The Owner's Box Sports Bar and Grill at the new Omni Dallas Hotel has become the hot-spot for both intense game-watching and socializing in this sports-centric city. As the name implies, the concept here is to give fans a privileged seat and then pull them into the game—a technological feat accomplished by a total of 72 HDTV screens and powerful surround sound systems incorporating 40 Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeakers.
Walker Engineering of Irving, Tex. provided design assistance and installation for the audio, video, and lighting (AVL) systems, with Kip Kendrick, the company's business development manager for AVL, spearheading conceptual design.
"I'm not a huge sports fan myself," admits Kendrick, "but I love the feeling I get watching a game on my big screen at home with good surround sound. I knew that if we wanted to bring the fans downtown, we had to offer that same sense of immersion in the game—only better. That was our goal. We aimed for the best sports bar in the world."
From the outset, Walker Engineering and its partners, general contractor Balfour Beatty Construction and developer Matthews Southwest, agreed that there would be no "value engineering" that would compromise the experience. "We insisted on a stellar environment, and that meant top-line Panasonic video screens, Biamp audio processing and distribution, Crestron controls, and Meyer Sound loudspeakers," says Kendrick.
Meyer Sound systems are showcased in five premier viewing zones at The Owner's Box, four of which utilize the new low-voltage self-powered systems. The twin 7.1 bar systems each have a center UP-4XP 48 V loudspeaker, six MM-4XP miniature loudspeakers, and an MM-10 miniature subwoofer. The 7.2 system in the VIP suite uses the same components with an added MM-10, while the 5.1 system for the billiards room has two fewer of the MM-4XP loudspeakers.
"When we looked at what we needed for both functional performance and interior design, Meyer's low-voltage systems were a no-brainer," recalls Kendrick. "Their 48 V speaker line is absolutely brilliant for this kind of environment."
For the big games—Cowboys, Mavericks, Super Bowl—fans flock to the front of the 16-foot screen, where they are swept into the sound of a 7.2 system powered by seven UPA-1P loudspeakers and dual USW-1P subwoofers.
"They brought in a DJ to use that system for New Year's," recalls Kendrick, "and during the afternoon tests they had it up well over 115 dB with pure clarity. We had bellhops coming from the front desk 200 yards away to see what was going on."
Working with Kendrick as project manager was Jerry Roskin, Walker Engineering's senior project manager for low-voltage and network systems. Creston programming was handled by PanTech Design of Grapevine. Architect for The Owner's Box was BOKA Powell, LLC., and interior designer was waldrop+nichols studio, llc.
Although AVL for The Owner's Box was covered under a separate contract, Walker Engineering also was contracted for all electrical, security, networking, and AV systems throughout the hotel. The 1,001-room property, officially named the Dallas Convention Center Hotel, is owned by the City of Dallas and operated by Omni Hotels.