Home of the Carolina Panthers NFL football team, Bank of America Stadium has installed 30 steerable CAL™ column array loudspeakers from Meyer Sound to provide exceptional intelligibility for 37,000 fans in its upper deck area. The slender profile of CAL harmoniously blends in with flagpoles, solving an aesthetic challenge in distributed sound systems for sports venues.
“The Panthers’ stadium doesn’t have a continuous lighting catwalk like other NFL stadiums, so there was no place to put the sizeable conventional speakers we would need to cover the upper level without having large clusters up on poles,” says Mark Graham, the system designer and an associate of consultants Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams (WJHW). “Aesthetically, the clusters would have been a hard sell to the architects and stadium management.”
The proposal of the CAL loudspeakers was a turning point in the system design process, according to Cliff Miller, Carolina Panthers audio director who has been with the organization since 1995. “The CAL loudspeakers were probably the deciding factor in going with a distributed system in that stadium because of their slim profile,” Miller says. “With the CALs, you notice the flags more than the speakers. They look like an integral element of the architecture.”
Thirty CAL 96 loudspeakers are spaced evenly between the lighting towers and configured for a 30-degree downward beam tilt and a five-degree vertical beam spread. The result is uniform, wide-bandwidth coverage to the farthest seats located over 100 feet away.
“The CAL loudspeakers handle everything exceptionally well—not just the announcers, but also music playback, referee mics, and live bands, which the CALs handle easily,” says Miller. “We’re not running them at anywhere near their full potential.”
The Meyer Sound system was provided and installed by Minneapolis-based Parsons Technologies, a division of Parsons Electric. The architecture firm for the upgrade was Wagner Murray Architects.