Westbury Leads The Way in Fan Experience
Toronto sports fans first in the world to receive premium audio experience with new SHURE microphone array scoreboard installation
September 10, 2019
The sounds of Toronto Raptors players hustling down the basketball court or Toronto Maple Leafs players checking the opponents into the boards have been amplified to a whole new level for fans of Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
Before the NBA Finals, the arena was the first to install an innovative new technology into the massive scoreboard hanging over the playing surface to better capture the sounds of the game. Those sounds are pumped into the Scotia Club with the potential for distribution to suites throughout the arena to provide additional genuine game atmosphere for fans.
Led by Westbury National, one of Canada’s largest professional audio-visual integration and full-service event production companies, and SFM, a leading Canadian product distributor and provider of customized go-to-market AV solutions, the original plan was to install Shure shotgun microphones. While the shotgun microphones provided great sound, the challenge was that once they were installed, getting 42 feet into the air to reach them on the scoreboard and adjust them to switch between basketball and hockey games was just not feasible.
One idea was to mount new microphone technology onto the scoreboard, Shure’s Microflex® Advance™ MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphone -- a microphone originally designed for office applications and features directional beam arrays to capture sound from the right sources. The beauty of this type of microphone is that its recording patterns can be customized with software and remotely adjusted to fit the specific needs of the venue. Two Shure MXA 910s are now installed on the bottom of the giant scoreboard hanging over the playing surface.
“The MXA910s can be programmed to a variety of different configurations remotely with the touch of a button,” said Steve Svensson at Westbury National. “With the presets, we can maximize the right sounds based on the game situation to provide fans with the best audio experience possible.”
Fans watching from suites aren’t as close to the playing surface, so they sometimes are unable to hear the gameplay sounds naturally. This solution provides genuine gameplay audio right into the speakers of the suites.
The microphone technology also helps reject non-essential sounds. For example, the sounds of a crowd clapping on a microphone may detract from the sounds on the court or ice, so the microphones are set up to only capture the key sounds from game action, like the puck hitting the post or the basketball players and coaches calling plays.
Shure has been providing quality audio solutions for 94 years, including involvement major sporting events like the Super Bowl, World Cup and Olympics. However, this is the first time the new MXA910 with IntelliMix microphone array has been integrated into a professional sports arena.
“We’re proud to provide our fans with the best gameday experiences,” said Humza Teherany, Chief Technology & Digital Officer, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. “Making our suite guests feel closer to the action on the ice or court by providing the best sound possible is a major win for everyone.”
During the NBA Finals games at Scotiabank Arena, the audio from the Shure MXA910 was also being mixed in with the Raptors broadcast team to provide additional quality audio from the court to provide even more fans with a better game experience.
SFM is the Shure distributor in Canada.
Shure (www.shure.com) has been making people sound extraordinary for nearly a century. Founded in 1925, the Company is a leading global manufacturer of audio equipment known for quality, performance, and durability. We make microphones, wireless microphone systems, in-ear monitors, earphones and headphones, conferencing systems, and more. For critical listening, or high-stakes moments on stage, in the studio, and from the meeting room, you can always rely on Shure.
Shure Incorporated is headquartered in Niles, Illinois, in the United States. We have more than 30 manufacturing facilities and regional sales offices throughout the Americas, EMEA, and Asia.
About Westbury National
Westbury National is one of Canada’s largest professional audio-visual integration and full-service event and show production companies, with a 45-year track record of creating award-winning experiences. Westbury is a recognized leader in the industry for delivering exceptional design work and AV installations for clients including Madison Square Gardens, Pepsi Centre (Colorado), Sears Centre Arena (Illinois), Scotiabank Arena, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Roy Thompson Hall and the head offices of many major corporations.On the Event and Show Services side, Westbury National’s roster of clients and performers have included Luminato, Nuit Blanche, TIFF, The ROM, Lady Gaga, Sting, Toby Keith, Barenaked Ladies, Google, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Hugo Boss, Holt Renfrew, Harry Rosen, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, eOne Entertainment, VEVO, True Patriot Love Foundation, The Canadian Art Foundation and many more. Westbury is a member of the PSNI Global Alliance, the fastest-growing private network of premier technology integrators and service providers. Working with leading-edge technology resources, Westbury specializes in large complex advanced-technology projects and also offers presentation, communication, collaboration, conferencing and entertainment solutions of all sizes. For more information, please visit Westbury.com.
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), one of the world's premier sports and entertainment companies, owns the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), Toronto Raptors (NBA), Toronto FC (MLS), Toronto Argonauts (CFL), Toronto Marlies (AHL), Raptors 905 (NBA G League), TFC II (USL) and Raptors Uprising Gaming Club, the Toronto Raptors esports franchise in the NBA 2K League. Its charitable arm, MLSE Foundation, focuses on funding initiatives to support youth through sport and recreational programs. In 2017 MLSE Foundation, with support of community and corporate partners, built MLSE LaunchPad, a 42,000-sq. ft. space dedicated to programming that support its four Pillars: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Ready For School and Ready For Work. MLSE also owns and operates Scotiabank Arena, Canada’s premier sports & entertainment venue hosting more than 200 events each year, two digital channels - Leafs Nation Network and NBA TV Canada and has a partnership with Live Nation - the largest concert promoter in the world. MLSE has also invested in and operates five of Toronto's sports facilities – Coca-Cola Coliseum, BMO Field, BMO Training Grounds at Downsview Park, home of Toronto FC's Academy and the First Team's practice facility, the OVO Athletic Centre, the practice facility for the Toronto Raptors, and the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence, the practice facility for the Maple Leafs and Marlies.