Colorado Eagles flying high with L-Acoustics
Wednesday, 31 March 2021
labec1The Budweiser Events Centre hosts everything from hockey, basketball and indoor football to concerts and rodeo
USA - Home to the Colorado Eagles of the American Hockey League, the Budweiser Events Centre (BEC) at The Ranch Events Complex in Loveland, Colorado is a 7,200-capacity multi-purpose arena that hosts everything from hockey, basketball and indoor football to concerts, rodeo, family shows and more.
Less than an hour drive from both Denver and Cheyenne, Wyoming, BEC has become the focal point for sports and entertainment in Northern Colorado, offering approximately 200 events each year, including the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Loveland Regional Tournament held there in late March.
Larimer County, which owns the Spectra-managed venue, recently took advantage of the COVID-mandated downtime to make several notable renovations to the arena. The most significant of these was integrating a new L-Acoustics A Series loudspeaker system, which was designed and installed by Denver-based Brown Note Productions (BNP).
Although the facility is only 16 years old, the arena’s original loudspeaker system - a distributed point-source design - was no longer meeting BEC’s clients’ and patrons’ needs. “The main issues with our former system were coverage deficiencies, poor intelligibility and the lack of availability of replacement parts,” says Spectra director of operations Tom Manning. “With increasing numbers of dead spots throughout the bowl seating areas, trying to equalize volumes was very difficult. In fact, in all of the customer satisfaction surveys that we did following sports or concert events, sound was the number one complaint, so it was time for us to find a better solution.”
“BEC knew that they wanted to enhance the fan experience throughout the arena and provide high-impact audio for all of their events,” recalls BNP director of integration Zach Richards. “They identified some basic performance requirements and a target budget but did not request any specific products. Working closely with the L-Acoustics sports venue team, we used Soundvision 3D modelling software to develop a system featuring A10 Wide enclosures with SB18i subs. Moreover, with LA12X and LA4X amplified controllers, the entire system could be powered on just five amplifiers.”
BEC’s new loudspeaker setup comprises a total of 37 A10 Wide constant curvature enclosures, which are split into nine three-enclosure arrays and two dual-enclosure arrays flown around the centre scoreboard to address the bowl seats, plus two three-enclosure arrays mounted beneath the scoreboard to cover the ice rink.
Two hangs of four L-Acoustics SB18i subs deliver the system’s ample low end, while two coaxial X12 short-thrown enclosures supply fill coverage to the farthest corners of the arena.
The entire system is powered and processed by one L-Acoustics LA4X and four LA12X amplified controllers, racked in a remote closet in the southeast corner of the arena, behind the broadcast booth. These are being fed via analogue from a QSC Q-SYS Core 110F configured with the L-Acoustics plugin to provide operators with direct control and monitoring of the amplifiers.
BNP was faced with an aggressive installation timeline, with an original target completion date of less than three weeks after taking delivery of all the equipment. “We completely demolished the old system - loudspeakers, cabling, DSP and amplification - in about four days,” says BNP integration project manager Matt Bauer. “From there, we were able to pull all new cable, hang loudspeakers, rack amplifiers and DSP and be making noise in about two and a half weeks before the ice was installed in preparation for the team’s first practices and season opener on 5 February.
“It was crucial that we passed signal and listened to the PA’s coverage before the ice went in as some of the PA would be unreachable for about two weeks after the ice was installed. We were thrilled when we fired it up for the first time. The PA did exactly what Soundvision said it would do and we didn't have to make a single adjustment.”

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