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Bose® RoomMatch® System Lets the Bon Secours Wellness Arena Handle Anything

Part of a multi-year, $13.1 million renovation at the Arena, the new Bose® RoomMatch® system gives the venue the right coverage, with great intelligibility and configurability for a variety of applications

Framingham, MA – With a 15-year track record of hosting some of America’s greatest entertainment acts, the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina, is one of the South’s premier entertainment destinations. The 15,000-seat venue has hosted artists including Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, The Eagles, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney and Usher, and events like the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, WWE, Disney on Ice and Winter Jam, in addition to serving as home ice for the ECHL-league Greenville Road Warriors hockey team. The venue’s existing sound system was pushed to its limits and beyond; in particular, there was a chronic sound “shadow” on the other side of the dasher boards that ring the hockey rink, dimming the sound for those premium seats nearest the ice. But that’s all in the past now. As part of a $13.1 million renovation that began last year, a new RoomMatch® system from Bose® Professional was installed in the Arena, and now meetings, shows and sporting events all have the clear and intelligible sound they need.

“This venue is used for such a wide range of events, from sports to music to meetings, and the sound system in place simply needed to be updated to provide the flexibility for the different events and seating arrangements,” explains Ken Betsch, Principal at Betsch Associates, the architectural firm that designed the renovation, including the seating bowl, the concourse and the luxury suites. “The biggest issue really was the acoustical ‘shadow’ that was created by the hockey dasher boards. The sound would just fall off on the other side of them.”

John Hodgson, Senior Associate at Avant Acoustics, the consulting company that did the acoustical analysis of the venue and specified the audio systems for the renovation, says those seats near the transparent acrylic wall are premium ones that should have the best sound in the house for hockey. “Instead, they had the least intelligibility,” he says.

But that changed with Avant’s recommendation of a RoomMatch configuration. The system was installed by Pensacola, Florida-based Pro Sound & Video, based on the design from Avant Acoustics. During the design process Avant Acoustics’ utilized Bose Modeler® software to precisely define the room’s acoustics, leading to the determination that 16 RoomMatch modules would be needed for optimal sound quality. The arrays’ highly specific dispersion patterns aim the sound precisely onto seating areas and away from reverberant surfaces. There are eight arrays configured with one RM5510, one RM7020 and two RM7040 modules; four arrays using one RM5510, one RM7020 and two RM7040s; and four more arrays consisting of one RM7010, one RM7020 and one RM5560. In addition, eight RM5560 modules are suspended above the main floor, firing downward. These speakers, as well as a number of subwoofers, are powered by 22 PowerMatch® PM8500N networked amplifiers, installed on the catwalks.

The result, says Hodgson, is seamless coverage of seating throughout the venue and the elimination of the sonic shadow around the dasher boards, as well as an increase in intelligibility for sports and other events held there. “That’s completely attributable to the RoomMatch speakers,” he states. “We had looked at traditional point-source speaker solutions, but they can have phase issues between the speakers in an array. The RoomMatch system gives us seamless coverage from speaker to speaker, zone to zone. Great coverage and control, in addition to heightened speech intelligibility.”

The new sound system is also highly configurable, allowing elements of the system to be used selectively for when event stages are placed in the center or at one end of the arena. “Touring music acts are usually going to bring their own sound, but this system lets them use parts of the RoomMatch installation to extend those touring systems, assuring complete coverage of the room,” Hodgson explains.

Ken Betsch adds, “I’ve always been impressed with Bose sound, and this installation is no exception. And it’s also given us great sound in the building for a very reasonable cost. That’s a great combination.”