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Dodger Stadium Gets Massive Audio Update

Built in 1962, Dodger Stadium has wrapped up a considerable renovation that included a massive installation of L-Acoustics loudspeakers.

Dodger Stadium is now home to an L-Acoustics K2 sound system
[/media-credit] Dodger Stadium is now home to an L-Acoustics K2 sound system.

Los Angeles, CA (August 6, 2020)—First built in 1962, Dodger Stadium has kept up with the times ever since, with regular renovations that incorporate new technologies and answer changing needs of fans and teams. The latest, just completed renovation included the installation of a L-Acoustics K2 line source array sound system covering the stadium seating, and L-Acoustics A15i and X8 speakers covering the new Centerfield Plaza and existing Outfield Pavilion areas.

The installation marks the first MLB project for L-Acoustics. “Our goal was to have a state-of-the-art sound system at the stadium,” says Derek O’Hara, director, Planning & Development for the Los Angeles Dodgers. “Dodger Stadium is designed the way ballparks were at the time it was built, with point-source sound systems that need to throw long distances. We wanted to modernize the stadium’s sound, allowing it to host many different types of events besides baseball, while keeping the park’s architecture as traditional as it has always been.”

View from the Top: Alan Macpherson, L-Acoustics

That means the K2 system throws more than 600 feet from arrays to top deck seating, as the new sound system comprises two PA towers supporting a total of 62 K2 loudspeakers: 20 enclosures are flown in both the left and right main arrays, flanked by adjacent side arrays of 11 more K2 per tower. For low-end reinforcement, 21 SB28 subs are positioned on the right field tower, with three SB28 on the left field side. Twenty coaxial X8 serve as left and right Pavilion delay fills.

Additionally, L-Acoustics A15i and X8 speakers are deployed in the new Centerfield Plaza and Outfield Pavilion areas. The entire system is powered by 32 L-Acoustics LA12X amplified controllers. A pair of Milan certified P1 processors for AVB networking and processing are also part of the system.

O’Hara, who has a background in architecture and, at one time, was a scout for the team, worked with the L-Acoustics support team and the collective experience of system designer Idibri and integrator Pro Media Audio & Video on the project.

“The subwoofers are arranged in an endfire configuration, which provides some critical directionality to the low end, keeping it from escaping the stadium walls and keeping the impact on the seating,” O’Hara explains. “The K2 is a great sound system, and its horizontal directivity makes it a strong ally for sound control issues. But so much of what it can do is also because of the expertise that L-Acoustics, Idibri, and Pro Media brought to the project.”

Ryan Knox, senior consultant for Idibri on the Dodger Stadium project, says new stadium architectural configurations modified the spectator seating and standing areas in the outfield section, posing a coverage challenge. That was resolved using L-Acoustics Soundvision modeling software, which helped finalize the placement of the speaker-support towers. “That was a two-to-three month process itself, and Soundvision is a great tool for that,” he says. “It models quickly and accurately, and it has an excellent workflow.”

Putting systems of this scale into the Los Angeles area comes with its own unique requirements. “In addition to keeping the sound system installation’s look consistent with the architecture of this iconic stadium, we also had to meet Southern California’s seismic requirements,” says Demetrius Palavos, Project Executive for the integrator, Pro Media Audio & Video.

To secure the structural-engineering certification of the sound installation, Pro Media and L-Acoustics engineers worked together, ultimately deciding to upgrade the standard K2 external rigging hardware with a new exoskeleton devised by Pro Media and L-Acoustics engineers.

“We then built a mockup of that in the L-Acoustics Los Angeles warehouse to verify and validate the modifications that we made before we went to fabrication,” says Palavos. “It had to take in a number of critical points, such as soil composition and rigging heights and weights. But we met all the certification requirements and kept the K2 looking sleek and cool. It’s a very flexible box.”

Dodger Stadium •

Idibri •

Pro Media Audio & Video •

L-Acoustics •