From 2014 to 2017, the University of Houston Cougars football team won 16 straight games on its home gridiron—the John O’Quinn Field at TDECU Stadium—marking the longest active home winning streak in the nation at the time. However, the PA system for the facility, which opened in August of 2014, didn’t share quite the same success, quickly falling victim to the area’s increasingly volatile weather and early component failures. Thankfully, LD Systems was recently able to step in and remedy the situation with a loudspeaker design from L-Acoustics that offered vastly better audio quality via a streamlined combination of K, A, and X Series products.
TDECU Stadium—its official name derived from the Texas Dow Employees Credit Union, the largest credit union in Houston—is built on the site of the former Robertson Stadium and also hosts the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks.
Matt Rhodes, Sales Engineer at LD Systems, University of Houston’s longtime AV partner, commented on the stadium’s sound over the past few years: “We had been helping the school nurse its existing sound system through football seasons for the past two years, but it became clear that they needed a new, more modern audio system. We looked at a few options with them and found that L-Acoustics offered the right mix of components to create a powerful yet cost-effective system for the client.”
The stadium’s new system now comprises two hangs of 12 K2 enclosures over six Kara II per side of the scoreboard, flanked by a combination of A15i Wide and A15i Focus enclosures in two hangs per side as side-fill arrays. Six coaxial X12 and X8 loudspeakers are used as lower arrays below the scoreboard, essentially creating a powerful but low-profile point-source sound system, a typical design for a college football venue, but one that benefits from the varied palette of components L-Acoustics provides, instead of the usual brute-force horns that many such venues have used over the decades. The system is arranged in a high-tech and powerful “necklace” around the scoreboard, collectively powered by two LA4X, three LA2Xi, and ten LA12X amplified controllers.
Seeing that the L-Acoustics K2 enclosure is capable of outputting exceptional low frequencies on its own—all the way down to 35 Hz—subwoofers weren’t necessary for this project. “It was important to the school that the sound system be able to pump up the teams and fans ahead of games,” says Rhodes. “They use a lot of hip-hop music for warm-ups, and they want the fans excited. Everyone was impressed by the amount of low-frequency energy that K2 is capable of.”
TDECU Stadium’s new sound system officially debuted on September 17th when the Cougars took on the Kansas Jayhawks of the University of Kansas. “The Cougars are an incredible team, and the whole sporting experience there at the stadium is going to be even more amazing for the fans now that this new sound system is in place,” adds Rhodes.
University of Houston Senior Associate Athletics Director TJ Meagher agrees. “LD Systems’ installation of the L-Acoustics line arrays has brought the big sound that our stadium has needed for the last few seasons,” he shares. “While it’s hard to appreciate how the elegant and understated speakers flanking the video board could deliver such a full audio experience, it’s the adaptability of the controls that make this next-level fan entertainment. The sound quality and volume are incredible, and the system has given us the latitude to look at our in-game entertainment with a much broader perspective.”