Ukonniemi Ski Stadium
The City of Imatra built a brand new ski and baseball stadium on the gravel ridge of Ukonniemi. It is now easy to follow sporting events in a large area, as the sound carries far and the image shines on a bright screen.
When the city decided to move the baseball field out of the city centre, the sports community wanted the new field to be located in the Ukonniemi outdoor area. A few kilometres from the city centre, there was already an ice rink and a winter training hall for footballers.
They also wanted to use the new sports facility in winter, so a ski and shooting stadium was planned on the same site. Imatran YH-Rakennuttaja Oy started the earthworks and construction work at the beginning of last year, and was ready in November, when the opening ceremony was held.
Jarmo Jäppinen, the operations engineer from the City of Imatra, held the reins of the project and ensured that the needs of competitors and spectators in each sport were listened to beforehand.
"We asked the representatives of the different sports what was needed. Adequate lighting was a clear requirement, and two other things stood out: a clear, area-wide sound system for speech and music, and a modern, bright video screen," says Jäppinen.
The city put the equipment suppliers out to tender and, according to Jäppinen, Audico Systems was chosen because of its comprehensive package. It included sound, video wall, lights and cabling. Audico's list of previous work, or benchmarks, also impressed the decision-makers in Imatra.
"I give full marks to the professionals at Audico for not putting their finger in the mouth at any stage. We received quick answers to questions and solutions to problems during both the design and implementation phases. The installation of the equipment and end-user training also went smoothly under their guidance," says Jarmo Jäppinen.
Henry Tapiola from YH-Rakennuttaj says it was a big job. A covered grandstand for two thousand people was built on the edge of a flat area the size of a couple of football pitches. The uncovered seating capacity is 1,100. With the additional temporary stands, the seating capacity of the area can be increased to five thousand.
Tapiola is impressed with the sound system in the area. He has heard nothing but good feedback from spectators.
"The sound is excellent in every corner of the stands and also on the pitch, which is the whole area. Both speech and music are well distinguished by the modern speakers and sound full-bodied. The sound quality is in a different league to what we have been used to in the past at outdoor sports venues," says Tapiola.
The sound system at Ukonniemi Stadium was designed by Ilkka Hildén of Audico Systems. It has been implemented with a total of 30 RCF outdoor coaxial loudspeakers suspended from the grandstand structures and lighting poles.
Anssi Sarvi, foreman of Etec Automation, the electrical contractor for the construction phase, explains that the electrical wiring and cabling in the area is hidden in pipes and cable trenches.
"We have made provisions in suitable locations so that the system can be easily expanded if the area grows in the future or the number of AV installations increases."
The final piece of the Ukonniemi stadium technology was a modern LED outdoor display. Measuring 60 square metres (10 x 6 metres), the Absen X16 was installed on the pitch on two pole legs, with the lower edge of the screen at a height of four metres. The optimum viewing distance is 16 metres, but the image shines brightly on the pitch and in the grandstand area because the 10,000 nits of light output of the screen is much higher than usual.
We almost went for a smaller model, because the screen still felt too big on the drawing board and money was tight at the end of the project. But points to the equipment supplier for knowing that Audico's Petteri Partinen knew this larger video screen was just the right size for Ukonniemi Stadium. The price difference between the smaller and larger models was not great in the end.
Now we have everything we need and nothing unnecessary," concludes Jarmo Jäppinen.
Text by Tom Nyman.
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