LASK’s new ground is now among the largest and most modern sports facilities in the country

Austria - Currently riding high in the Bundesliga - the top tier of Austrian football - Linzer Athletik-Sport-Klub (LASK) recently relocated to Linz’s futuristic new Raiffeisen Arena. Constructed as a UEFA Category 4 venue, LASK’s new ground is now among the largest and most modern sports facilities in the country, with over 80 Genelec Smart IP loudspeakers delivering quality sound to the fans.

Key players in this project were Saw IT Consulting, Genelec distributor Audio Pro, and local integration company Contech – who were responsible for the central distribution of all audio-visual equipment, as well as some of the stadium audio.

“Genelec was chosen for three main reasons,” says Friedrich Mühlböck from Saw IT Consulting. “Firstly, because of their undeniable quality thanks to their heritage as one of the most respected players in the studio market. Secondly, the option of IP was important, and thirdly the fact that the loudspeakers were active. The arena didn’t want to install any amplifiers, as this would have meant extra cabling and additional housing space for racks.”

Raiffeisen occupies a 39,000sq.m area and cost €85m to build, heralding the start of a new era for football and regional investment in Upper Austria. With a new, modern infrastructure, Raiffeisen can host Champions League fixtures, and offers its fans a complete experience with brand new on-site facilities, including the vibrant LASK fan zone – which is a first for the Austrian team.

The fan zone features regional independent traders that pitch up and serve match day food alongside the upside-down beer – a technique which was first seen at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and allows fans to fill their beer glasses from the bottom up. The Genelec loudspeaker system is mainly distributed across these hospitality areas, and provides background music, as well as handling live acts and DJs.

In total, eighty 4430 Smart IP loudspeakers power this fan zone, plus the business club, restaurant and bakery, and VIP boxes which can be hired out privately with catering for larger groups. Additionally, four 4030 loudspeakers provide high-quality audio to the arena’s technician room. “The target was to have central, easy-to-handle control over all audio-visual outlets, especially in the hospitality sections of the stadium,” continues Mühlböck.

“Most of the Genelec loudspeakers are in this area, and we chose the Smart IP models because of their flexibility and ease-of-use - two things that are essential in a sports venue. They also slot in discreetly almost anywhere, so we could use them in most areas without the system looking too imposing.

“Additionally, Raiffeisen Arena has a huge commitment to sustainability and Genelec’s green credentials are very impressive. The arena has been awarded with a Green Globe certification, which it achieved through its renewable energy – thanks to solar panels and smart waste and water management. Genelec’s commitment to sustainability across its products and company-wide practices really aligned with Raiffeisen’s ethos.”

The system is controlled by an Allen & Heath AHM-64 Matrix with a Dante V2 card and Allen & Heath System Manager software. Contech also configured a customised user control app via an iPad, which offers simple control across the venue.

Constructed in the heart of Linz, Raiffeisen Arena showcases the innovative journey of stadium design. Combining luxury hospitality with sleek, modern audio, the home of Austria’s LASK football team has created an unforgettable atmosphere that extends beyond the excitement on the pitch. With Genelec’s Smart IP and 4000 series loudspeakers delivering premium but sustainable sound, LASK fans can enjoy being right at the heart of the Bundesliga action.  

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