Case Study

Chesapeake Energy Arena

EAW Anya tames arena acoustics

Oklahoma City’s downtown arena accommodates multiple uses, and reconfiguring the sound system for each is now just a button-push away.

Anya Arrays
Anya Flybars


When the Chesapeake Energy Arena decided to upgrade its 15 year old sound system, they brought in consultants Marsh/PMK.

The arena serves 18,000 patrons and is multi-use, including full house sporting, concert, and rodeo events. It also has retractable floor seating and at times closes off the upper deck for smaller events.

Marsh PMK worked with integrator Ford AV to employ a central scoreboard system of 40 Anya modules in four arrays of two columns each. Another deciding factor to use Adaptive  as its namesake benefit of adapting nearly instantaneously to various coverage requirements through presets recall for the CEA’s various event styles.

Anya’s peerless small columnar footprint and ability of its 6-high columns to fully cover the arena takes very little space, requires less motors and cabling, so installation takes less time than a conventional system.

Additionally, the room is very reverberant, with significant reflections, posing a challenge for speech intelligibility. The coverage area was approximately 120 feet deep and 140 feet wide, and had to be covered entirely from the central cluster position.

The Anna solution provided the ability to cover the entire venue very precisely from existing hang points. Installation was simple, since no angle had to be applied to the array and only minimal cabling was required. Installation was further simplified through the use of Resolution to model and upload directivity.


Opened in 2002, city-owned Chesapeake Energy Arena is an 18,000-seat multi-purpose venue in downtown Oklahoma City and is best known as the home to the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder. But when the Thunder are rolling on the road, the arena plays host to ice hockey, wrestling, rodeo, and live concert events.

CEA features retractable seating on the main floor to accommodate a variety of seating configurations, as well as drapes to close off upper deck seating for smaller events. Arena acoustics are usually tricky, and introducing variable seating made things even tougher. To stay competitive, CEA completed a video modernization in 2012 but the
audio system was getting long in the tooth.

Consultants Marsh/PMK sought a sound system that could readily accommodate a spectrum of event types without burdening the operators. Fitted above the scoreboard, the system had to provide stellar performance and consistent coverage for any of the seating configurations.


Working with hometown system integrator Ford AV, Marsh/PMK specified 40 Anya modules, deployed in four arrays of two columns each. Anya is a high-powered device with a flexible dispersion pattern, which Stevens leveraged to get coverage of the whole venue with little need for fill or delay speakers.

The system’s self-powered design was invaluable in speeding installation to meet the very aggressive schedule, as well as reducing space and cabling needs. Anya’s high output capability meant that the columns never needed to be longer than six modules to cover the entire venue. Anya’s 35 Hz to 18 kHz operating range is sufficient to meet the original specification, and the modules are run full-range at CEA, but the arena chose to add subwoofers for even deeper low-frequency extension.

The ability to recall presets for different configurations is crucial to supporting CEA’s variable seating operation, as it allows resources to be reallocated for different configurations, rather than simply shutting down equipment for sections that do not need coverage. This means the system’s full complement is always being used. Dual Dante™ networks on each module provide complete system redundancy.

Ford AV’s excellent installation meant that everything was configured and ready when EAW arrived to support Marsh/PMK in commissioning the system. After a shakedown cruise during a preseason Thunder game, venue and team staff declared themselves pleased with the result. Marsh/PMK felt that coverage levels were remarkably consistent all the way up the seating area.

CEA’s sound system upgrade is one of a number of successful investments the arena and the citizens of Oklahoma City have made to keep the Chesapeake Energy Arena current as a top venue in the region and the country.


Jerrold Stevens

For more than 30 years, Marsh/PMK has provided acoustical and AV design services for almost every kind of venue and edifice
imaginable, from theme parks to elementary schools to hotels and, of course, arenas. Marsh/PMK is headed up by its president, David Marsh, whose history with the firm goes back to its earliest years. Founded in 1984 by the late Gary Kinsella, the company started out in acoustical consulting, but soon expanded into audio/visual consulting, as well. With offices in Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin areas, Marsh/PMK continues to grow, including adding lowvoltage/ELV system design to its services.
Marsh/PMK maintains its reputation for outstanding customer service by maintaining high principal involvement in each project and by being a pure consulting firm, with no financial ties to manufacturers or integrators for the equipment they specify.

Resolution models of Anya in Chesapeake Energy Arena

EAW Anya is a complete, self-contained, high-power sound reinforcement system that adapts all performance parameters electronically, allowing it to be used in virtually
any application. Columns of Anya modules hang straight, without any vertical splay, and EAW Resolution™ 2 software adapts total system performance to deliver consistent, fullrange output across the entire coverage area as defined by the user. Extremely powerful and immensely scalable, Anya is suitable for anything from small venues to the largest stadiums. Otto is the companion subwoofer for this system.

EAW: Eastern Acoustic Works