Mankato, MN (January 3, 2006)–While the leaves are still green and the chill of autumn has yet to settle in, Minnesota’s celebrated Vikings team can be found down the road in Mankato, home to the University of Minnesota and the stadium and grounds the team calls their pre-season home. And as with most pro ball teams, the pre-season camp is a place for the fans to see their team in a more casual and up-close environment.
Vikings fans are known for their loyalty, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by the Vikings organization. In recent years the team’s management has created and encouraged a family-friendly atmosphere at the training camp, sponsoring kickoff parties, shows and local events throughout the three weeks the team is in town. The area directly adjacent to the field is dedicated to the fans, with a number of attractions for young and old alike.
One of the most fan-friendly features at the Mankato facility is Vikings Village, the product of a partnership between the Vikings organization, training camp organizers and corporate sponsor Midwest Wireless. Even when the team isn’t practicing, fans are treated to a variety of entertainment and activities, including live music contests and themed entertainment onstage and an interactive game area for kids and adults, as well as a variety of food outlets. Visitors can shop for souvenirs at the gift shop, enjoy, and get autographs from local celebrities, including TV personalities, team members and alumni of the Vikings, Twins and Wild.
As the activity level at the Village has grown, so has the need for sound reinforcement. Local design firm Farber Sound, based in nearby Maple Plain, were presented with the challenge of designing a system that could provide sufficient levels for the Village itself while not interfering with the team’s announcements on the field. Company President Dave Farber created a system based around the full-range weather-resistant R-Series loudspeakers from Chester, PA-based Community Professional Loudspeakers.
“The Village area is located behind the bleachers facing the field, so we wanted a system that was powerful enough for the crowd, but wouldn’t spill out onto the field,” Farber explained. “It had to be versatile enough to handle music, with a high intelligibility factor for all the announcements. It needed to be weatherized and weather-proof, simple to operate, and dependable enough to run multiple events lasting from early mornings to late evenings.”
The speaker system design consists of five zones, each with its own amplification and DSP. The parking lot and vendors’ zones are covered by a selection of three Community R1-66X, a two-way, full-range, horn-loaded system with a 12-inch LF driver and durable multi-layer glass composite construction, while an additional vendors’ zone and the outdoor VIP area are handled by three of the more compact R.5-99X two-way systems. The indoor VIP tent is covered by three CPL27B cabinets, a two-way trapezoidal system featuring a pair of 8-inch LF drivers and a 90 x 90 degree dispersion pattern. A Shure SCM-262 rack-mount unit covers mixing duties, with Shure SM58 microphones for paging. Crest amplification powers the system.