MBI Case Study

ARCO Arena


ARCO Arena, home of the Sacramento Kings, was built without acoustic absorption materials. Crowd noise, although excessively loud, was fine at basketball games, but everything else about the acoustics was wrong. The local media dubbed it ‘Echo Arena’ and well-known entertainers made well-publicized criticisms. The installation of specifically engineered ceiling absorbers reduced the reverberation time from over 6 to under 3 seconds. ARCO Arena has regained its name and is now well suited for any use of amplified sound. Arenas are true multi-purpose spaces. Some functions, mainly concerts, require quality acoustic conditions. In all arenas, some attention to acoustics is mandatory to make the sound system intelligible. Arenas are functional spaces in which maximum utility for minimum cost is essential. This key also applies to acoustics in initial design or refurbishing efforts. Acoustical material applied to arena space must not interfere with operation, maintenance, or rigging, must be lightweight so as not to overload the structure, and must absorb sound effectively. It should be inexpensive, easy to install, vandal-proof, and meet other criteria for color and light reflectivity. The material applied to the inside of an arena must be located optimally to eliminate late reflections and excessive reverberation. Acoustical materials must also be designed and mounted to remedy all of the acoustic defects of the space. A knowledgeable and experienced professional acoustician will guide the design process and selection of materials to treat the critical frequency ranges. Arena acoustics is the study of large spaces. Traditional Sabin Formula calculation methods tend to be geared toward smaller spaces, such as gyms and auditoriums. There is no substitution for the state-of-the-art real-time and FFT analysis with sound reflective considerations and proper materials selection. MBI Products as provided acoustical products for many large scale arenas, including ARCO Arenas I and II, home of the Sacramento Kings, and the Thomas & Mack Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Arena design is one of their specialties, spanning the range from design/specification of treatment materials to professional design of sound systems. Combining the experience of these consultants and the implementation of their suggestions, the acoustics of large spaces can be dramatically improved.

Acoustic Performance

Project Team

Products Used

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