Amsterdam ArenA sets sights on Euro 2020 with sound and lighting upgrades
Amsterdam ArenA, home to top Eredivisie football club AFC Ajax as well as several Euro matches and Champions League finals in its 20-year history, recently received a much anticipated refresh to its lighting and sound system. Fans of the club will see the famed venue continue to improve over the next few years as it gears up to host four Euro 2020 matches.
“This is a very special occasion, a new step in our history,” said Amsterdam ArenA CEO Henk Markerink during a press event held at the venue during ISE 2017. “We opened 20 years ago as one of the first really multifunctional stadiums for sports, leisure, and entertainment, and our vision and our goal has always been to stay ahead in the business and to be one of the best venues in the world. With this last investment, we can say we have reached the next level.”
The most recent round of upgrades includes a new sound system from d&b audiotechnik and an LED lighting system from Phillips.
The audio company has installed 216 loudspeakers in 18 arrays throughout the venue. Its Yi line array system uses ArrayProcessing, an innovative software tool designed to further optimise the tonal and level performance over the entire listening area. According to d&b audiotechnik, this ensures that every seat in the stadium, especially with large audiences, hears the same high quality sound.
Electronic presets in the d&b amplifiers, in combination with ArrayProcessing, make multipurpose applications easier; and four of the arrays can be rotated for use in concert productions, saving operators a 35-meter climb to manually adjust the individual loudspeakers.
“The stadium market is changing,” said d&b audiotechnik CEO Amnon Harman. “The request for higher quality and higher performance is increasing; this is not only a sports stadium, but there’s more and more a tendency to make it a multipurpose stadium to bring more business into it and to keep people longer in the stadium so that they can consume more. All of that is a trend that we see and, based on this trend, we need to offer more service, and we need to offer higher-quality lighting, video, and of course, sound.”
To light the pitch, Amsterdam ArenA turned to Philips’ ArenaVision LED sports-pitch lighting system to meet the most stringent requirements specified by international television broadcasters and sports federations. This innovative lighting system supports HD super-slow-motion replays, preventing the flicker often caused by conventional lamps. In addition, the flexible lighting makes it possible to illuminate specific parts of the pitch during events or before a football match as part of a light show.
Amsterdam ArenA will be the first stadium in the world to incorporate movable colour LED spotlights with the Philips ArenaVision system, which is ideal for multi-purpose stadium use, such as concerts and events.
“Phillips was one of the founding partners of the stadium 20 years ago,” noted Phillips Lighting Benelux Marketing Director Maaren Vernooij, “but, in the last few months, we have been intensively partnering and establishing a revolutionary lighting system here. The Amsterdam ArenA team has been pushing us in partnership to go an extra mile, and I think what [we have created] is unique. … It’s only the start, I would say; we have committed ourselves to bring great innovation here to the stadium.”