NEXUS in World Cup Fever
On the 8th of July 2006 more than 54,000 enthusiastic supporters will be at the Gottlieb Daimler Stadium in Stuttgart for the World Cup third-place playoff – all supported by a highly efficient NEXUS audio network
When it’s all about football, hardly any of the spectators will know or care about the sophisticated technology installed in the bowels of the stadium. As one of the twelve World Cup football venues, the Gottlieb Daimler Stadium must meet strict requirements imposed by FIFA.
Grown Up Together
In the course of the last complete renovation ten years ago, a large NEXUS audio network was installed at the Gottlieb Daimler Stadium. The system proved to be extremely reliable. This was one reason why basing the expansion of the audio system on the NEXUS was a certainty from the start; and the economics of this decision also made good sense. Although none of the NEXUS Base Devices are identical to the original configurations, all the existing components can still be used after the upgrade. Three new NEXUS Base Devices and more than 50 additional boards, combine with the existing components, to form a completely new system. An unusual feature of this project is that every Base Device is populated from the pool of old and new boards.
Normally, a NEXUS system can simply be extended on location by replacing boards and implementing a new configuration. With the Gottlieb Daimler Stadium, eight of the twelve Base Devices are mounted in racks located on the servicing bridges just below the roof. Not really the most convenient place for extensive reconstruction works! So all the components were removed and sent to STAGETEC in Berlin where the upgrade was performed. Having the previously installed components from the Gottlieb Daimler Stadium in the factory provided another advantage. Every single component leaving STAGETEC is thoroughly tested and all measurement reports and findings are documented in a service database in Berlin. So this was a good opportunity to compare the current performance results to the original data, thus allowing the wear and tear on all the assemblies to be assessed. This procedure also ensured that there would be no weak points in the newly constructed system in either existing or new components.
Over the last ten years, safety requirements in football stadiums have significantly altered. For all stadiums approved for the 2006 World Cup, a failsafe evacuation system is specified. This must provide excellent intelligibility in order to ensure announcements are always understood, even in emergency situations. Unlike the previous installation at the Gottlieb Daimler Stadium, evacuation messages are now delivered via the normal public address system. The mandatory and permanent PA-system monitoring is carried out by the C.A.S. 300 — a hardware and software solution based on NEXUS. The C.A.S. 300 at the Gottlieb Daimler Stadium performs ground-fault and short- circuit monitoring and tests the amplifiers. If a problem is detected, the system triggers a signal switchover, for example, from a malfunctioning amplifier to a ‘hot-spare’ amplifier, thus ensuring continuous operation of the PA system.
Nowadays, football matches are celebrated as multimedia events. A master of ceremonies in the stadium, interviews in the local studio, and specially produced video clips and commercials on large LED screens add to the already high entertainment value of a visit to a live football match. Therefore, the new NEXUS system not only feeds 145 loudspeakers for the stands and pitch public address and emergency system, but also integrates the internal studios and production premises as well as external OB trucks. The NEXUS also serves as a small communication matrix, integrating subscriber units for the police, fire department and control room. All in all, an extensive system, which only needed a well-considered expansion to qualify for World Cup approval. If only qualifying for the World Cup itself was always so easy!