The Ford Center, Oklahoma City’s premier sports and entertainment arena, recently incorporated a new EV sound-reinforcement system installed by Ford Audio Video of Oklahoma City. The four-level, 586,000-square-foot, 21,000-capacity facility is the home of CHL Blazers, temporary home to the New Orleans Hornets and a venue for major concert events.
“Eighty-six EV ZX1i compact loudspeakers are distributed around the center’s club level, aimed precisely over the 50-plus suite balconies, filling a narrow pocket that the main house P.A. can’t reach,” explains Jeff Blount of Ford AV. “The new EV system fills in these dead spots, which also happen to be where the most expensive seats are. Intelligible sound is an important part of any ticket price, and in that regard, the ZX1is are providing serious bang for the buck in the VIP areas.”
Two suites share each divided balcony block at Ford Center, covered by three ZX1i speakers. This configuration also provides sound reinforcement to the walkways between and immediately in front of the suites. In addition to the ZX1i spec, EVID C8.2 recessed ceiling speakers cover the disabled seating areas.
“This installation has really improved the whole game experience for the fans,” Blount adds. “We spoke with the decision makers at the arena right after the Hornets first preseason game; they love the transparency—you don’t really notice the speakers are there—everything sounds so clear. The fans don’t notice there’s sound reinforcement in place, which is the desired effect, and the ZX1i boxes are so compact, they’re visually unobtrusive, too. You can walk up the steps from courtside up to the suite level without noticing a difference in coverage or sound quality; the frequency range and headroom for such a small unit is remarkable. In this sense, rather than simply filling in the gaps, the ZX1is have added finesse to the system as a whole.”