ATEÏS IDA8 takes centre-stage at Signal Iduna Park

Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund is the biggest football stadium in Germany and ATEÏS Europe’s IDA8 is now playing a major role in ensuring that the upgraded audio system reaches all areas of the 80,720 capacity venue.

The stadium opened in 1974 as the Westfalenstadion and is home to Bundesliga football team Borussia Dortmund. While still referred to by its original name it is known officially as Signal Iduna Park after the Signal Iduna Group insurance company that has sponsored Borussia Dortmund since 2005 in a deal that runs until 2021.

Four new stands were built at Signal Iduna Park for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which was held in Germany. It can seat 65,718 fans for international games, with a mixture of seating and standing areas for home matches bringing it up to full capacity. Because of the growing need for a technical infrastructure to provide both voice alarm coverage for the safety of spectators and staff and relay of live and pre-recorded music, the owners of the stadium decided to install a comprehensive new sound system.

Integration specialist Fulfil Engineering GmbH was contracted to design, specify and install the VA/PA system. The company contacted ATEÏS Germany to supply an IDA8 matrix as the core of the installation. A major consideration in this choice was that the IDA8 fully complies with the EN54-16 standard.

The audio control and distribution network comprises four IDA8 Master units, four IDA8 Slaves, three PPM-AS paging panels and a fireman’s microphone. This feeds 14 RCF loudspeaker line arrays positioned round the stadium. Fulfil Engineering also installed and programmed a software management console based on Crestron products.

“There were multiple challenges in designing and selecting equipment for this project,” comments Stefan Schneider of ATEÏS Germany. “The Signal Iduna Park is the biggest soccer stadium in Germany, which automatically means that long distances between the devices had to be bridged. There are four sub-master stations (south/east/north/west), each consisting of one IDA8 Master and one IDA8 Slave unit. Because of the specifications for both speech intelligibility and the demands of pro audio, the open DSP architecture of IDA8 was the preferred choice for our customer.”

The networking is based on fibre optics in a redundant ring carrying multiple low latency audio and control channels 48 for each sub-system. Remote control of the DSP functions was a mandatory requirement and is controlled by a Crestron management console over IP and electrical triggers. In the case of an emergency the VA system takes precedence.

Stefan Schneider adds that the ATEÏS IDA8 system had been chosen because it works as an EN54-16 certified VA and PA system. “One of the main reasons to use IDA8 is the possibility to network all components via fibre optic cables in an redundant ring topology,” he explains. “Another reason was that the system is based on an open DSP architecture, which makes it easy to fulfil multiple demands.”

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