Hallescher FC is one of the most successful clubs in Germany's Regional League North. The club has great sporting ambitions – as can be seen also in the club's infrastructure. The best example of this is the club's new stadium, which was completed in September 2011. The Erdgas Sportpark, as it is known, has a seating capacity of over 15,000 and includes eight boxes, three hundred and twenty business seats and thirty places for the handicapped. After the first match in the new stadium, against Hamburger SV of the Bundesliga on September 20th, the club was able to report a full house. Three days prior to this, local inhabitants were given an opportunity to admire the city's new sporting landmark at an open door event to celebrate the completion of the project.
To compete in the highest leagues from the standpoint of sound technology as well, the city of Halle commissioned the construction company GP Papenburg AG, which entrusted the installation to ssm euromicron GmbH (Schkopau branch). Subcontractors Studio Elektroakustik GmbH of Leipzig convinced those responsible with their design for the sound reinforcement system and the same company was entrusted with the realization. A major challenge for the audio team from SEA Leipzig, led by project manager Hans-Dieter Lemke, was the tight schedule. As a result of the long winter of 2010/2011, the construction of the grandstand roofs only began in May 2011. After elaborating an acoustic design with the help of computer simulations conducted by Richard Merget of Bosch Communication Systems, the team set to work in July to assemble to control room equipment and install the stadium loudspeakers. After meticulous resting of the sound reinforcement system in the course of July and August, the system was measured acoustically by Richard Merget in time to be handed over to the building clients on September 15th.
The installation in the Erdgas Sportpark includes 28 EVF-1152S/99-PIB loudspeakers systems from Electro-Voice to cover the grandstands as well as five more for the playing area. "In the course of the practical trials, the EVF systems completely convinced me with the transparency of their reproduction," says Lemke."The sound quality is really high, and in terms of intelligibility the speech reproduction is simply excellent." In the VIP areas, too, SEA Leipzig relied on loudspeakers from Electro-Voice: six EVID 4.2 and two EVID 6.2 compact surface-mounted loudspeakers provide the requisite coverage. The system is driven by five DYNACORD DSA 8805 power amplifiers: four for the stadium sound reinforcement and one for the VIP areas. A P64 digital audio matrix manager from DYNACORD provides the overall control. In all, the stadium technicians have 12 kW of amplification at their disposal – enough to satisfy the demands of every occasion. A DYNACORD CMS 1600 mixer and a number of audio playback devices round off the audio equipment in the stadium's sound control room.
As is usually the case with modern stadium installations, the sound reinforcement system in Halle is connected to the evacuation system. In case of danger, a voice alarm system takes over the control of the entire sound system – a solution that assures the simplest possible handling and fastest possible reaction in case of emergency. The measured acoustic values in the stadium not only satisfy the standards imposed on regional league clubs but also, in case the club wins promotion, those applicable to the third and second divisions as well. Visitors had their first experience of the new system at the opening match against Hamburg's prestigious HSV. "The spectators were unanimous in the view that the announcements and commentary were easily intelligible and that the music reproduction was powerful and of a very high quality," reports Lemke. "Overall, the opening match was a triumphant success to which the quality of the sound reinforcement contributed considerably."