5 April 2024

MKM Stadium Audio Installation

The MKM Stadium in Hull underwent a major audio system upgrade due to outdated equipment and operational issues, driven by new football club owners aiming for Premier League return and increased capacity. Nuway engineered the system, featuring Powersoft 8K4 amplifiers paired with Outline VEGAS 15CX speakers. Installation challenges included positioning Bowl speakers from boom lifters 30 meters above the stands during a wet winter in 2022. The revamped system, received positive feedback from management and supporters for its improved sound quality and engaging matchday experience, particularly during Rugby League halftime entertainment. Safety compliance was ensured through a monitored redundant network and backup power supplies.

The MKM Stadium hosts both Hull City, a prominent team in the Championship, and the Hull Sharks, a Super League Rugby team.

The original audio system, installed when the stadium was built in 2000, became outdated due to issues like unsupported products, poor sound quality, and speaker integrity problems. Day-to-day operation of the system was linked to the fire system, with manual operation during matchdays by trained personnel, while overall safety was overseen by the Police and Fire services.

Upon the direction of the football club’s new owners, a design was created using Eas software to surpass the STI and level requirements for a 25,000-seat stadium by at least 15%. This upgrade aligned with their ambition for a swift return to the Premier League and future capacity expansions. The design necessitated an increase in the number and power of speakers to achieve the agreed-upon 105dB in all sections, along with a shift to low impedance amplifiers for better speech clarity.

Nuway engineered the system, centered around QSC Digital Sound Processors located in five plant rooms throughout the stadium, connected via a redundant IP network using Dante Digital Audio. Powersoft 8K4 amplifiers and Outline VEGAS 15CX speakers were chosen for the potent Bowl system, while existing amplifiers were refurbished for circulation areas and all 300 ancillary speakers were tested and replaced as needed.

Control of the system is managed by a set of pre-recorded messages triggered by a large touchscreen display or emergency paging microphones. Ambient sensing microphones ensure sound levels are maintained above the noise of the crowd.

For safety compliance, the system is linked through a monitored redundant network with real-time fault monitoring, alongside redundant power supplies and battery backup.

Installation of the new system occurred during a rainy winter in 2022, including challenging days installing Bowl speakers from boom lifters 30 meters above the stands.

Feedback from both management and supporters has been overwhelmingly positive, noting the even distribution, significantly improved STI, and increased power output, enhancing the matchday experience with lively halftime entertainment during Rugby League matches.