Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto is a multipurpose arena hosting the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs games. The stadium took centere stage in the 2019 NBA Finals when the Raptors clinched the franchise’s first championship and highlighted the Toronto community’s love of the Raptors by way of fans packing the public square outside the venue.

The Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) organisation provides a public area for fans to congregate during both home and away matches. The official name of the location is Maple Leaf Square – but when the Raptors play it transforms into the colloquially named “Jurassic Park.”

A 62-by-35-ft LG LED video display ensures fans can easily watch the action unfold on the television broadcast. That said, the audio integration in the square came with a few challenges.

“There were a number of critical demands to meet on this project,” said Bill Coons, Director at Contact Distribution, who worked to bring the project to life. “The city had an absolute mandate to significantly contain sound below 40 ft due to nearby residential, hotel, and office spaces. Added to that was the criteria that any loudspeaker considered for the project had to be less than 11-inches wide as there was minimal space on each side of the screen. Toss in the harsh weather of Toronto, as well. And, of course, this was in addition to the need to be loud enough to project sound at least 200 ft.”

The elegance with which these challenges were solved are worthy of award – by using the cutting-edge capabilities offered by digital beam steerable loudspeakers, the

“The (Renkus-Heinz) ICLive X quickly became the only system on the market to meet those requirements,” Bill said of the project.

The ICLive X series is the culmination of more than a decade of experience in steerable line arrays and is the latest evolution of the medium-format, steerable line array in the Renkus-Heinz line. The ICLive X module defines flexibility: it can be arrayed up to 12 units tall in minutes, making it perfect for jobs of all sizes, including the largest of stadium installs.

Renkus-Heinz’s digitally steerable technology and accompanying software, RHAON, allowed the MLSE technicians to ensure every fan in the square receives consistent, crystal-clear audio. This is key during sporting events as both intelligibility of the announcers and the immersive sound of the game are required to keep those in the square engaged.

The sound in the venue’s outdoor viewing area is powered by 10 weather resistant ICLive X loudspeakers, installed in the left and right lower corners of the square behind a perforated border. Six loudspeakers are located on the north side of the screen and four are positioned on the right. The idea behind the installation is to flank the location with sound.

“A key consideration was that the arrays were specified as being the weather resistant version,” Bill said. “By upgrading to the ICLive X, the venue gets an added benefit of being constructed from a special 3/4-inch ABS material that’s designed to withstand any environmental situation. That includes the scorching heat of a hot summer afternoon to four months of the year in sub-zero temperatures.”

The installation also features two QSC Core 510i Q-SYS Integrated Core Processors and Audinate’s Dante for audio-over-IP transport.

The core goal of the MLSE organisation is to provide the ultimate fan experience. With Renkus-Heinz, their vision went beyond the limitations of the walls of the arena – and allows for those outside the venue to still feel immersed in the action.