In the heart of Tampa, Florida, stands the iconic Yuengling Center, a versatile arena known for hosting everything from sports events to music concerts. However, despite its rich history and impressive infrastructure, the management felt that the venue lacked a certain spark that could elevate its events to a new level.
In response, production and integration company Thunder City Production Solutions teamed with Elation lighting to bring a transformative lighting experience to the iconic arena.
When Thunder City Pro took on the challenge of revamping the Yuengling Center's lighting, they strategically selected Elation Fuze SFX™ LED Spot FX luminaires and Rayzor 760™ wash effect moving heads to take center stage.
Previously, two spotlight operators would come in and do some ballyhoos for team intros and that was about the extent of the lighting. They’ve gone from a very limited system to a nice center-hung rig of very versatile, dynamic lights. They’ve been ecstatic about it and both the university and the public have taken notice, Justin Stancil, President of Thunder City, highlighted the upgrade.
The Yuengling Center, located on the University of South Florida's main campus, is a multipurpose facility with a seating capacity of up to 10,500. It hosts a range of events, including the University of South Florida's basketball and volleyball games. Thunder City Pro serves as the venue's go-to production partner, responsible for live broadcasts, lighting for sporting events, and control room management.
No compromise on output
The Fuze SFX's versatile capabilities, combining spot, beam, and wash functions, perfectly aligned with the dynamic range of events hosted at the center, offering a wide spectrum of lighting effects to match every occasion. To ensure the right lighting fixture for the venue however, Thunder City arranged a shoot-out to compare the Fuze SFX with Elation’s Proteus Lucius and Proteus Maximus luminaires. Justin Stancil noted, “Obviously, there is going to be a difference in output, especially with colors between the fixtures, however we were quite astonished that there wasn’t as much of a difference as we expected. The SFX still rocked, even with the game lights on, and white, yellow, and green (USF colors) was super visible”. Each Fuze SFX fixture is equipped with custom USF gobos.
The Fuze SFX, boasting over 12,000 lumens, stands as a powerful yet energy-efficient luminaire, drawing a maximum of 432W. This power spot perfectly aligned with the electrical setup, which offered 4 x 20-amp circuits at 120V, and stayed comfortably within the 80% load limit. “The SFX fit the profile of the power rating we needed to be within but we didn’t need to compromise on the output”.
Rayzor 760: wash and eye candy
Complementing the Fuze SFX, the Rayzor 760's high-speed movement and intense output provide the impactful wash and captivating eye-candy lens effects needed to captivate the audience. Justin praised the background SparkLED effect in the Rayzors and highlighted their versatility.
I love the SparkLED effect. We do ballyhoos and breaks over the audience with a time-coded intro, but we can also zoom them all the way out and bring the seven RGBW pixels down to two percent and throw in the SparkLEDs for eye-candy toward the audience without affecting play.
Recognizing the paramount importance of safety in such a dynamic environment, Thunder City engineered a safety-redundant T-Bar rigging system to suspend the Fuze and Rayzor fixtures from the center-hung jumbotron, a custom rigging solution that adhered to the highest safety standards.
Enhancing the immersive experience is a pair of Magmatic Sidewinders™, high-velocity CO2 simulator fog machines placed 20 feet inside an intro tunnel that teams run through prior to each game. Pointed outwards, the dense fog fills the tunnel and billows out onto the court as the players emerge. Using a quick-dissipating Atmosity fluid from Magmatic, the fog then hangs long enough to provide a thin blanket of haze for the pregame intros but then quickly dissipates for a clear, unobstructed view for the start of the game.
NX2 and DyLOS
Tying all of these elements together is an Obsidian NX2™ lighting console with remote X-Net control, offering efficient but complex programming of amazing lighting effects. Utilizing the console’s built-in DyLOS pixel composer, the NX2 can map the RGBW and SparkLEDs on the Rayzor 760s to create some amazing eye candy for the audience.
ONYX is my go-to control platform and the NX2 was a good size for this footprint. So much of what we do is pixel mapping heavy so to me, especially when you’re on a budget, having a console that is also good at mapping pixels, all on one platform, is phenomenal, he stated.
Additionally, a pair of NETRON EN4 DMX nodes using sACN are used for data distribution.
Thunder City Pro provides a console operator for USF events at the Yuengling Center where the new lighting rig is used for player intros and breaks in the action, such as timeouts and halftime performances. From its center position, the lights seamlessly transition between lighting the audience and the floor and can reposition to light the stage when needed. Justin adds that focus presets have been created for the different heights that the center jumbotron assumes – higher for volleyball, lower for basketball.
Thunder City Pro's equipment selection reflects their commitment to delivering an unparalleled immersive atmosphere, bringing the Yuengling Center’s sporting and entertainment events to a whole new level.