Switzerland’s largest stadium, St. Jakob Park, has significantly enhanced its audio capabilities by implementing a state-of-the-art sound reinforcement system from renowned Italian manufacturer, RCF. With the objective of improving speech and music reproduction throughout the stadium, St. Jakob Park’s implementation of RCF’s HL, HVL and P Series loudspeakers now delivers an unparalleled auditory experience across the world-class venue.
Affectionately known as “Joggeli” by locals, St. Jakob Park is a UEFA Category 4 stadium, a standard that qualifies the venue to host any football match in the four major European leagues. The recent modernization, carried out by architects Herzog & de Meuron, uniquely positions St. Jakob Park as the first multifunctional venue of its kind in Europe- hosting apartments, a shopping centre, restaurants, and department stores.
During its recent modernization, the venue worked with audioconsulting ag CEO, Martin Reich, to successfully carry out the upgrade. As Reich and his team worked during active season games, they employed a multi-phase approach to completion of the upgrade, to ensure a seamless transition from previous equipment- first replacing the amplifiers and the audio matrix. The second phase saw the installation of the under-balcony fills, consisting of 330 P 4228 loudspeakers specially manufactured in Basel-Red colour. The final phase was the installation of a completely new grandstand PA system, equipped with 205 HL 40 line array elements, 30 HS 2200 high-performance subwoofers for the main PA, and ten HVL 15 loudspeakers for the corner PA.
“The music reproduction and the coverage by the new RCF systems have become more homogeneous in comparison, and speech intelligibility has also improved distinctly. With the line array systems, we can make much finer adjustments in terms of quieter and louder sections than was ever possible with the previous point-source loudspeakers,” explains Martin.
In addition to improving music and voice reinforcement, the RCF system also excelled at important secondary requirements including weather resistance and reliability parameters for long-term operation.
Georg Hofmann, head of the RCF Engineering Support Group in Germany, shared his insights on the project: “With such a large installation in a stadium, it was not only necessary to take into account the structural and acoustic conditions, but also the use during operation. With the new RCF system, St. Jakob Park has a sound reinforcement system that has both optimized voice reproduction, including emergency alerts, and massively improved music reproduction, in terms of sound quality and power output.”
The newly installed system features comprehensive remote-control capabilities, with even the smallest transducer capable of being addressed remotely. The installation also adheres to the Swiss SES guideline SN EN 50849, facilitating safety and emergency announcements.