Estádio da Luz

ProjectEstádio da LuzLocationLisbon / PortugalArchitectNAN Audiovisuais Lda / PortugalLighting DesignerVasco Martins / PortugalInstallerNAN Audiovisuais Lda / PortugalAcousticianNAN Audiovisuais Lda / PortugalSubmitted byNAN Audiovisuais Lda

Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica – Estádio da Luz (Stadium of Light) – is the world’s first totally cardioid d&b audiotechnik sound system installation, giving the audience an immersive sound experience which is unique for a football stadium.

The operators, Sport Lisboa e Benfica, wanted to renew the stadium sound system, as part of a complete refurbishment of the existing football stadium intended to achieve new targets by more dynamic utilisation of the venue. According to the vision of the club president, Rui Costa, this would be achieved using the best technologies, facilities, and resources available.

In terms of equipment and technology, the installation was expected to place the Estádio da Luz at the top of the list of European and worldwide reference venues of similar size. It would ensure that the facility remained as attractive as possible to the public, corporate clients, and promoters, while always meeting the high standards laid down by UEFA and FIFA.

The star of this installation is the d&b XSL 8/12 cardioid line array, with the new XSL SUB and A series augmented array. Together, these produce an even and powerful sound distribution from a series of small arrays only 1.7m in length. With each covering more than 60m of the stands, this is one of the most discreet systems ever installed. d&b’s XSL cardioid technology minimises the reverberation times and takes intelligibility to a new level, never before achieved in a football stadium.

In addition, the dynamic lighting system uses 32 iPointe moving heads from Robe, controlled via an MA Lighting control system, contributing to the multimedia show that enhances every game. The iPointe was chosen for its reputation, reliability and the renowned quality of construction from Robe’s European factory. The choice of an MA Lighting control system was also made for its flexibility of handling and its familiar, user-friendly interface.

For NAN Audiovisuais, this was the biggest challenge we have ever taken on, and we had only three months to deliver it in the run-up to Christmas. This was a real challenge, but thanks to our suppliers’ partners – d&b audiotechnik, Robe, MA Lighting – and the installers Sa-ber, SVS and Evil Angels, we were able to do it in time – making what is possibly the fastest supply and the most advanced sound system installation for any stadium of this size on the planet.

Together with NAN and the Benfica technical team of Paulo Martins, Mario Correia, Hugo Garcia and Vasco Martins, we started this process with Stephen ‘Oggi’ Hogg, d&b audiotechnik UK Managing Director, and d&b audiotechnik’s Head of Global EAS Stefan Goertz. d&b ArrayCalc and EASE files were created and fine-tuned by d&b’s stadia team, supported by Senior Application Engineer, Dominika Obwarzanek.

For this project, we had a very simple task to achieve. As the Benfica club leaders put it: “We are the best team, so we must have the best sound.” So, that was the target.

With the SL Series XSL 8/12, d&b audiotechnik was able to meet the desire and expectations of the customer. The result generates a unique experience for a stadium environment hosting more than 65,000 people. The atmosphere is something they have never seen before. As Mario Correia, Benfica’s Director of Audiovisual Systems said: “In 16 years of stadium history, I never felt such a high level of emotion from the audience. The voice from the speakers and the music never produced anything like this before, getting the crowd so alive and such a part of the show!”

Benfica is the most supported Portuguese club and the European club with the highest percentage of supporters in its own country. With an estimated 14 million supporters worldwide and over 250,000 members, it is the largest sports club by membership in Portugal and the second largest in the world.

In 2006, Benfica was the most widely supported football club in the world, with 160,398 paid-up members. The record was acknowledged on 9 November 2006 during the celebrations for Guinness World Records Day.