LD Systems specified more than 130 systems from L-Acoustics for the annual NFL Draft broadcast, which offers viewers the chance to see which franchises players will be signing for the upcoming football season.
This year’s event was held in Cleveland from April 29 to May 1 and welcomed 50,000 fans per day for live events, including the NFL Draft Experience interactive football festival and nightly concerts from Black Pumas, Kings of Leon, and one of the city’s native sons, Machine Gun Kelly.
The National Football League and events promoter C3 Presents selected Houston-based Certified Provider LD Systems as the live sound vendor for the NFL Draft. LD’s main deployment was for the Draft Theater, a 200-foot-wide by 220-foot-deep by 80-foot-tall half-moon structure created by Stage FX. Constructed near FirstEnergy Stadium and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, overlooking Lake Erie, it housed the NFL Draft Theater Stage, where NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made pick announcements and where all concerts and other main events took place.
“We never had any doubt that an L-Acoustics sound system would be the best tool for the job, but as we experienced at both the 2019 Draft in Nashville and during the planning phases of the 2020 Draft in Las Vegas prior to that event being cancelled due to COVID, we knew to expect limitations on where and how high or low we could fly our arrays,” said LD Systems audio department operations manager Thomas Ruffner, who worked closely with 2021 Draft Theater Production Manager Shawn Worlow of The Production Collective and C3 Presents Director of Production Brandon Sossamon on the system’s design, implementation and operation.
For the Draft Theater’s main left and right arrays, LD Systems specified full-range bandwidth, a very short throw and a bottom trim of at least 55 feet, making L-Acoustics K2 a suitable choice.
“We flew eight K2 per side, and our site angle on those arrays ended up at -46°, so by the time we increased the angle between each box, the bottom of the array was facing nearly parallel to the floor,” Ruffner explained. “Above those arrays, we flew a four-enclosure hang of KS28, in cardioid configuration, which made for a ton of impact out of the mains and also kept our rigging points concentrated in a very tight area.”