Symetrix DSP Supporting Comprehensive Dante Network at Oakland Athletics Training Home


Revamping major sports facilities and bringing them up-to-date now almost invariably involves a comprehensive review of the audio processing configuration so that it can cope with both current and future requirements. Providing the spring training home of Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics since earlier this year, the Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Arizona, is no exception –and as the result of its latest upgrade, now features an extensive Symetrix DSP infrastructure.

Minneapolis, MN-based Parsons Technologies is one of North America’s leading electrical and technology providers. For its work on Hohokam Stadium, notes systems engineer Mark Schultz, “the main objectives were to provide a quality audio upgrade and stay within the budget of the Oakland Athletics. In terms of processing, we also needed to select equipment that would compliment and support the Dante network being implemented throughout the site. After evaluating several possible scenarios, we determined that using the SymNet line from Symetrix would be the most cost-effective solution.”

The upgrade involved two separate buildings – the Stadium itself, where all the spring training games are played, and the player development facility, known as the Lew Wolff Training Complex. In the Stadium, the ability to flexibly route and process background music and announcements were at the top of the priority list; requirements that Schultz and his team satisfied with one Symetrix SymNet Radius 12×8 and a single SymNet Radius AEC (with a SymNet 4 Channel Analog Output Card in the expansion slot) for the main bowl and back-of-house audio system. Both processors are also linked to SymNet xOut 12 output expanders to ensure there are always sufficient feeds available.

Symetrix SymNet Solus DSPs, which are standalone and not network-enabled, are other familiar tools in the Parsons Technologies arsenal – “they are great, reliable DSPs that we’ve used for a variety of projects” – and thus also found their way into the firm’s system design. In the Stadium and the Lew Wolff Training Complex, two players’ weight rooms each incorporate Solus 4s, used in conjunction with ARC-2e wall controllers for “easy and efficient” control. Also in the training facility, a combined dining room and meeting area has been equipped with a single Solus 8.

Schultz notes: “We’ve used SymNet devices on plenty of projects and consistently found them to be user-friendly and easy to program. The ability to tie them into the ARC remote controls is a great advantage, too, as it allows the system to be adjusted easily by the staff.”

An Allen & Heath mixer, QSC amplifiers and (pre-existing) EAW loudspeakers are also part of the new-look Hohokam Stadium configuration. “There was an obvious need to deliver an installation that is both reliable and flexible, and we believe we have achieved that here,” concludes Schultz. “The feedback from the venue owners and personnel appears to bear this out, with no major issues encountered since spring training got underway.”