Target Field Revamps Audio Platform With Dante Network

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Sitting in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, Target Field is home to Major League Baseball's Minnesota Twins, and accommodates more than 39,000 eager spectators ready to cheer on their team. Though designed as a baseball venue, it also hosts football, soccer, and a wide range of outdoor concerts and various non-sports-based corporate events. 

Target Field is a large venue with multiple areas around the facility that require high-quality audio support. This includes distributing audio out to various areas as well as pulling signals back to the control room for mixing and processing. For example, live bands perform before ballgames and during breaks, and stadium managers must be sure the audio is pleasantly experienced throughout the stadium.

Technicians needed a way to easily and inexpensively expand the number of inputs and outputs to the stadium's main console to better mix, manage, and control the total system. Their search led to the Dante audio network platform from Audinate.

"We started using Dante to connect the control room to the band stage, and this step alone brought 16 channels from the band to my main console—a huge improvement for us," said Jeff Pedersen, lead audio technician, Minnesota Twins Baseball. "Our plan now is to get Dante into all of our remote locations and bring all the control and mixing to our main control room."

A Dante system expands audio possibilities for the stadium, as hundreds of Dante-enabled products are available and interoperable. Pedersen can now mix any Dante-enabled speaker, amplifier, microphone, mixer, receiver, converter, and more. And, with the addition of Dante AVIO Adapters, the stadium can integrate older, legacy gear into Dante systems, adding to Dante’s interoperability and flexibility.

With a Dante system in place, Dante Domain Manager proved to be a natural next step to the network, as it added the control and security features the stadium desired. Dante Domain Manager is network management software that enables user authentication, role-based security, and audit capabilities for Dante networks, while allowing seamless expansion of Dante systems over any network infrastructure. Dante Domain Manager allowed the stadium to integrate 34 separate subnets into a single, manageable, and secure audio network. 

Dante Domain Manager provides the ability to scale and segment audio networks, regardless of the physical constraints of the network. Administrators can define specific AV device groupings by room, building, and site, ensuring the stadium’s audio is playing in the correct location. Dante Domain Manager ensures the stadium’s audio is separate from the audio they grant the visitors to use, with robust user authentication and role assignment. With Dante Domain Manager, Pedersen can be sure the stadium’s audio runs smoothly and is free of unwanted changes and modifications.

“Before Dante and Dante Domain Manager, what I wanted to do was not really possible: the cost would have been prohibitive and the time spent patching and running cables wasn’t feasible,” Pedersen said. “One of the things I can do now is send 16 channels of audio to almost any place in the stadium up to the control room. It is very liberating.”

Whether it is a concert, football game, soccer match, or Major League Baseball showdown, Dante and Dante Domain Manager deliver near-zero latency audio to the more than 39,000 spectators. Target Field administrators can rest easy knowing its network is secure and efficient while delivering the live sound, recorded and broadcast audio performances required to take fans out to the ballgame.