Frank Crane & Cliff McNabb Arenas – May 2019

In May of 2019 a tender came out for the upgrade of the Frank Crane and Cliff McNabb arenas in Nanaimo, BC. In July of 2019, Sound Solutions was awarded the contract to install both arena sound systems during the August annual shutdown of the arenas.

The systems were designed by, an audio/video consultant located in Vancouver. We submitted  a proposal to install the sound system as per the specifications, and an alternate system that changed the system design slightly, with alternate product. The City of Nanaimo chose to stick with the consultant recommended equipment and speaker layout.

View of the arena with equal seating areas on either side of the hockey rink

The existing systems were dated and of poor overall design. The larger of the two arenas, the Frank Crane has about 2000 seats with a full ice surface ,and the nine small speakers driven by relatively low power amplifiers did a poor job of sound reinforcement throughout the arena. The nine speakers were placed haphazardly throughout the arena, resulting in uneven coverage with many dead spots. The system lacked modern amenities such as Bluetooth capability and an MP3 player connection.


Original speakers – thin unrated chain & rusting bolts

Original speakers suspended unsafely

The new system, installed over a 5 day period, consisted of 25 Community R.35 speakers placed in a distributed method throughout the ice surface and the spectator seating. New input connections with a Bluetooth receiver in the scorekeeper’s box as well as the main sound system rack, and  input and output connections in the announcer’s gondola allowed an existing mixer to be connected to the main sound system.

two of the new Community speakers over the ice surface


The main  sound system was located in the sound booth, and consisted of a touch screen, along with a QSC Core 110f digitalsignal processor. The 25 speakers are powered by a 2400 watt QSC four channel amplifier, augmented with a TOA 250 watt per channel amplifier for the lobby and mezzanine areas.

New rack with QSC touch screen


The installation went smoothly thanks to the hard work of Rich Hatternhauer and Joel Shaughnessy, and the sound quality is significantly improved over the original sound system.


Neat and tidy wiring coming down from the ceiling, to a breakout box, with ‘snakeskin’ covering all cables


Posted on

August 21, 2019