Harman, Crown upgrade Wrigley Field

From the manually operated center-field scoreboard to the ivy-covered outfield walls and visions of Harry Caray enthusiastically rousing fans through the seventh inning stretch, few sporting venues can command such vivid imagery as Wrigley Field, home to MLB’s Chicago Cubs. Now, thanks to a recent upgrade of the ballpark’s audio system incorporating Crown CTs Series amplifiers loaded with Harman Pro HiQnet(tm)-compatible network control modules, Wrigley Field rounds out the complete lineup of Chicago’s major sports venues–including Soldier Field (NFL Bears), U.S. Cellular Field (MLB White Sox) and United Center (NBA Bulls)–powered by Crown.

The Cubs organization has been updating the audio system at Wrigley as part of a multiple-phase expansion project, upgrading amplifiers to units with more power as speakers are replaced. Furthermore, the facility’s operational staff had expressed an interest in the ability to monitor the system remotely.

Dallas-based design and consulting firm Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams (WJHW) was brought in as the consultant on the project with Advent Systems of nearby Elmhurst serving as the contractor.

Under WJHW’s specification, the latest system upgrade included 11 Crown CTs amplifiers (CTs 3000 and CTs 600 models) equipped with PIP-Lite cards, BSS Soundweb London for processing and JBL loudspeakers, among other things. This upgrade complements the previously completed expansion of the outfield bleacher section, which benefits from the same pro audio equipment, and enables the two separate systems to be linked together via CobraNet(tm).

Choosing Crown for Wrigley Field wasn’t a difficult decision for WJHW. “The stadium already had Crown amps existing when we began the project, namely Com-Techs that were installed back in the ’80s,” notes WJHW Associate Jack McCallum. “Since we weren’t replacing all of the back-of-house equipment, we went with Crown to make the system more uniform. Besides, Crown has always given us good support; we never have any heartburn specifying their products.”