The beating heart of the north when it comes to top sports; that is the Middenhal of MartiniPlaza in Groningen. The hall is home to several high-performing clubs when it comes to indoor sports and has an impressive capacity of 6000 people. No other indoor sports venue in the Netherlands attracts so many spectators for basketball, volleyball or korfball. The hall is also used for trade fairs and major concerts. A multifunctional lighting solution was therefore required.
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Last year the technical team of MartiniPlaza seized the opportunity to completely renew the lighting set and associated infrastructure. The reason for this was the removal of all walkways to increase the rigging capacity of the roof. The old installation, consisting of conventional PAR64 fixtures, was attached to these bridges, which made it necessary to look for a new solution. During the process, the sports lighting was also replaced. MartiniPlaza is now completely ready for the future.
During the search for a replacement for all 140 PAR64 fixtures, which illuminated both the playing field and the stands, a large number of LED fixtures from various manufacturers were tested. In the end, the CLF Odin proved to be the only one that could seriously compete with the PAR64 fixtures in terms of light output. “We already use a number of other CLF fixtures in the other halls, including almost 100 pieces of CLF LEDwash RGBW. In addition to the light output, we were also very impressed with the uniform projection and color mixing of the CLF Odin. Because we also wanted to advance in terms of possibilities, the large zoom range and lime LEDs were definitely of added value. Eventually we decided to use the Odins above the stands and to light the field with CLF Ares LEDwashes”, says Wybe Berkepas of MartiniPlaza. To accentuate important points such as exits, baskets and center spot, some CLF Spectrum P2’s Variwhite were added.
Because all the technical infrastructure was attached to the footbridges that were to be removed, the network had to be rebuilt. A reliable Luminex setup was chosen, consisting of a GigaCore 12 switch, LumiNode 12 and LumiSplit 1.6 DMX splitters. Berkepas: “A user-friendly system that allows us to work flexibly. We have several points in the hall to plug in. Ideal for the wide variety of events that take place in the Topsporthal.” The network also controls the LSC APS power distributors. “We don’t have to go to the technical room for starting up and shutting down. Also, almost all fixtures can be switched in small groups.”
A big step forward has also been made in terms of control. In order to make full use of the new setup, a new lighting console was needed. ” Compactness and ease of operation were paramount. We chose the Avolites Quartz, it is widely used in our area, so many freelancers can handle it. For the volunteers who operate the lights during basketball games, we have a Mobile Wing available. We pre-program the set and then place the Quartz backstage. The volunteers can then easily use the setup.”
MartiniPlaza started the replacement process before COVID-19. “When we finally got going, we were working with a much smaller team, and delivery times were under pressure. The elimination of many events gave us more space and time to complete the work though.” Berkepas emphasizes the pleasant cooperation with Fairlight. “After previous pleasant experiences with Fairlight during the purchase of our L-Acoustics sound systems, the solution-oriented approach was also taken this time. Furthermore, the flexible attitude, when we made changes to our plan, was very nice.” Berkepas is pleased with the end result. “We are eager to get started with the new set with a real-life audience.”
Luminex Network Intelligence is a Belgium-based manufacturer of data distribution equipment for professional lighting, audio and video applications. Besides Ethernet-to-DMX converters & DMX/RDM splitters for lighting control projects, Luminex also produces Ethernet switches, enabling users to build a complete data distribution system for all types of AVL applications. The GigaCore switches are, like almost every other Luminex device, truly plug-and-play products that provide an excellent solution to expand an AVL network in a very user-friendly way, without needing any IT knowledge. Luminex products can be found in the most demanding installation, theatre and touring AVL applications worldwide.