Autograph, a theatrical sound company, has partnered with production company Entourage to build a live crowd atmosphere for sport events.
The live crowd, known as ‘Stadium Sound’, will be controlled in real time during any game. The system will be operated live by two technicians using control tablets to follow the energy levels and punctuate the key moments as they happen.
The system will debut in a Championship game at The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium between QPR and Barnsley.
It is also being offered to other championship clubs over the remainder of the season. The team are investigating how to use similar solutions for rugby, cricket and other sports.
Ian Dickinson, sound designer, Autograph, said: “Unlike the similar systems being used by the Premier League broadcasters, our system is actually played out into the stadium using a high spec 12.1 concert grade surround sound system. This allows the players to get the full psychological benefit of having the crowd behind them even though the fans can’t be there.
The flexibility of the system also allows us to locate the audio to specific stands within the stadium and position the chants so they sound like they are coming from the home end.”
Dickinson added: “We are working with Championship clubs to help restore home advantage during the last vital few weeks of the season. The data from the Bundesliga is showing that home advantage has been radically reduced since the lockdown with a drop from 43% to 21% of games resulting in a home win.”
Andy Barnes, technical director, Entourage, commented: “We believe that this advantage can be restored by creating a raucous home atmosphere that includes home team chants from the home stands to support the players on the pitch. We hope that once the Premier League players see the benefits of playing with a home crowd atmosphere that the Premier League will reconsider their position to enforce silent stadiums.”