Pro Audio Systems scores at Harrogate stadium
Thursday, 20 January 2022
harrogateThe refurbished EnviroVent stadium
UK - In August 2020, Harrogate Town FC were promoted to the English Football League (EFL) for the first time in their history. With promotion came new responsibilities.
The League’s regulations precluded the use of the club’s Wetherby Road (EnviroVent) stadium’s synthetic pitch, and, as a narrow window of time did not allow the work on a replacement to be completed before the start of 2020/21 season, Harrogate Town arranged a temporary ground-share at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium. Comfortably maintaining their new League status during a season largely played in empty stadiums due to COVID-19 restrictions, the club, with work on a new grass pitch completed, prepared to return home.
Other EFL infrastructure criteria also had to be met at the EnviroVent, one of which was provision for a permanent public address system, which according to the League’s regulations required ‘adequate speaker output to relay information to all spectator areas, as required by the local authority, with the ability to interrupt for safety announcements from the stadium control room’. With the possibility of a future further development of its facilities, the club sought to install a high quality, future-proof system, that could be expanded if required.
Sheffield-based technical services specialists AVLS Technical, who had previously supplied temporary pre-match PA requirements on a hire basis, were engaged by the club to consult over the permanent installation. The club’s plan at this stage was to upgrade audio provision in four of the ground’s six distinct areas, and work with their existing set-up in the remaining two.
Tom Vickers, partner at AVLS explains: “When we took a close look at what was required, it was quickly apparent that it wasn’t a simple case of dropping in a few speakers, so we spoke to Pro Audio Systems for some advice. They came highly recommended, and our contact turned out to be Dave Simpson, who we’d worked with many years before.”
Simpson duly recommended a system based around RCF’s range of loudspeakers. He then worked closely with Francesco Venturi of RCF’s Engineering Support Group, who assisted the project by providing design options for the different areas of the stadium’s stands and communal areas, using EASE prediction software.
The chosen system predominantly comprised products from RCF’s compact, lightweight and weatherproof P Series. These rugged IP55 rated enclosures were deployed in three out of the four principle areas to be covered. In the Main Stand, AVLS installed six P3115T cabinets, whilst the greater depth of the Black Sheep Brewery Stand required 12 x P2110T for even coverage. The EnviroVent Stand was catered for with two P3108 cabinets, and 20 x MQ80P (which will be redeployed upon further development) completed the picture in the Myrings Terrace area.
Simpson recommended Yamaha PX Series amplification for the project, based on build quality and reliability, controlled by a QSC Q-Sys Core 110f processor.
At the point where AVLS had completed the originally planned installation, it became apparent to the club that the difference in quality between the new system and the remainder of the existing system was significant. Vickers takes up the story:
“Once we’d completed the initial job, we were immediately asked questions about the huge quality gap between the new system and what was left of the old one. It had been picked up by everyone from the fans to the chairman, and the decision was quickly taken to design a second phase to the upgrade. Dave Simpson and Jake Brown from Pro Audio Systems visited the site and were able to swiftly draw up some costings for the club.”
Once approved, this second phase saw 10 x RCF P3108 speakers deployed in the Wetherby Road Stand with six P3108 added in the AON Stand. Another three P3108 in the AON Stand and four additional P3115 positioned in the Main Stand took care of the pitch area. As with the first phase, all amplification was by Yamaha. To complete the picture and ensure total coverage of the ground and comfortably meet every safety requirement, AVLS installed Ecler 100v line speakers in all concourse and walkway areas. The club invested in two Sennheiser Evolution Digital radio microphones for match day pitch-side interviews.
Harrogate Town FC are delighted with their new system. It has attracted favourable comments from a variety of quarters, comparing its quality with that of leading Premier League clubs.

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