeaker enclosures and fittings had to withstand the conditions of the severe Polish winter.

The system is based around Dynacord electronics and Community loudspeakers. Tommex chose Community having already proven their acoustic performance and all-weather reliability in numerous Polish stadia. With well-controlled dispersion, the Community loudspeakers selected by Tommex exceeded specification and achieved an average level at the stands of 108dB.

The main system for the spectator stands is divided into eight zones and uses 119 Community R2-52Z three-way loudspeakers, supplemented by 40 R6-BassHorns. The raked seating of Śląski Stadium creates theatre-style balcony overhangs and the under-balcony seating and walkway areas are covered by 61 Community W2-2W8 loudspeakers. The playing field is covered by four three-way R2-694Z loudspeakers.

System management is located in the commentator room in the eastern stand. This is where a Yamaha CL1 digital mixer, Dynacord P64 matrix and Dante-to-Madi converters are located, Madi being the format for transmission of audio between the Yamaha CL1 and OB vans when providing signals for television or radio. Using the Dante protocol, the audio signal is distributed by two redundant optical fibre cables with a third optical fibre used for communication of the Iris-Net network. System amplification includes forty two-channel Dynacord DSA 8209 amplifiers and 47 four-channel DSA 8410 amplifiers.

Śląski Stadium

A PC provides full control and system management via the Iris-Net network. The system includes both wired and wireless microphone systems, with feedback eliminators. Zone microphones are additionally equipped with automatic regulators that adjust the signal level according to the background noise level and a Dynacord Promatrix microphone zone panel allows PA messages to be made by the stadium’s safety and security staff. CD, MP3, USB and SSD players are also provided.

In addition to the main stadium systems, 80 Community loudspeakers are installed on pillars that surround the stadium. Forty R.25-94Z loudspeakers are directed to the gallery, which surrounds the walls of the stadium and forty ENT-FR high-performance column line source loudspeakers cover the area between the stadium and the venue’s perimeter fence and entrance gates. Indoor rooms and public areas of the stadium building are covered by one-hundred eight Community I/O8 and 88 DS8 wall-mounted loudspeakers.

All of the sound systems at Śląski Stadium are fully integrated with the audio warning system, which, if necessary, can take full priority and use the sound system for more efficient crowd control and evacuation of fans in the event of an emergency.

‘With built-in reliability, the sound system at Śląski Stadium provides high intelligibility speech, great music quality and consistent coverage for this prominent international venue,’ says Tommex Commercial Director, Marcin Zimny. It’s also a system of which we can be proud, being the largest installed in any sports facility in Poland.’

The Polish national football team return to Śląski Stadium in March 2018, to enjoy the new facilities.

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