Jacksonville, AL, USA—April 2018… Dubbed “The Friendliest Campus in the South,” Jacksonville State University sits nestled in lovely hills about 70 miles northeast of Birmingham. Since 1947, Burgess-Snow Field at JSU Stadium has been the football home of the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. The NCAA Division I team is formidable here, too, racking up an impressive 257-99-8 home record.
Burgess-Snow Field has been expanded and remodeled a few times over the years. A massive $47 million expansion in 2010 made many improvements, notably including a 7-story tower that includes student housing, a press box, broadcast facilities, and 33 luxury skyboxes. The stadium now seats 24,000 fans, and attendance has more than justified the expansion: The Gamecocks drew 22,218 fans for a thrilling 2010 come-from-behind victory over Chattanooga, a record that was shattered when a December 2015 game with the Sam Houston State Bearkats packed in 23,692.
In 2016, the stadium added a new sound system designed and installed by Sound Solutions of Oxford, Alabama. Recently, however, the DSP unit that had provided multi-zone audio control for the luxury skyboxes failed. “We initially thought we would repair the existing DSP,” relates Sound Solutions co-owner Joey Hutto. “But when we contacted the manufacturer, we learned that the product had been discontinued. Rather than attempt repairs, we switched to Symetrix, a line that we have used for years, so we’re very comfortable with it.”
Hutto’s team replaced the old DSP with a Symetrix Radius DSP, which offers 128 (64×64) redundant Dante channels, onboard Ethernet and Dante network switches, and 12×8 analog I/O, expandable with an option card. “Programming the Radius with Symetrix’ Composer software was easy, and Symetrix was great about walking us through issues,” praises Hutto. “The whole process was pretty painless.”
Each luxury skybox at Burgess-Snow Field has its own wall control, which is primarily used to set volume. “We decided to go with the new Symetrix ARC-3 wall panels, which can not only control volume and mute but preset selection and room combining—perhaps more than we needed in this case but it was the right choice,” Hutto asserts. The ARC-3 offers 32 menus of 32 items and offers capacitive touch control with LED highlighting. It can be mounted in-wall in a single-gang electrical box (U.S./UK/EU) or surface mounted with an included enclosure. ARC-3 wall panels connect to a Symetrix DSP using standard CAT5 or CAT6 cabling, making installation simple.
“The Symetrix Radius system is working great for JSU,” reports Hutto. “It’s reliable, it’s easy to control with the ARC-3 panels, and the sound is clear and clean. The client is very happy. In fact, the university is building a $7 million baseball complex, and we are putting Symetrix DSPs in there as well.”