146 Funktion-One speakers in the Club Brugge stadium
November 7, 2019
“Would you be able to improve the experience of 29042 fans present in our stadion during home games?” When one of Belgium’s biggest football teams Club Brugge raised the question, we didn’t hesitate long. This challenge was right up our alley, we were certain we could make a difference. A few years ago we already installed a sound system in one of the stands of the football stadium of first league team KV Kortrijk. And Funktion-One had gained lots of experience at the latest football World Cup in Russia, where they equipped the stadion in Volvograd from top to bottom.
We started with thorough research, in order to fully understand the specific structure of a football stadium. Armed with a decibel meter we mingled with fans and visited several stands during a game. We quickly realised that every part of the immense building required a different approach. For example: the north side of the stands, where the loudest fans are seated, have need of more sonic force than any other spot. During goal celebrations we measured about 110 – 112 dBA, which you can compare to the sound level of a low flying aircraft. Regardless of a fan’s position in the stadion, they had to be able to discern both the music and the stadion host.
In collaboration with Funktion-One founder John Newsham we then drew a 3D visualisation of the whole stadium, on which we applied a sound simulation. Club Brugge approved our proposition, so we started shipping and preparing for installation. We ordered close to 30km of audio and speaker cables and crawled through every possible corner of the construction, to connect a total of 146 speakers with five amplifier rooms. On custom made stainless steel frames, we fixed 96 horn loaded tops (24 EVO 6 + 72 RES2 SH), 22 F55 speakers and 28 F218MK2 subs. It took us four weeks to hang all speakers, carefully balancing our cherry picker to not touch the holy grass on the pitch.
The audio system is always operating for safety reasons, 24/7 and seven days a week. It needs to be available at any given time. The police and fire department is also directly connected, they can take control of the system. During a football game, it is operated by the stadion speaker and a dj, whose audio equipment we renewed. Last but not least we have installed a direct input close to the field for any kind of connection and a plugin for Club TV, the broadcasting channel of Club Brugge. Our friends and family might not believe it, but football is finally making sense to us now and we now know the difference between offside and outside!