Paris’s Bercy Arena has been transformed into the AccorHotels Arena and the world’s fourth largest arena, following a makeover costing around €150m, including expanding the seating capacity to 20,300.
The integration of an Optocore / BroaMan digital fiber network in the new look facility allows for 30 different room configurations, enabling it adapt to a range of sporting events and concerts.
With the venue set to host nearly 130 events each year, ENGIE Ineo was in charge of the technical infrastructure and its project manager, Marie-Anne Jofret, says the arena had to be extremely adaptable in order to meet the requirements of organisers, promoters and spectators.
Conversations with Optocore’s Technical Sales Manager (France), Philippe Moreau set the process in motion, and this was boosted by a trip to see the network in action on the set of long-running British prime time television ‘soap’ Coronation Street.
Jofret says: “Not only could they see a working installation with the designated equipment for our project, but we also studied a particular case, reviewing the implementation of solutions that we had not previously considered.”
The main requirement was to bring greater flexibility and scalability to the site in order to offer production companies a fast response in terms of reconfiguration from all points of the site. “The latency time between sending and receiving signals also had to be extremely low when managing the live events, or at the OB vans for the video part,” says Jofret.
The audio and video networks needed to support the stage set-up as well as ambient sound for the VIP boxes and public and non-public circulation areas. Video links with the OB broadcast vehicles also needed to be provided, as well as DMX for the lighting.
ENGIE Ineo’s chief designer, Thierry Voisin conceived these networks around two Optocore rings – for PA sound and AV infrastructure. The PA sound ring is managed from the front of house PA position, with AES, Mic & Line distributed to the different technical areas via the Optocore interfaces from a Studer Vista 1 console running MADI.
The audio-visual ring is managed from the central control hub and distributed to different technical rooms. Audio signals (AES, Mic & Line) are relayed from a Yamaha QL1 console. This ring also distributes Intercom and Video combining Optocore interfaces with BroaMan Mux22 devices.