The University of Tennessee at Martin has completed a major upgrade to its 8500-seat Hardy M. Graham Stadium. The renovated stadium now boasts a large, modern academic/football press box facility and a new audio system with Community R SERIES and W SERIES loudspeakers.
UT Martin’s goals were to upgrade its locker rooms and training facilities, add classroom space and enhance fan experience with a major new press area, a new concessions stand, a private club level and an audio system with music quality and performance that would rival major university and professional stadiums.
Lowrance Sound Company of Union City, Tennessee designed and installed UT Martin’s new audio system. According to owner Carl Lowrance, the stadium’s previous system was a ten-year-old, end-zone design using a pair of Community R2 loudspeakers which had provided good coverage and intelligible announcements. “Despite their age, we were able to reuse the existing R2s in the new system to cover the visitor stands,” he said. “They were in very good condition.”
Graham Stadium’s new system is a semi-distributed design with an R2-66MAX loudspeaker on each press box tower to cover the ends of the home bleachers and four WX-1596 loudspeakers distributed along the front edge to provide center coverage. Forty-four Community model D6 ceiling loudspeakers provide audio in the press area, the club and locker rooms and the second-level classrooms. A pair of DS8 surface-mount loudspeakers covers the concessions area. Crown DCI amplifiers power the system with DSP provided by a Symetrix EX series processor. Lowrance added Shure wireless mics for the referees, a hand-held wireless for field use and a wired mic for the announcer. Microphones and other sources are mixed on an Allen & Heath Qu-16 digital mixer.
Lowrance commented, “We were surprised at how evenly the Community loudspeakers covered the bleachers. And the music quality and intelligibility are great.” He continued, “The whole stadium feels top tier now. The music adds a high energy level when the team comes onto the field. We’ve got a big school experience now.”