Meyer Sound Outfits Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Home of the Florida Gators
Built in 1930, Gainesville, Fla.'s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, affectionately referred to as "the Swamp" by local fans, is the home of the championship University of Florida Gators football team. Over the years, the stadium has benefited from a number of expansion projects, most recently a 2003 renovation that increased capacity to over 88,000 seats, making it the largest — and loudest — stadium in the state.
Griffin Stadium now boasts a new high-resolution video screen at the south end zone, which is complemented by a state-of-the-art audio system from Meyer Sound. "The most effective solution for the stadium was a single-source end zone cluster," explains system designer Kelly Prince of Orlando-based Pro Sound, who also supplied and installed the system. Prince specified six MSL-6 horn-loaded high-Q main loudspeakers in a split configuration for the main system, with three cabinets covering the east seating section and the other three covering the west section. Two CQ-1 wide coverage main loudspeakers and two CQ-2 narrow coverage main loudspeakers handle the areas under the scoreboard.
A key challenge for single-source systems is attaining intelligibility at the far end of the venue, which, in the case of Griffin Stadium, is the south end of the stadium, some 500 feet from the sound system. However, Prince knew that Meyer Sound made a unique device designed expressly for this purpose: the SB-1 parabolic long-throw sound beam. Six SB-1 cabinets now assure that every game call and announcement is clearly heard in the south seating area.
"The sound beams are really remarkable," Prince says. "If you're sitting out there at the far end with the SB-1's turned off and then we turn them on, it's like night and day. The sound is right there in your face, and the clarity is amazing." Six 700-HP ultrahigh-power subwoofers provide ample low-frequency reproduction.
Lacking complete documentation for the stadium, Prince found Meyer Sound's MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction software invaluable in designing the system. "We only had CAD drawings for a portion of the building," Prince recounts, "so we had to take our own measurements with a laser tape. We plugged the data into MAPP, and it was impressive how accurate the outcome was. It really helped to remove the guesswork."