- PACIFIC, MO-The St. Louis Cardinals have a loyal fan-base that spans decades and the globe. Built to accommodate over 46,000 of the team's faithful followers, the new Busch Stadium that opened this year represents the third sporting venue in town to wear the same name, a fact that has given rise locally to the practice of calling it "Busch III."
The stadium site gradually slopes down about 40 feet. This seemingly ordinary topographical fact created fantastic conditions for the new Busch Stadium that architects exploited in two ways. First, by placing home plate in the southwest corner of the field and lowering seating and scoreboard heights in center field, the majority of spectators gained dramatic views of the Gateway Arch and the downtown St. Louis skyline. Second, when Clark Street was rebuilt through the site after the old Busch Stadium came down, fans and motorists traveling along the route were able to enjoy unobstructed views into the ballpark.
Built at a cost of approximately $365 million, Busch III was designed by the architectural firm HOK Sports, with Wrightson Johnson Haddon & Williams (WJHW) of Dallas, TX providing the design of all audio systems, and SPL Integrated Solutions, based in Columbia, MD, taking charge of their installation.
Lowell model L278-77NP audio equipment racks were selected to house virtually all audio system electronic components at Busch III, both in the main control room as well as in two remotely located equipment rooms.
However, for this project, the racks were outfitted with the "negative pressurization" option, meaning the rear doors were not vented, and side panels, where applicable, were also vent-free. Specified by the installer, this option helps control airflow through the racks.
"The Lowell rack line offers the flexibility commensurate for a project of this nature," explained Justo Gutierrez, project engineer for SPL Integrated Solutions. "These products worked very well in meeting specific needs, and it was also a nice bonus to have a local company heavily involved as a significant supplier of key system components."
Another local aspect of the project saw the hands-on installation of the racks managed by TSI, a systems contracting firm based in the St. Louis area, under the supervision of SPL Integrated Solutions. Additional Lowell rack products chosen for the project include a number of L253 Series sectional wall cabinets, which were outfitted with vented doors to promote natural heat dissipation.
The task of keeping fans apprised of the action on the playing field while using the many stadium concourse and public areas was accomplished with the aid of nearly 300 Lowell model CT830-T870 coaxial drivers. These transducers were joined by nearly 500 Lowell recessed and surface loudspeaker enclosures (models XCP Series and CB88). Lowell model R-1810 dual cone driver loudspeaker assemblies were also supplied with their optional volume control for convenient localized level adjustment.