With a goal to build the greatest venue in the history of college football, Texas A&M University set out on a stadium renovation project in 2013. University officials approved a $450 million, multi-phase renovation to Texas A&M's football stadium, Kyle Field, also known as "Home of the 12th Man," which raised the total seating capacity from 82,600 to 102,512 people and included a complete audio overhaul.
Working with a talented team of professionals including GC, Manhattan Construction, Architect, Populous, and AV Consultant, Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams, Inc., Clair Solutions was brought on to sell and install all sound reinforcement products including the main PA for the bowl and concourse as well as distributed audio throughout the stadium, interior spaces and suites. Clair Solutions also installed broadcast cabling systems for interconnect between broadcast production, broadcast trucks, and cameras around the stadium.
Construction during the 2014 season made it so the PA had to be hung in a temporary and mobile fashion prior to final installation later in the project. Originally, it was thought that the old sound system could be hung in a temporary configuration, but Clair Solutions audio designers determined this would not provide the performance the client needed to cover the stadium. Because of this, Clair Solutions recommended renting a Clair Global touring PA for the season that would hang on the sides of the scoreboard. Half of the permanent PA was hung during Phase 1 as well, which consisted of the east and south ends of the stadium, but was not used due to the continuous construction.
The Clair Global touring PA performed seamlessly and exceeded the school’s expectations for the 2014 season. The day after Thanksgiving, the Clair Global PA was removed and the project moved towards final installation of the specified main PA which is comprised almost entirely of JBL products including VLA 601 and 901, PD 764, PD 5322, PD 6322, AWC592, AWC295, AWC 82, and AWC 129. During the 2015 offseason and Phase 2 of the project, the west side portion of the main PA was hung.
Since the only crane inside the stadium was already being broken down by the time the main PA was to be installed, Clair Solutions needed to come up with a custom solution for hanging the PA under the canopy. This came in the way of crafting a custom built cradle which enabled the crew to lift the entire array in one piece from outside the stadium over the roof and into the canopy.
There are fifteen amplifier rooms in the building connected by fiber optic cable which are all controlled from the main PA booth with system inputs and outputs throughout the stadium. Everything is run from Crown i-Tech and DCI Series amplifiers and is controlled by BSS London Architect and BSS Audio Architect.
In addition to the main PA, the various larger interior spaces have the ability to operate as either standalone systems with local inputs or receive signal from the PA booth for game day operations.
Clair Solutions also installed broadcast cabling throughout the facility that enables broadcast companies, large and small, to come into the stadium and set up for broadcast without having to drag cable through the building. The comprehensive cabling and connections throughout the building in numerous camera positions on the field and in the stands make broadcast communication a breeze.
The 2015 football season saw the official reopening of the newly renovated stadium commemorated with a 3-day celebration. Texas A&M officials were thrilled with the end result and Kyle Field moves forward in history as the largest collegiate football stadium in Texas.