Case Study: Rogers Arena

About This Project

At the close of The Who’s October 16, 1996, Quadrophenia concert, Roger Daltrey left the stage with this parting comment:


“Thank you Vancouver for letting us play someplace where you could actually hear us!”


Katherine Monk, Music Critic of the Vancouver Sun newspaper, called the brand new 20,000 seat General Motors Place Arena in downtown Vancouver, BC, since renamed to Rogers Arena,  “a world class venue”. In her article, written after attending the inaugural Bryan Adams concert, she wrote that this new home for the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks:


“…is truly amazing acoustically … There is no low, ugly echo to jumble the sound. Everything comes off the floor clean and distinct … The real test came between sets, when the sound of silence was suddenly noticeable … just sweet clean silence with 20,000 people in the room.”


The arena bowl acoustics were designed by BKL. The 2.5 second mid-band reverberation time criterion was established by the owner, and BKL worked with Dominion-Hunt Construction to deliver that required acoustical performance in a cost-effective manner. Our design work included 3-D computer modelling of the arena bowl, preliminary TEF (time-energy-frequency) measurements of the directional sound absorptive and reflective characteristics of the acoustic roof deck intended for use in the facility, as well as a careful analysis and specification of sound absorptive construction materials. Thorough acoustical engineering had allowed for many possible acoustical treatment designs to be evaluated before a practical optimum was recommended.


The “sweet clean silence” is the result of our noise control design for essentially all of the mechanical systems in this facility, which include some 40 air handling units, 10 return fans, 30 supply fans, 60 exhaust fans, 20 smoke exhaust fans (for those indoor fireworks), pumps, cooling towers, chillers, and numerous fan-coil units.


Direct airborne noise, structure-borne, duct breakout, and re-entry noise were all optimally controlled to achieve recognized background noise standards for all interior spaces of this multi-purpose entertainment venue. Challenging problems included noise isolation of partitioned major mechanical rooms located around the inside crown of the arena (mechanical rooms with an essentially “open roof” for return air from the arena bowl).


Whether it is an NHL hockey game, a Pavarotti or U2 concert, or the Ice Capade Show, patrons come to Rogers Arena expecting excellent acoustics to enhance their enjoyment of the event. BKL is proud to be a big part of this success.

Case Studies, Sports & Recreation
Building Services Noise & Vibration, Music Acoustics, Room Acoustics, Sound Isolation, Vibration Isolation