Now on Tap at Lambeau Field: Artisanal Sound
As NFL franchises jostle for position in a bid to win fan favorite status, stadium amenities are becoming more luxe every season. Fresh off a full sound and video system rebuild in 2014, the Green Bay Packers found one more way to bring music to the ears of fans who visit Lambeau Field. The brand-new 1919 Kitchen & Tap opened this summer with a look and feel more closely resembling a downtown Milwaukee foodie establishment than stadium grub spot.
Noting the positive effect that its new first-class sound system had on fan enthusiasm levels last season, Packers management turned once again to the audio expertise of Pro Media / Ultrasound (PM/US) to build out the aural atmosphere of the new restaurant.
One might assume that in the hierarchy of stadium spaces, concession areas probably don’t warrant the same premium sonic experience as the rest of the house. But, as just about any football fan will attest, concessions are a fairly elevated experience nowadays.
Fine food, local beer and a wide range of whiskeys have an increasingly broad appeal, and what better way to get the fans to come a little early and stick around for a great experience than offer up something top-notch like 1919 Kitchen & Tap.
With many elements designed by Milwaukee’s own self-proclaimed artisan design firm Scátháin to thoroughly refurbish for the modern era the space once occupied by “Curly’s Pub,” the new restaurant continues its primo first-floor location’s homage to Earl "Curly" Lambeau, who organized the Green Bay Packers with George Whitney Calhoun in 1919.
This is not the first time PM/US was asked to give to high-end sound system treatment to a stadium’s smaller-scale spaces, and it won’t likely be the last. “With the evolving expectations to create something new for sporting fans to experience when they are at a stadium and/or an arena, many organizations are now looking at extending the excitement from the bowl into the back of house spaces such as clubs, restaurants and corridors,” observes PM/US project engineer Demetrius Palavos.
That means better speakers, in this case, a bevy of appropriately artisanal loudspeakers built with pride in the U.S. by Fulcrum Acoustic and thoughtfully installed by PM/US to cover 250 indoor seats and a 100-seat patio area. The setup providess excellent clarity for play-by-plays and plenty of full-range support for fight songs, rock anthems and maybe the odd ballad.
Definitely not the usual for restaurant sound, but a happy evolution nonetheless. “Historically, the sound systems in these spaces have been limited to the performance level of a basic background audio system,” Palavos says. But as fans expect more from every aspect of the stadium experience, “the need to extend the bowl sound system experience into these back-of-house spaces has elevated the performance of these systems upward to the level of a foreground audio design with emphasis on a noticeable impact and wide dynamic range.”
So belly up to the bar and order some local cheese curds and beer, and know that your ears will be treated as well as your tastebuds at 1919 Kitchen & Tap.