The sound system at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium has been an issue since the stadium opened in 1997, with comments ranging from "inaudible" and "non-existent" in some sections to "perfect" or "too loud" in others.
Many fans have been frustrated in efforts to keep up with public address announcer Sean Moth's explanations clarifying what just transpired on the field, especially after controversial calls on critical plays.
Those days, hopefully, will soon be in the rear view mirror.
Kenny Klein, sports information director at the University of Louisville, has confirmed that three-phase installation of a state-of-the-art sound system is under way as the 2013 football season begins.
"The goal is to provide the highest quality sound to every seat in the stadium," Klein said. "We've made numerous adjustments over the years to address the challenge, sometimes with varying results affecting different areas of the stadium. We're implementing a comprehensive approach to provide quality sound for all fans."
K. C. Scull, who manages the stadium, says phase one of the project will include the installation of temporary directional speakers on top of the north scoreboard, as well as additional speakers above the club sections on each side of the stadium. The second phase will include new speakers on the stadium roof. Both phases will be completed this season.
Scull says the system is being tested this week and could be operational for the football team's scrimmage on Sunday.
"We haven't commissioned it yet because it has to meet the standards we outlined in our request for bids," he said. "If it doesn't meet the standards, we still have some work to do."
He said the scoreboard will have 11 new speakers, in addition to some directional speakers, and there will be two or three speakers above the club seating in each section.
The third phase will include permanent directional speakers on the scoreboard and will be completed in 2014.
"Some structural changes will be required and we don't have time to do that this season," Scull said.
The University has hired a WJHW, a Dallas-based consulting company that specializes in state-of-the-art design services in sound systems, broadcast provisions, video production, acoustics and noise control. The company has overseen the installation of sound systems in such facilities as the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Turner Field in Atlanta and Reliant Stadium in Houston.
"Our goal is to make this finest sound system in any stadium around," said Scull. "That's what Tom Jurich expects and that's the guiding principle for this project."
Charlie Springer, the founder and owner of UofLCardGame.com, is a former sportswriter for The Courier-Journal and former Managing Editor of Louisville Magazine. In addition, he was Internal Communications Manager for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation and currently serves as a Legislative Consultant for the National Association of Tobacco Outlets. He is a University of Louisville graduate and a longtime fan.
UofLCardGame.com has been covering University of Louisville athletics since 2007.
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