The Olympic Stadium of Ebimpé

ProjectThe Olympic Stadium of EbimpéLocationAbidjan, Ivory CoastInstallerRCOe, on behalf of local integrator Protech Distribution, PortugalSubmitted byPowersoft

Located in the eponymous suburb of Abidjan, the largest city in the Ivory Coast, the Olympic Stadium of Ebimpé is the country’s national stadium, being home to Les Éléphants, the Ivory Coast national football team.

The need for a new sound system so soon after the Olympic Stadium’s construction came after its original PA system was damaged by adverse weather conditions. The new system was designed by Ricardo Castro, CEO of Portuguese AV consultancy RCOe, on behalf of local integrator Protech Distribution.

In addition to the 61 Quattrocanali 4804 – of which he opted for the DSP+D model, with Dante audio-over-IP networking – Castro specified 14 Powersoft Duecanali 6404 DSP+D amplifiers to lend additional power for the 104-loudspeaker system, which is divided into 28 clusters to maximise audio coverage across the stadium. A pair of Quattrocanali are bi-amped to each Community R2-66MAX speaker cluster, while the Duecanali are used to power the Community IS8-215 subs.

All amplifiers, patchboxes and network switches are divided into four rack rooms, located at the four corners of the stadium, to minimise the length of the cable connection to the loudspeakers. A Biamp TesiraFORTÉ DAN DSP is used as a Dante converter for the primary audio source to the amplifiers, as well as for a four-zone paging system for security and emergency announcements.

Castro explains that while he is generally manufacturer-agnostic, he knew when first approached by Inza Bamba, Protech’s managing director, with whom he has a long working relationship, that Powersoft amplifiers and Community loudspeakers from Biamp would be a perfect fit for the new-look Ebimpé Stadium – and that’s before he found that BCEG had used some Powersoft racks for the otherwise poorly designed previous installation. This discovery was important from a budgetary point of view: having already paid out for one sound system, the stadium’s managing committee was looking for a cost-effective solution for its replacement.

During the installation process, one of the challenges was working with the budget constraints due to the client’s prior investment in different products. This demanded an approach to reconcile the client’s expectations with available resources. Furthermore, navigating the vast African market for suppliers also posed a logistical challenge, making more difficult by sourcing components and ensuring timely delivery.

The main challenge during the installation was the tight time. “I was given six months for everything,” says Ricardo Castro. The installation was completed on time in May, despite additional difficulties recruiting suppliers and dealing with a shortage of parts and equipment.

Another challenge was to ensure the venue would trust Castro to design the PA, as the venue had had a bad experience previously with the PA system. To overcome this challenge, the integrator initially equipped a quarter of the venue (one of four zones) with the new Powersoft-Community/Biamp system as a proof of concept to confirm to the stadium operator had made the right decision signing off the design.

Castro comments that when the stadium staff, consultants and clients all came to the stadium and heard the system for themselves, they “couldn’t believe the difference – in sound quality, volume and intelligibility – compared to the previous system. It sounds incredible.”

Despite these challenges, effective management ensured a successful execution of the project, with the crucial decision of choosing Powersoft amplifiers. Having already worked with Powersoft before, Castro had confidence in the product’s suitability for the task at hand. Considering the diverse requirements across the installation’s four zones, this choice proved to pay off.

The Ebimpé Stadium PA system, Powered by Powersoft amplifiers showcases the excellence in stadium audio installations. With over 60 Powersoft Quattrocanali 4804 amplifiers driving the sound system, Ebimpé Stadium boasts high-quality audio performance. The company’s innovative DSP+D models, featuring Dante networking ensure pristine sound quality and seamless integration.

Leveraging Powersoft’s amplification, the Ivory Coast stadium delivers an unparalleled sound experience to its visitors. Each of the 104 loudspeakers powered by Powersoft’s amplifiers guarantees a high-quality sound with great intelligibility.

Powersoft solutions engineering team leader Davide Quarto – one of four people on site to configure and test the new system, along with Ricardo Castro, Inza Bamba of Protech and John Caton of Biamp – says that all parties were happy with the support offered by Powersoft both during the installation and system set-up. “They strongly believe in the added value of Powersoft when supporting project activities, from the design phase to the system first run by a skilled technical team,” he comments. “To them this is strong confirmation of why choosing Powersoft makes a difference.”

Quarto adds that the stadium audio team are particularly appreciative of the operator view interface offered by ArmoníaPlus, Powersoft’s system design and monitoring software, as it limits user access to the system configuration options. “The customer wanted to have a system that can only be monitored and safely operated,” he explains, “with limited access to the system, so as to avoid dangerous situations like changing the EQ or presets or even unlinking an amplifier.”