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The right sound, no matter what
Stadium announcer Mario Tito has an exciting day ahead of him. A big soccer match is on the schedule in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil: as part of the Campeonato Baiano, the championship of the Brazilian state of Bahia, the two most important teams in the northern Brazilian city of Salvador – Bahia and Vitória – are about to meet. The city derby is set to take place at the Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova, a new stadium that features breathtaking architecture and 50,000 seats.
Tito’s job is to keep the fans celebrating from his seat in the audio booth. At the same time, his announcements have to convey essential information to spectators in the event of an emergency. It’s a daunting task, and one which hinges on the technical infrastructure working faultlessly. At the Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova, 500 loudspeakers and a unique technical command center supplied by Bosch ensure that the sound is always right, no matter what the situation.
The challenge with stadium sound systems is very different to that of home stereos, of course: in stadiums, the systems must ensure the uniform control of loudspeakers and amplifiers and usually have to be capable of bridging long distances without a loss in quality during audio transmission. To achieve this, the individual amplifiers in the Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova are directly connected to the loudspeakers on the roof of the stadium. But they do not need any free-climbing acrobats to check and maintain the systems. That’s because the sound technicians can monitor everything and ensure optimum sound quality from their
About Mario Tito
In Bahia, Salvador, Mario Tito is a household name. The sports journalist is an entertaining presence on radio and television. As the Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova stadium’s announcer, he also whips the fans into a soccer frenzy.
control room. “I found the sound of the Bosch systems exhilarating right from the start,” Mario Tito says. “The systems in the old stadiums can’t even compare.”
Just eight minutes
While Mario is whipping the crowd up into a frenzy with his never-ending “Gooooooool,” his colleagues from security are sitting next to him in the booth. One of them is Ailton de Jesus Perqueira. He, however, doesn’t get caught up in all the excitement, at least not while he’s on duty. In the security control room at the Arena Itaipava Fonte Nova in Salvador da Bahia, he only has eyes for his monitors. At moments like these, when emotions are running high, it takes his full concentration to catch critical situations in time. “It does happen, especially in a teeming crowd, that someone doesn’t feel well and needs a doctor,” he says, demonstrating how he can zoom in on an individual seat.
I wasn’t good enough to become a professional soccer player, but my job is fun too
This helps the paramedics figure out where they need to go quickly. The arena is home to the top-league club Bahia, which means it was designed to handle large-scale events. There was an old stadium located on the same spot, but it was torn down in 2008. “Here in the newly-built arena, we've installed 280 cameras, 500 loudspeakers, and 4,000 fire alarms,” says Rodrigo Alexsandre Elias, the head engineer, detailing the safety systems. “We can evacuate the 50,000-seat stadium within just eight minutes,” he adds.
The man with a thousand eyes
The sports facility has been using technology from the Bosch Security Systems division ever since its inauguration in March 2013. “The Bosch systems worked perfectly from day one. And they’re highly compatible with the other equipment in the stadium,” Rodrigo Elias says.
The venue also features Bosch thermotechnology in the form of 21 solar thermal collectors and two heat pumps. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” his colleague Ailtonde Jesus Perqueira adds enthusiastically. “We can get pictures of isolated events both live and with a time delay. A number of hooligans looking to vent their aggression on the new stadium have since found this out to their cost,” the watchman with a hundred camera “eyes” says with a grin. During the games, security staff also sit in the control room, ready to direct their colleagues straight to the troublemakers. The new technology has even given the security experts in the control room a psychological trick they can use to quell a brawl: “We capture what’s happening on camera and project the situation onto the big screens in the stadium,” Perqueira explains. That way, everyone can see who is getting into a fight. “That often embarrasses the people involved so badly that it stops them in their tracks,” he says with a laugh.