Toronto, Canada | August, 2020 – Scotiabank Arena sits in the heart of downtown Toronto, near the banks of Lake Ontario. A multipurpose arena hosting the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs games, the venue took center stage in the 2019 NBA Finals when the Raptors clinched the franchise’s first championship.
The Toronto community’s love of the Raptors was highlighted during that Finals not just by the fans in the building – but also those packing the public square right outside the venue. The Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) organization provides a public area for fans to congregate during both home and away matches. The official name of the location is Maple Leaf Square – but when the Raptors play it transforms into the colloquially named “Jurassic Park.”
The location provides a nearly three-story-tall, high resolution LED wall for viewing games outdoors. And to ensure the 5,000 fans who pack the square can also hear the game, the arena relies on Renkus-Heinz’ ICLive X Series loudspeakers.
The ICLive X series is the culmination of over a decade of experience in steerable line arrays, and is the latest evolution of the medium-format, steerable line array in the Renkus-Heinz line. The ICLive X module defines flexibility: it can be arrayed up to 12 units tall in minutes, making it perfect for jobs of all sizes, including the largest of stadium installs.
Further, the ICLive X offers all the benefits of Renkus-Heinz steerable technology – allowing for sound to be digitally positioned precisely where you want it: on the audience.
“There were a number of critical demands to meet on this project,” said Bill Coons, Director at Contact Distribution, who worked to bring the project to life. “The city had an absolute mandate to significantly contain sound below 40 feet due to a nearby residential, hotel and office spaces. Added to that was the criteria that any loudspeaker considered for the project had to be less than 11 inches wide as there was minimal space on each side of the screen. Toss in the harsh weather of Toronto, as well. And, of course, this was in addition to the need to be loud enough to project sound at least 200 feet. The ICLive X quickly became the only system on the market to meet those requirements.”
Renkus-Heinz’ industry-leading digitally steerable technology and accompanying software, RHAON, allowed the Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment technicians to ensure every fan receives consistent, crystal-clear audio – whether they are 30 feet from the screen or 300 feet. This is key during sporting events – both intelligibility of the announcers and the immersive sound of the game required to keep those in the square engaged.
The sound in the venue’s outdoor viewing area is powered by 10 weather resistant ICLive X loudspeakers. Installed in the left and right lower corners of the square behind a perforated border. Six speakers are located on the north side of the screen and four are positioned on the right. The idea behind the installation is to flank the location with sound.
“A key consideration was that the arrays were specified as being the weather resistant version,” Coons said. “By upgrading to the ICLive X, the venue gets an added benefit of being constructed from a special 3/4-inch ABS material that’s designed to withstand any environmental situation. That includes the scorching heat of a hot summer afternoon to four months of the year in sub-zero temperatures.”
The core goal of the MLSE organization is to provide the ultimate fan experience. Their vision went beyond the limitations of walls, and allows for those outside the arena to still feel immersed in the action.
“Our objective with the new, larger screen was to take things up a notch,” said Courtney Ross, Head of Audio at MLSE. “So, of course, we wanted to take the audio up a notch as well. When Brandon Heinz showed up from Renkus-Heinz to personally commission the system he simply loaded all the settings we’d previously engineered in the design phase. In less than five minutes the system was ready to go. We played some music on it and our tech staff instantly knew it was great.”