Nearly 750 Martin Audio components have been specified and fitted as part of a complete AV integration at the new $700m Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia.
The 510,000 sq. ft Cordish Companies development is set in the City’s Stadium District. The audio-visual design and implementation was managed by ECI (Entertainment Consulting International) as are all the entertainment complexes and sports arenas within the estate of their parent company.
Audio-visual requirements in the multi-zone space, incorporating a collection of sports bars and diverse restaurants, were specified by consultants, Las Vegas-based Coherent Design, with integration company, Metinteractive, providing the successful bid for the fit-out.
At the business end, the work was overseen by Dan Defendorf, Director of A/V & Corporate Music Programmer for 130 or so Cordish Companies properties—casinos, bar/restaurants, sports and entertainment venue complexes—spread across nine districts of the US. He planned the design in conjunction with the Ryan Dewey, Director of A/V at the Live! Casino & Hotel.
Defendorf had already set up a relationship with Martin Audio, via Southeast Regional Sales Manager Brad Stephens. But the turning point came at InfoComm 2019 when he arrived at the manufacturer’s demo room, essentially looking for a reliable and discreet ceiling speaker at an attractive price point. Projects in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh were initially discussed with the company’s Northeast Regional Sales Manager, Martha Callaghan, and a loose template established.
Callaghan recalls that there was a myriad of featured areas that needed to be equipped with high quality audio and big screens in Philadelphia, since this is essentially a sports fanzone. It particularly applied to Sports & Social, a bar described as providing “the ultimate fan experience,” equipped with 65ft 4K media wall as well as 26 65″ HDTV’s, and on game days this is simulcast with the similarly high-octane R Bar. Hence top-quality audio, with high intelligibility, was also a prerequisite.
In fact both these spaces have been identically-specified, with 144 Martin Audio C8.1T ceiling speakers, underpinned with 60 x SX112 subwoofers, while CDD10 and CDD12 are set into the walls, acting as main speakers for DJ nights, and when something punchier is required. Further CDD10 can be found distributing voice announcements and background music from the central bar, while two other areas— Prime Rib, a contemporary fine dining steakhouse, and Luk Fu, specialising in sushi and Asian cuisine—feature the manufacturer’s CDD8.
Altogether, the vast space is populated with no fewer than 436 C8.1T (8”+1”) two-way vented ceiling speakers and 142 C6.8T (6.5”+0.8”), some run 70V line and some low impedance. These also route sound to a pair of private dining rooms, equipped with karaoke systems, as well as all the general and ancillary areas.
Dan Defendorf couldn’t be happier with his product selection. “The reason we have used so many Martin Audio speakers across our bars and restaurants is because they are great sounding, offer good dispersion and have an impressive throw. Also they are not too obtrusive, and they hit the right price point. The correct location of the speakers was vital when it came to the design.”
Admitting that the intervention of COVID had “slowed things down” in terms of the project development, he was relieved that once they arrived on site, the installation process had been so straightforward. “There were no issues whatsoever with the Martin Audio speakers, and so we didn’t really need technical support. With so many properties to look after it is the main reason for wanting to create a standardised template for upgrades going forward, based on trusted brands such as Martin Audio.”
Among them will be technical makeovers of properties within the nearby Xfinity Live! including the NBC Sports Arena.